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Freezing Apples

A pile of apple slices.
If you have a large crop of apples or have bought them in bulk, freezing them will allow you to use them later. This is a guide about freezing apples.
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By 1 found this helpful
October 14, 2008

Selecting High-Quality Apples:

If you're purchasing apples, fall offers the greatest selection. Choose ripe apples for freezing that feel firm and crisp in hand and have a bright color. Avoid apples that feel soft and mealy or have cuts or punctures in the skin.
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Preparing for Freezing:

Wash, peel, core and cut apples into quarters for freezing. Approximately 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds of sliced quartered apples fills one pint, and approximately 2 1/2 to 3 pounds of slices or quarters fills 1 quart.

Preserving Fruit Color:

There are three ways to keep apple flesh from turning brown before and during freezing: (1) dip slices in a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of ascorbic acid to 3 tablespoons of cold water ( or use a commercial antioxidant), (2) soak them in a solution of 2 tablespoons of salt and 1 gallon of water, (3) steam-blanch them for 1 1/2 minutes and cool them in ice water before freezing.

Best Freezing Method(s):

Unsweetened Dry Pack: This is the simplest and fastest method for freezing apples, but it is not as good for retaining texture and flavor as the other methods. Treat apple slices with ascorbic acid or blanch to preserve color, pack them into a suitable container leaving 1/2 inch of headspace and freeze.

Sweetened Dry Pack: Place 1 1/4 pounds of quartered or sliced apples into a shallow bowl or pan. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of ascorbic acid in 3 tablespoons of cold water and sprinkle over the apples. Mix in 1/2 cup of sugar and pack apples in container, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace per pint and freeze.

Syrup Pack: The syrup pack method is useful if you plan to serve the apples uncooked (desserts or fruit cocktail), because it preserves a fruit's flavor and texture the best. Use a medium syrup (1/2 to 2/3 cup for each pint). Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil until the sugar is dissolved. Chill. Add 1/2 teaspoon of ascorbic acid to each quart of syrup. Pour 1/2 cup of syrup into the freezer container and add apples. If necessary, add more syrup until apples are covered and place a small piece of water-resistant paper on top to keep apples submerged. Leave 1/2 inch headspace for pints, 1 inch for quarts.

Containers & Packaging: Containers suitable for freezing should be airtight and include plastic bags, rigid plastic containers, heavy-duty aluminum foil, oven-ready casseroles sealed with freezer tape or glass containers.

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Maximum Storage Time:

Apples in syrup packs or sweetened dry packs will keep 10-12 months when stored at 0F. Unsweetened dry packs should be used within 3-6 months.

Tips:

Some types of apples freeze better than others. In general, those that work well for making pies or sauce freeze well. Granny Smith, Golden Delicious and Winesap hold up well to freezing and resist bruising. McIntosh bruises easily and Red Delicious is the least desirable to freeze.

Shortcuts:

If you're freezing apples for pies, place sliced apples in a pie tin lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil or a freezer grade plastic wrap. Wrap the apples and place the pie tin shaped package into the freezer. When you're ready to bake your pie, simply remove the wrap, place the slab of apples directly into the pie crust, add sugar and spices and bake. The syrup used for syrup packs can be prepared a few days ahead of time and kept refrigerated.

Refrigerating Apples:

Sprinkle fresh apples with a little bit of water and place them in a perforated plastic bag in a cold part of the refrigerator. Apples give off an ethylene gas that can speed up ripening, so keep them away from other fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator. Store apples in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 months.
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Comment Was this helpful? 1
August 25, 20080 found this helpful

Selecting High-Quality Apples: If you're purchasing apples, fall offers the greatest selection. Choose ripe apples for freezing that feel firm and crisp in hand and have a bright color. Avoid apples that feel soft and mealy or have cuts or punctures in the skin.

<img src="/images/food/fridge150x111.jpg" width="150" height="111" align="right" vspace="5" hsapce="5" alt="freezing guide" border="0">

Preparing for Freezing: Wash, peel, core and cut apples into quarters for freezing. Approximately 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds of sliced quartered apples fills one pint, and approximately 2 1/2 to 3 pounds of slices or quarters fills 1 quart.

Preserving Fruit Color: There are three ways to keep apple flesh from turning brown before and during freezing: (1) dip slices in a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of ascorbic acid to 3 tablespoons of cold water ( or use a commercial antioxidant), (2) soak them in a solution of 2 tablespoons of salt and 1 gallon of water, (3) steam-blanch them for 1 1/2 minutes and cool them in ice water before freezing.

Best Freezing Method(s):

Unsweetened Dry Pack: This is the simplest and fastest method for freezing apples, but it is not as good for retaining texture and flavor as the other methods. Treat apple slices with ascorbic acid or blanch to preserve color, pack them into a suitable container leaving 1/2 inch of headspace and freeze.

