A favorite fruit of many, apples have a crispy texture, sweet taste and make a great addition to a variety of dessert recipes. Unfortunately, they're only in season during fall. Learning how to freeze apples can help you preserve their freshness longer for use all year long.
So, if you’re interested in enjoying that delightful apple taste in all four seasons, tap into this informative guide.
Can I Freeze Apples?
Of course you can!
Freezing apples will preserve their peak freshness better in the long run. But it all comes down to how well you prepare and freeze them.
Firm and ripe apples frozen properly will be delicious and almost as nutritious as fresh ones.
Here are a few tips to help you identify matured apples:
- Check an apple's firmness by gently squeezing it.
- Avoid choosing apples that have blemishes, bruises, or a dull color.
- Check if they smell good - no weird, icky odors.
Do Apples Freeze Well?
Like most fruits, apples have a high water content. Fresh, they’re juicy and crunchy. But as they freeze, apples lose their crispy texture due to cells breaking down.
However, frozen apples can work great in a variety of recipes. Since they won't retain the same texture as fresh apples when thawed, they work best when cooked or mixed in sauces, smoothies, pies, or cobbler.
Frozen apples can last from 10 to 12 months. After that, they will start to show signs of spoilage.
To defrost apples, transfer them from the freezer to the fridge and leave them overnight. Before using, carefully check the apples and cut out any holes and brown blemishes on the surface. Discard any apples that have a mushy texture or are oozing juice.
While there are plenty of different ways to freeze apples, the usual steps are: peel/core, soak, drain, flash freeze, store, then freeze. Here’s a more detailed guide for how to freeze apples:
Ways to Freeze Apples
1. Freeze Dry Apples
Once famous for being astronaut food, freeze-dried fruits are now commonly enjoyed here on earth. That also includes freeze-dried apples.
During the freeze-drying process, apples will lose 98%of their water content. This prevents the apples from spoiling while keeping the majority of their flavor and nutritional value. Packed with antioxidants, fiber, and calories, they’re handy snacks for people on the go.
You may have seen packets of freeze-dried apples at the supermarket, but did you know you can freeze them at home — even without a freeze dryer?
Of course, the process will take longer. But in return, you’ll have tasty and cost-effective freeze-dried apples without having to worry about preservatives or other additives.
Simply follow these instructions to learn how:
- Rinse the apples thoroughly under cold, running water. You can use your hands or a clean scrub to wash.
- Next, use a knife or apple slicer to cut your apples into thin slices. The thinner they are, the faster they will freeze.
- Place the apples on a tray, preferably perforated. A cake-cooking rack or a metal mesh tray will also work. If you don’t have one of those, a cookie sheet or plate is acceptable, but freezing the apples will take longer.
- Arrange the apples on the tray so that they don’t overlap with each other.
- Put them in the freezer uncovered and leave them for at least one week. Check to see if your apples have completely freeze-dried by thawing one slice as a test. If it turns black instantly, then you need to wait longer.
- After you properly freeze dry the apples, store them in airtight containers and keep them in a cool, dry place.
2. Freeze Apple for Pie
Apple pie is a classic, all-American dessert. Preserve scrumptious apples, and you can enjoy this delightful treat well beyond the Fourth of July.
While there are a variety of methods to preserve apples, the unsweetened, dry-pack method is the best for making pie. This method maintains the apples in good condition without adding extra sugar. Here’s how to do it:
- To get ready for freezing, choose firm and crisp apples.
- Wash and cut the apples into slices of any size, depending on your needs for future recipes.
- Submerge the apple slices in a bowl of ascorbic acid solution (or lemon juice) for a few minutes to prevent browning.
- Lay the apples on top of a single layer of a cooking sheet on a tray and freeze them.
- Once the slices become solid, store them in freezer bags or containers and place them back in the freezer.
Frozen apples can last for a whole year. But to get the best taste for baking, use them within 3-6 months.
To thaw them for baking, simply let them sit in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours, or overnight.
3. Freeze Apple Slices
Instead of throwing away excess apples, learn how to freeze them! Slicing and freezing apples ahead of time will make future cooking much more convenient.
Plus, frozen apple slices are easy to make. They can be added to many different recipes - cooked or uncooked.
Syrup-packed apples are perfect for uncooked dishes or fruit cocktails. Follow these directions to make some:
First, you need to make a heavy (40%) sugar syrup and let it cool down.
To prevent browning, mix ½ teaspoon of vitamin C into each quart of syrup. Pour the syrup into containers.
Wash, peel, core, and slice the apples. Immediately place the slices in the pre-prepared syrup container.
Press the apples down and add more syrup if needed to cover all of the slices. Leave appropriate spacing between the apple slices (or “headspace”). Use a piece of crumpled water-resistant paper to hold down the apples by placing it on top of the fruit in every container. Afterward, seal and label the containers carefully before putting them in the freezer.
This method is great for freezing apples that will be used in cooked recipes.
Prepare a mixture of ½ teaspoon vitamin C in 3 tablespoons of water. As you slice the apples, sprinkle it over the slices to prevent browning.
Put the apples in a bowl and mix them carefully with ½ cup of sugar. Put them into containers and press them down to leave enough headspace before labeling then freeze.
Unsweetened Dry pack
Follow the instructions mentioned before in how to freeze apples for pie.
Learning how to freeze apples is easy. Now that you’re equipped with this knowledge, you won’t have to wait for fall to have flavorful apples. Freeze some right now, and enjoy them all year round!
A writer and entrepreneur, Luna’s day doesn’t start at the computer keyboard, but in the kitchen.
Half of her working hours are spent on mixing ingredients for her recipes. The other half involve working with the tech team to research and test the tools and appliances that promise to make kitchen work effortless and mess-free. From a kitchen knife or water filter to the Instant Pot, if it can help save time and effort for the home cook, Luna and her team are on it.
Luna’s extracurricular pastimes include camping, travel, and photography.