If you need to save your fruits, then surely you have wondered how to freeze apples. It isn’t something most of us think about until we’re faced with apples turning brown and mushy.
I love saving my apples for when I’m ready to turn them into a tasty snack or dessert. However, I have made the mistake of freezing my apples too quickly and without following directions, which only made them turn brown.
Why freeze apples in the first place?
First things first, you can absolutely freeze apples. And you can do it even if they are raw. Freezing apples is a great way to preserve them for a longer time. I find that frozen apples are a tasty addition to smoothies and juices as well, and sometimes they even make for cool ice cubes in kids’ drinks.
If you have new apples that you know you won’t be eating, freezing is the best way to naturally stop the decomposition and natural growth of microorganisms. Keep in mind, though, that there are things to follow before freezing apples. You shouldn’t just throw apples into the freezer as they are.
Just in case you are wondering, freezing fruit is a common thing in my house. I do this a lot when I buy in bulk, especially when I know that some fruits will go bad quickly.
And if you don’t know what you can do with frozen apples, there are plenty of ideas. In some cases, you can use frozen apples in baking apple pie, muffins, frozen yogurt parfaits, and frozen drinks, like margaritas or daiquiris.
Now that you know why you should freeze them, let’s talk about the 5 steps to keep in mind in learning how to freeze apples.
5 Steps to Freezing Apples
Step #1: Peel and core the apples
This first step is essential in preserving the flavor and it allows your apples to keep their color. I wash the apples first, and then carefully dry them without pressing too hard, or I leave them on a paper towel to air dry.
Once washed, I peel and core my apples. To core apples, I use a simple apple corer to make things easier. If you have it, use an apple peeler to make the job quicker. I don’t use one often, and it only takes a few more minutes, but having one does simplify things.
Some people like to cut them into eights, but you can make smaller and thinner slices.
Step #2: Prepare a lemon bath and soak the apple slices
To do this step, I prepare a bowl with about 4 cups of water and 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice. I suggest you leave your apple slices for about 5 minutes, as this is the main way to prevent browning.
Step #3: Drain your apples and line a baking sheet
Once the 5 minutes are up, I leave my apples in a colander to drain or place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for a while to dry alone.
After the apples are dry, you can freeze them as they are on the baking sheet for a few hours. I sometimes do this overnight, just to make sure the apples retain the acid. This step is also important to prevent the apples from sticking together, so make sure they are lined separately and that they don’t touch each other.
If you can, use some silicone baking sheets, which are non-stick and don’t retain any water.
Step #4: Transfer the apples to a freezer bag or storage container
The next day, or after at least 4 hours, I transfer my apples to a labeled and dated freezer bag. Make sure you remove as much air as you can from the bag, and seal tight. I use reusable freezer bags to prevent waste, which also happen to come in different sizes. Plus, these are a fast and easy snack to prepare in the morning for the kids.
You can also use any container or Tupperware that you prefer if you don’t have any bags.
Step #5: Check your apples and enjoy!
My frozen apples last up to a year, sometimes more. However, I check on them every once in a while, as ice crystals can form and damage the apples.
When you are ready to eat or use your apples, simply add them frozen to any recipe. If your dish requires it, you can thaw them, but consider that they may be a bit mushy.
I recommend adding frozen apples to any dish. I use them in my baked goods, like muffins, fruitcake, tarts, and pie.
Now that you know how to freeze apples, why not freeze other fruits too? Use these steps to keep your apples tasty and colorful even after freezing them. If you need ideas, you can use frozen apples in making jams and jellies, applesauce, or delicious ice cream.