Sweetened Dry Pack: Place 1 1/4 pounds of quartered or sliced apples into a shallow bowl or pan. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of ascorbic acid in 3 tablespoons of cold water and sprinkle over the apples. Mix in 1/2 cup of sugar and pack apples in container, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace per pint and freeze.

Syrup Pack: The syrup pack method is useful if you plan to serve the apples uncooked (desserts or fruit cocktail), because it preserves a fruit's flavor and texture the best. Use a medium syrup (1/2 to 2/3 cup for each pint). Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil until the sugar is dissolved. Chill. Add 1/2 teaspoon of ascorbic acid to each quart of syrup. Pour 1/2 cup of syrup into the freezer container and add apples. If necessary, add more syrup until apples are covered and place a small piece of water-resistant paper on top to keep apples submerged. Leave 1/2 inch headspace for pints, 1 inch for quarts.

Containers & Packaging: Containers suitable for freezing should be airtight and include plastic bags, rigid plastic containers, heavy-duty aluminum foil, oven-ready casseroles sealed with freezer tape or glass containers.

Maximum Storage Time: Apples in syrup packs or sweetened dry packs will keep 10-12 months when stored at 0ºF. Unsweetened dry packs should be used within 3-6 months.

Tips: Some types of apples freeze better than others. In general, those that work well for making pies or sauce freeze well. Granny Smith, Golden Delicious and Winesap hold up well to freezing and resist bruising. McIntosh bruises easily and Red Delicious is the least desirable to freeze.

Shortcuts: If you're freezing apples for pies, place sliced apples in a pie tin lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil or a freezer grade plastic wrap. Wrap the apples and place the pie tin shaped package into the freezer. When you're ready to bake your pie, simply remove the wrap, place the slab of apples directly into the pie crust, add sugar and spices and bake. The syrup used for syrup packs can be prepared a few days ahead of time and kept refrigerated.

Refrigerating Apples: Sprinkle fresh apples with a little bit of water and place them in a perforated plastic bag in a cold part of the refrigerator. Apples give off an ethylene gas that can speed up ripening, so keep them away from other fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator. Store apples in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 months.

Ellen Brown

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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By guest (Guest Post)
August 25, 20080 found this helpful

If you don't mind mushy apples; freezing them is fine. We like ours with some texture and a slight crunch as baked goods taste fresher that way. If you prefer your apples like that, you have to use fresh apples. We think it's way worth it!

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 25, 20080 found this helpful

Fix them as though you would for a pie, then put in containers and freeze them. They are then ready for your pies. I do it this way. They do just fine.

tina

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 25, 20080 found this helpful

I just got a pack of apples out of my freezer the other day that had been frozen for 3 years and they were wonderful. I have an apple peeler that peels, cores and slices into rings. I just cut the rings in half and make half moon slices. Next I put them in salted tap water. Take out and put in colander and let drain. Then I put them into freezer bags and let them sit and whatever water collects in the bottom I pour it out. Get out as much air as possible and seal. I like to freeze the golden delicious or fuji.

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August 26, 20080 found this helpful

I prefer to cook the apples for my pie filling, so I do that, and then freeze them. Another good method is to prepare the pie, and freeze that. You have a lot of different ways that you can do this.

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 30, 20080 found this helpful

We always bought a couple bushels of apples in the fall and kept them in styrofoam coolers in the garage. They stayed fresh for a long time so we had apples well into winter. Any that turned we fed to the horses.

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 1, 20080 found this helpful

You can make apple pies in pie tin with crust and apple and sugar /flour /spice and freeze. When frozen take out of pie tin put in plastic and put back in freezer.

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 2, 20080 found this helpful

Can you use lemon juice on apples to keep them from turning brown rather then ascorbic acid?

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 24, 20080 found this helpful

I peel and slice enough to fill a gallon jar, sprinkle 3/4 cup sugar over them and let them sit at room temperature for 12 hours. Then decant into freezer bags and freeze. They keep their texture beautifully and won't turn brown. Good luck!

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 1, 20080 found this helpful

Good info! Good read! Thanks, Ken

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 3, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you for all the info on freezing apples.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 1 found this helpful
February 19, 2011

Is there a substitute for abscorbic acid in freezing apples?

By Susan from San Diego, CA

Answer Was this helpful? 1
February 21, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Salt does not work, it does not inhibit the action you want with the apples. The salt will draw the moisture out of the fruit/veggies and result in freezer burned produce rather quickly. And you could not mask the sodium in the reuse of the apples.

