Unlike many other fruit bowl regulars (we’re looking at you, bananas), apples stay fresh for quite a while. Meaning that if you snag a bunch at the store, there’s little risk that this fibrous snack will spoil before you can savor every crisp, sweet bite. But every now and then (after apple picking or if the grocery store has a sale), we end up hauling home more fruit than we can devour. If you ever find yourself with more forbidden fruit than there are school teachers in your neighborhood, don’t fret—here’s how to freeze apples so your stash will deliver that golden delicious flavor for up to a full year.
How to Freeze Apple Slices
The most important thing to know about frozen apples is that they have a less palatable texture, so they do best in purees and baked goods (i.e., don’t sleep through your alarm and pack a couple of frozen apple pieces for your kid’s snack). And while you technically can freeze this fruit whole (more on that below), slicing apples prior to freezing will save yourself a future hassle. Here’s how to get a leg up on your baking agenda.
1. Wash apples thoroughly by rinsing under cold water, while gently scrubbing the skin to remove any surface dirt.
2. Peel, core and slice apples to desired thickness. (Tip: Slice your fruit in different shapes or degrees of thickness and store in groups so you can use the apples in a variety of recipes.)
3. Fill a small bowl with cold water and the juice of half a lemon. Dip the apple slices in the acidic water—this will ensure they don’t take on an unsightly brown tinge in the freezer.
4. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and spread the apple slices out in a single layer so that none of them are touching.
5. Transfer the tray of apple slices to the freezer until they’re frozen solid (about two hours).
6. Peel the frozen apple slices off the wax paper and move them to plastic freezer bags, removing as much air as possible from each storage bag before sealing.
7. Place the sealed bags of apple slices in the back of the freezer and use as needed to whip up yummy treats. Stored this way, apple slices will last for up to a year in the freezer.
How to Freeze Whole Apples
The downside to freezing whole apples is that you’re making more work for yourself later since you’ll most likely need to slice that rock-hard piece of fruit before you can use it. But if you need a speedy solution for storing apples, here’s how to do it.
1. Wash apples thoroughly, as described above.
2. Dry the washed, whole apples with a paper towel.
3. Line a baking tray with wax paper and place apples on top.
4. Flash freeze the apples for two to three hours, or until completely frozen. (Note: You can skip this step, but your fruit might stick together if you do.)
5. Transfer frozen apples to large storage bags, seal and tuck in the back of your freezer so they stay at a consistently frigid temperature.
6. Ready to make some pie? Thaw whole apples just enough to slice and serve up in your recipe of choice.
How to Use Frozen Apples
Remember what we said earlier about frozen apples not being the most satisfying snack since they tend to take on a mealy texture? It’s true, but don’t let that stop you from thoroughly enjoying this flavorful fall fruit year-round. Frozen apples are supremely tasty in baked goods, sauces and soups. Try these recipes and see for yourself.
- Goat cheese, apple and honey tarts
- Roasted apple pavlova with honey whipped cream
- Curried parsnip and apple soup
- Apple focaccia with blue cheese and herbs
- Apple blinkchiki (Russian pancakes)