Whether in pies, tarts, galettes, cakes or crumbles, we love apples any way you slice ’em. And thankfully, this delicious fruit is available to buy year-round. But we’re here to let you in on a secret: With a little know-how, you can keep those apples you picked yourself this fall for months. Yep, you read that right. Here’s how to store apples so that you can make pies all winter long.
How to Store Apples to Keep Them Fresh Longer
First: How to Pick the Best Apples
The tarter the apple, the longer it’ll last in storage. That means you want to skip sweeter varieties like Golden Delicious and opt for Granny Smith, McIntosh or Fuji apples instead. And when it comes to storage, size matters. Smaller apple varieties have thicker skin, which means they’ll last longer.
How to Store Apples
If you plan to eat your apple-picking haul in the next few days, then you can keep them on the kitchen counter, where they’ll last for up to a week.
To keep apples fresh for a month, store them in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Just be wary of storing apples next to other items—not only will they absorb the flavors of those foods but they could also ripen prematurely. (Nobody wants to bite into an apple that tastes like an onion.)
But to really extend the life of your favorite fruit, store them in a cool, dark place that’s pretty humid. Apples prefer temperatures anywhere from 30°F to 35°F, so a basement or garage will work great. First, give your apples a once-over and look for bruises or soft spots—only blemish-free apples will work for long-term storage. Then wrap each apple individually in newspaper, keeping the stems on if possible. Place the apples in a single layer in a crate or bin. Finally, make sure to check up on the fruit often to remove any apples that are spoiling, since this could ruin the whole bunch. Using this method, your apples should stay fresh for a couple of months.
Final tip: Wherever you store them, don’t stack apples on top of one another, because that could cause brown spots to appear.
10 Ways to Use Those Apples
Apple pie is a classic, but sometimes you want something that’s a little more, shall we say, sophisticated. Enter this apple tart with a soft pretzel crust. Having your gluten-free friend over for dinner? No problem. She’ll love this beautiful gluten-free apple rose tart. If baking is not your forte (hey, no judgment) but you still want to serve something delicious, you can’t go wrong with this apple galette that’s basically foolproof. But why limit yourself to desserts? Start your day with overnight oats with apple and cinnamon or a slice of apple cake (there’s fruit in there, so it’s basically healthy). Then for lunch, whip up this apple focaccia with blue cheese and herbs. Throwing a dinner party? Start off with these gorgeous apple, goat cheese and honey tarts before moving on to a pistachio-crusted pork tenderloin with apple and escarole salad. Round things off with apple-cider doughnut holes and congratulate yourself on finally getting through those three bushels you picked last fall.