Can you freeze apples? Apples are one of the most widely known and cultivated fruits. You can get them in your local store all year round. So, you’ve bought a few pounds of apples and you realized that you won’t be able to use them before they’ll go bad. Freezing seems to be the best idea to preserve the apples for future use, but can you freeze apples? Fortunately for you, apples can be frozen. Actually, there are a few methods of freezing them. Let’s discuss them.
Freezing changes the texture of apples, so in most cases they aren’t well suited for eating them raw. Use them rather in some baked dishes such as baked apples or pies. The most popular method of freezing apples is freezing sliced apples. Sliced apples tend to brown when frozen and thawed. To prevent that from happening, you can do a couple of things before freezing them:
- dip sliced apples in lemon juice solution
- dip sliced apples in salt water solution (2 tablespoons of salt per 1 gallon of water)
- steam sliced apples for about 2 minutes
Image used under Creative Commons from msr
Each of the mentioned methods stops the enzyme that causes browning.
Freezing sliced apples
Firstly, you need to peel, core and slice apples to desirable sizes. After that, if you want to prevent them from browning, you should take the steps of one of the mentioned methods. Now you need to put your sliced apples on a cooking sheet in a way that they won’t touch one another and put the cooking sheet into the freezer. Once the slices are solid you should take the cooking sheet from the freezer and transfer the slices into a zipper storage bag and put it back into the freezer. You can keep it there (and retain good quality) for a year.
Pre-freezing sliced apples prevents them from sticking together so you can easily thaw as many slices as you need at a time. If you plan to freeze them for a prolonged period of time, you should double-wrap them, to prevent freezer burn.
Freezing sliced apples in syrup
If you’d like to use frozen apples for some uncooked dishes like fruit cocktails, this method of freezing them is best for your needs. So, you need to peel, core and slide apples to desirable sizes. You’ll be putting the slices directly into syrup in a container, so now it’s time to make the syrup. Use a 40 (2 cups syrup per 3 cups water) to 50 (1 cup syrup per 1 cup water) percent syrup. To prevent apples from browning add half a teaspoon of ascorbic acid per each quart of syrup. Now pour some of the prepared solution into the container and add sliced apples directly into the prepared syrup.
Once you’ve put all fruit into the container, push them down and add some syrup to cover them. Please remember to leave some headspace in the container – water expands while freezing. Now a little trick to hold slices under the syrup – take a piece of water-resistant paper, crumple it and place it on top of the container. That will do the trick. Now you just need to seal the container and put it into the freezer. You can keep it there in good quality for about a year.
Freezing whole apples
Wash the apples, dry them, then put on a tray and pre-freeze them (similarly as in the previous method). Once they are frozen, put them into a freezer bag or zipper storage bag and put them into the freezer. You can keep them there (and retain good quality) for about a year.
Here’s a great video that discusses few ways to freeze apples that were described above (if the video doesn’t load, watch it on Youtube):
Most popular uses of frozen apples include:
- apple butter
- pies, cakes, other baked goods
- apple sauce
- baked apples
As you can see, you can freeze apples. You can freeze whole apples, but freezing them sliced is a better idea. If you’d like to use thawed apples in uncooked dishes, the best way for you is to freeze them in syrup. If you plan to use defrosted apples for baking purposes, you can freeze them without the syrup.