Whether it’s Granny Smith, Pippin, Honeycrisp, or Braeburn – apples are delicious in all their varieties! But, is there a way to store apples for the long term? And does this work for all varieties?
Can You Freeze Apples?
Yes, you can freeze apples for up to 6 months. Cut them into slices, chunks or wedges before soaking them in lemon and then freezing them in bags.
Do Apples Freeze Well? Yes
Can You Refreeze Apples? No
How to Freeze Apples
The method for freezing apples remains the same, whether you’ve got eating apples, cooking apples or any other variety of apples.
- Prepare Apples
You first need to peel and core your apples. There is no point in freezing the inedible part of the apple. Once peeled and cored, slice into large wedges, cubes, rounds, chunks. Consider how you normally use your apples and go from there.
- Soak Apples
Take a bowl of ice-cold water and add the juice of a lemon then tip your apple into the liquid to give them a quick lemon bath. This will prevent them from turning brown and mushy.
- Initial Freeze
Drain the apple from their lemon-water bath, then lay the pieces of apple into a baking tray keeping them spread out. Try to prevent them from touching one another.
- Bag Up
Place the frozen wedges or pieces into a freezer bag and seal the bag up. As you seal it up, try to remove as much air from the bag as possible. Remember to write the contents on the bags. Apples and pears can look deceivingly similar!
- Freeze Apples
Finally, carefully place the bag of frozen apple pieces into the freezer. Whenever you want a handful for a smoothie or crumble you can just grab them.
The skin can act as an added barrier in the freezer but it does toughen up significantly so won’t be enjoyable to eat. That’s why I always peel apples before freezing them.
Although it is safe to freeze apples without lemon juice and they will taste fine, you’ll find that they go brown quickly. If you don’t care about their appearance then you can forgo the lemon juice.
Yes, apples can be frozen without being cooked. However, you’ll need to give them a quick soak in a lemon bath to prevent them from turning brown.
What is the Best Way to Freeze Apples?
The best way to freeze apples comes down to how you plan on using them. The main method is to cut it up, freeze it on a tray and then (when frozen solid) bag it up to freeze for the long term.
But before you do that, you need to consider how you plan on using the frozen apple to then ensure you freeze the apple in the best way.
If you know you’ll want it diced up small to use in a crumble filling then make sure you cut it up small. If you know you’ll want it in smoothies then just cut them up roughly.
Yes, apples of any shape, size or cut can be frozen. It’s worth remembering that the thinner the cut, the more delicate it will be. That’s why I prefer to freeze apples in chunks.
How Long Can You Freeze Apples?
Like most fruit, frozen apples will be perfectly fine in the freezer for up to a year. After the first 6 months, however, there is a risk that the apples will lose some of their flavours, so it’s best to use them within the first 6 months.
The longer you keep those apples in the freezer, the more they will break down and become mushy. They will also lose some of their distinct, crisp flavours.
Obviously, this isn’t much of a dealbreaker if, like me, you plan on making pies or crumbles.
Apples will last for 3 to 4 weeks in the fridge before they show any signs of turning bad. They can also be stored in a dark, cool cupboard for around a week or so.
How Do You Defrost Apples?
If you plan on using your apple pieces in a smoothie, then you can throw them straight into the blender and whizz them up. They’ll give you both apple flavour and keep your smoothie nice and cold.
If you want to thaw your apple to use in porridge, puddings or cakes, then place them in a bowl in the fridge and leave them to defrost fully overnight. They might become a little watery so drain once thawed to avoid ruining your cake.
How I Make Pies With Frozen Apples
The best way I freeze apples for making pies is to peel and cut up 8 apples and pop these in a freezer bag with a stick of cinnamon. When I want to make a pie, I tip the mix into a pan with a splash of water and warm slowly until thawed and stewed.
Can You Refreeze Apples?
I would not advise refreezing apples.
This can completely ruin the texture as when you freeze and thaw, you’ll draw more moisture out from the apple which will freeze at a different rate.
The only exception is if you plan on using your apples in a sauce or cooked down.
Do Apples Freeze Well?
If you like a fresh apple in the morning for breakfast, then you’ll need to stick to fresh. You won’t be able to freeze whole apples, defrost them and then munch away on them as if they were fresh. They’ll become mushy and bland.
However, if you want the flavour of apple in a smoothie, porridge or dessert, then freezing is a great way of lengthening the apple’s life while retaining its nutrients and flavour.