You can use lemon juice or plain orange juice. They are high enough in acid. You can use some citric acid mixed with water. This is what powdered lemonade is made from. It can be found in natural foods sections of the grocery.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
February 22, 20111 found this helpful

I wouldn't use vinegar because it will change the taste of the apples. Use orange juice or lemon juice diluted with water. That's what restaaurants use when putting sliced apples or bananas on a buffet table.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
February 21, 20110 found this helpful

Lemon Juice or Salt

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
February 22, 20110 found this helpful

Any fruit juice with acid will work, it can be thinned down pretty thin and still work, the trick is to keep the apples submerssed for me if I am out of Fruit Fresh. I keep it on hand year round. We use in when we grind our horseradish in the fall also. We put up around 120 1/2 pint jars every year with friends. Nothing like the fresh horseradish.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
February 22, 20110 found this helpful

I use a pan of water with white vinegar, a ratio of a couple of tabelspoons to a gallon of water (I don't actually measure, just a good 'glub' from the vinegar bottle) to slice my apples into and then when I get them all peeled I put them into my freezer bags and get all the air out. I keep them up to a year like this with no freezer burn and they do not turn brown.

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May 8, 20050 found this helpful

There are a great deal on apples right now at the grocery store. I like to put apples in my smoothies. What is the best way to freeze applies to be used in smoothies?

Glenn

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
May 9, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

I freeze apples for pies and other desserts, but I put them in salted water for a short time, drain and then freeze in plastic bags. This keeps them from turning brown. You can buy axcorbic acid to prevent them from browning too. Use according to directions.

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 10, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

Lemon juice has ascorbic acid and is recommended everywhere for keeping apples from turning brown. But it will add a lemony flavor!

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By guest (Guest Post)
December 6, 20040 found this helpful

Do you not need to add anything to keep the apples from browning?

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May 8, 20050 found this helpful

This time of year when apples are plentiful and in season, buy a box. Then cut them up and mix with your favorite apple pie recipe. Put all together in ZipLock bag and freeze. When you want a pie just dump the bag into a pie shell and bake!

- Michelle

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May 8, 20050 found this helpful

Last Thanksgiving I made an apple pie and had way too many apples. So I put them in a freezer bag and tossed em in the freezer. I added nothing. They turned a lil brown but nothing to be concerned about. Then in January I used them to make a pie. I didn't know what to do cause they were frozen. So I nuked them just a lil to help them come apart added my spices, butter, a lil flour and put them in my pie shell. It turned out really good. yum yum. I think next time I freeze some apples I'll go ahead and add the spices, when I freeze them.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 13, 2008

How long do I have to soak apples in salt/water solution before freezing?

Tammy from Foreston, MN

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
November 14, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

The salt water bath is just to stop them from turning dark. It is not necessary to soak for any length of time.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
November 14, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

Can't picture using salt to keep apples from browning. I always use lemon juice and water and just coat them in the mixture, no soaking needed.

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November 13, 20080 found this helpful

I never heard of soaking them. I just peel, core, slice and put in bags. They taste fresh when thawed and make great pies.

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July 22, 20120 found this helpful

I have an apple tree with a ton of tart apples (Anna). I want to freeze them to be put in Greek yogurt or to add to plain oatmeal. What is the best way to do this? I was thinking about adding raisins, cinnamon, apples, juice, and cooking for a while (not until mushy) then cooling and freezing. Should I add any other ingredients?

By Carol from San Marcos

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
July 23, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

I freeze apples in one of two ways. Either peel and chop them up and pop them in a freezer bag raw, or secondly, cook them and fill bags with them when cooled.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
November 7, 20120 found this helpful

NO, please don't add anything to the apples that you suggested you would like. It changes the PH and the acid levels to make it unsafe. You can get the ball book of canning or check their online for freezing ideas. Also, contact your local extension service for bulletins on this. You can also go online to your state extension service for free information.

When it comes to food prep, it is foolish to 'cheat' the recipes, when canning/freezing food. You pay for it in the end by becoming ill or by ending up throwing out the food.

Good luck.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 8, 2012

What is the best way to freeze apples?

By Linda W L.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
July 8, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

I like to prepare the apples by my recipe for apple pie and freeze it. When I get ready to make a pie, I make the crust, thaw the apples just enough to get them separated, add a few pats of butter and bake it. I have kept them in the freezer for a couple of years this way and it's good.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 6, 2012

Can I bake apples and then freeze them?

By Drama A.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
June 6, 20120 found this helpful

I would think that freezing baked apples would make them too watery, and you end up with, basically, applesauce.

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February 14, 20120 found this helpful

How long can you soak apples?

By Clifford from NE

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 18, 20120 found this helpful

For what purpose would you "soak" apples? Can you provide a little more information that might help someone provide an answer?

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September 25, 20110 found this helpful

How do I freeze apples?

By Martyn B

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
September 26, 20110 found this helpful

I found this in the ThriftyFun archives. Read the first answer given by Miss fun2no showing a bit below the question. It gives information for a few alternatives:

http://www.thri  8326455.tip.html

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August 26, 20140 found this helpful

How long to soak in salt water?

By Todd from Idaho Falls, ID

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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