If you have your own apple tree, you must have had years when it was so full of fruit, that even after you made apple jam, compotes, juices, marmalade, dried apples, you gave them to neighbors and friends, in the end there's still some that remain and you wonder what to do with them.
You have probably read or know from experience several ways to store fresh apples longer for the winter, but few people know that apples can be frozen. We will explain how you can freeze apples, how to choose the right method and what to prepare from the fruit after defrosting them.
Why freeze apples
For example, to eat delicious apple pastries all winter. Frozen apples can be added to pies, cakes or apple strudels. Frozen apples also make excellent winter drinks - aromatic fruit drink or compote. The fruit can be added to mulled wine or, for example, make an unusual cocktail of kefir and apples. It is convenient that the apples from the freezer will already be washed, peeled and cut - you won't be wasting any time with preparation.
But the main advantage of this storage method is different. Deep freezing preserves a maximum of the useful substances, vitamins and trace elements.
What apples can be frozen
Choose fresh and slightly unripe and firm apples from more sour varieties. You need healthy fruit that won't be crushed during preparation and will tolerate the cold well.
Any variety is suitable for storing apples in the freezer in applesauce form. But the fruit must be selected without damage and bruises.
Overripe, soft and bruised fruit should not be frozen - they will turn sour. In wormy or slightly spoiled, all questionable places should be carefully cut out. Even a small piece of such an apple, once placed in a package, will ruin everything else in it.
How to prepare apples for freezing
To freeze apples, they should be washed, then left to dry or wiped with a clean cloth. You can freeze both whole apples, by removing the core with a special knife, and cut them into cubes, slices, quarters or circles. If apples are needed for cooking delicate dishes - casseroles, apple pies or apple cakes - the skin must be peeled beforehand. Cut each fruit in half, cut out the seeds, remove the stalk and give them the desired shape.
That way that the peeled and sliced apples do not have time to darken in the air, immerse the fruit for 15 minutes in a solution with citric acid in a ratio of 1 to 5.
How to freeze apples for the winter: 5 ways
For this storage option, you will need to get ascorbic acid from the pharmacy. Dissolve four tablets in a glass of boiled water - at the rate of 50 g of ascorbic acid per 50 ml of water - and successively immerse the apples in the liquid for one minute each. Without letting the fruit dry, wrap them in cling film and place them in the freezer. This method is suitable for stuffing and baking apples in the oven.
Sliced apples in a bag
Place the sliced and dried apples on a small dish or flat tray in a single layer and place them in the freezer overnight. In the morning, transfer the frozen fruit into a freezer bag. In this form, they will maintain their shape better and the fruit will not stick together.
You can also freeze apples immediately by placing raw slices in a long-term storage bag. But in this case it is worth dividing the apples into portions. Remember not to refreeze fruit and vegetables.
Apples in sugar
Such apples are suitable for sweet pies and cakes. We do everything as in the previous paragraph and after putting them in bags, cover them with sugar. The more sour the variety, the more sugar will be needed. To make sure the fruit is well saturated, close the bag and let it sit for 10 minutes, then freeze.
Apples in syrup
Dissolve the sugar in a pot of water - two cups of sugar per liter. While stirring, make sure it bubbles, but do not boil it. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Dip the apple quarters in the syrup and leave them for two to four hours. Bag the sweet fruit and then freeze them.
The peeled and cut into small slices apples, are blended with a blender, until a smooth mixture is obtained and place them in this form in freezer containers. You can use safe plastic containers, silicone molds with lids, or small sealed ziplock bags. In order to preserve the maximum of useful substances in the composition, it is not necessary to cook the puree in advance. Water, sugar and other ingredients are best added after defrosting, if the recipe calls for it.
Defrosted applesauce can be used for baby food. The homemade product, whose origin and quality you are sure of, always is better than the jars in the store.
How long to store apples in the freezer for
Properly frozen apples are stored perfectly in the cold for a year. Important condition: the temperature should not exceed -0°F (-18°C). Applesauce has a shelf life of three months.
You should defrost the apples gradually. It would be correct to move the fruit from the freezer to the bottom shelf of the refrigerator and after a few hours they will become soft. You can complete the defrosting process in room conditions.