What do you do when you have a lot of apples? It's a good idea to freeze them so you can use these fruits for cooking at another time. But if you're unsure if you can freeze apples with the skin on, then you've come to the right page! We've asked the experts and here's their response.
You do not have to peel the skin of the apple before freezing them. Just make sure that your apples have been rinsed thoroughly to lessen the risk of germs and other harmful residues on their surfaces. You can freeze your apple whole, in slices, or even cooked. You can leave the skin on or peel it off, depending on your preference.
Keep reading to learn more about how to freeze apples properly. We'll also answer other questions you might have about frozen apples and share tips on how to thaw these fruits so you can use them for cooking delicious and nutritious foods.
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How to freeze apples
Apples are one of our favorite fruits because of their crisp and juicy flesh. They are refreshing to eat. Best of all, these fruits have exceptional nutritional content. There's a reason why they say that an apple a day will keep the doctor away. They have high fiber content. They are also a rich source of vitamins and polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties. That's why it's good to eat them whether they are fresh or frozen.
Apples can do well in the freezer for months and the good thing about it is that their nutrients are retained throughout the process. This is why it's good to know how to freeze these nutritious fruits properly so that you can have them on hand anytime you want to use them for cooking.
But first, let's discuss which apple varieties do well in the freezer. Although you can freeze any kind of apple, some varieties can stand the cold much better. Experts say that the best apples to use for freezing are the Jonagold, Empire, Golden Delicious, and Cortland varieties. They have a snappy and tough texture which makes them better suited for freezing.
How you freeze these nutritious fruits would depend on how you intend to use them. You can freeze apple whole, in slices, or cook them for your apple pie filling.
Can you freeze whole apples?
Apple can be frozen whole. This is probably the easiest way to preserve them. Here's how to do it:
- Wash each of the fruits thoroughly to reduce any harmful germs and residues on their surfaces.
- Place the apples on a cookie sheet before putting them in the freezer.
- Pre-freeze for a couple of hours or until they get really firm.
- Remove them from the freezer and put them in separate freezer bags or wrap each one in plastic.
- Put the fruits back in the freezer.
This technique is helpful since the apples won't be clumped together in the freezer. You can just get the number of frozen apples that you need for cooking.
Freezing apples in slices
While freezing these fruits whole and with the skin on is the easiest way to preserve them, it's also a good idea to freeze apples in more manageable sizes so that they are easier to thaw and use later on. Here's how to do it:
- Wash the fruits thoroughly.
- Peel off the skin.
- Cut in half then remove the core.
- Slice the apples according to your preferred size.
- Dip the slices in lemon juice or salted water. This will prevent them from turning brown. Some prefer to blanch the apple slices to kill the enzymes that cause browning.
- Arrange the apple slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
- Freeze for about 15 minutes.
- Transfer the apple slices to an airtight container or freezer bags.
Freezing Apple Pie Filling
If you're planning to use the apples for your pies, you can prepare the apple pie filling beforehand then store it in the freezer. Here's how you can freeze your apple pie filling:
- Put parchment paper on a baking sheet.
- Once the filling has cooled down, you can scoop your desired serving and place it on the baking sheet.
- Make sure to leave a space in between each portion.
- Put the baking sheet with the apple fillings in the freezer.
- Pre-freeze for about 15 minutes or until the fillings are firm.
- Transfer each portion in a freezer bag or airtight container before putting them back in the freezer.
Here's a tip: When cooking your apple pie filling that you intend to keep in the freezer, it's best to leave out the spices for the meantime. Freezing affects the potency of some spices. Just add them later on when you're about to use your defrosted apple pie filling for baking.
How long do frozen apples keep?
If stored properly, frozen apples can be kept in the freezer for 6 to 8 months without losing their distinct flavor. Beyond this period, their quality might deteriorate, making them unfit to use for cooking.
Does freezing apples ruin them?
Freezing is actually a good way to retain the best quality of your apples. By keeping them in the freezer, you are able to preserve their nutrients. So, freezing won't make your apples go bad. However, do expect some changes in their texture when they are frozen. This is why it isn't recommended to eat frozen apples raw. They are best used for refreshing cobblers and cooking pies, muffins, bread, and of course, delicious applesauce.
Can you eat frozen apples?
While they are frozen, there are changes that happen in the texture and cellular structure of the apples. These changes make them unsuitable for eating because they won't be as crisp as fresh apples. You can use these frozen fruits instead for cooking and will definitely make your dishes more delectable and nutritious.
But did you know that for countries where this fruit isn't locally grown, the apples that are available in their grocery stores have been frozen for months before they got there? Those fruits have been stored in a controlled environment with low temperatures and almost zero levels of oxygen. This is done to keep the apples from maturing. When it's time to sell these apples, they are removed from their frozen state and they are subject to ripening. When people eat them, their taste and nutritional content aren't affected at all.
How do you thaw frozen apples?
The way you thaw your frozen apples would depend on how you intend to use them.
If you're going to use your frozen apples for baking, the best way to thaw them is by putting them in the refrigerator overnight. This will allow the apples to defrost slowly. This process is crucial in preserving the tissues of the apples so that they won't be too soggy for baking.
If you need your frozen apples for making applesauce, jam, or jelly, you can place them in cold water. You don't need to wait for them to be thawed completely. Just wait for them to defrost until they can be sliced to pieces. You can then proceed to use these apples the way you use fresh ones.
Apples do well in the freezer. You can freeze them with the skin on or peeled. You can have them sliced or keep them whole. You can freeze them cooked or uncooked. They can be frozen for months and still retain their taste and nutrients. That's why they are good to use for cooking. They'll make your pastries and drinks yummier and healthier.