Thursday, October 30, 2008

Freezing Apples

This is going to be a very simple and “maybe everyone knows how to do this”post, but I thought it would be kind of fun to put this annual Fall activity to memory.
My parents bought some land by a lake 30 years ago and, besides enjoying many family gatherings there, we have enjoyed the apples, pears, plums, walnuts and hazelnuts that come free to the family that’s willing to go and pick or gather them up.

So this is what you do in order to have quick access to apples for crips or apples sauce in the winter:
1) wash, quarter, peel and slice apples, throwing them into salted water as you go
( about 1 tsp salt per 8-10 cups water in a large bowl)
2) when bowl is full, pour it into large colander and let cut up apples sit while you continue with the next bowl
3) spread apples on cookie sheets in single layer and freeze until solid, then drop frozen cookie sheet on counter to loosen apples)
4) put apples in ziplock bags, pushing out the air, and store in your own organic freezer section.

33 comments:

  1. What a great tip thanks for sharing!!!

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  2. Does the salt keep the apples from browning? How to the turn out as an end product. I have never heard of freezing apple slices before.

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  3. Sharon, yes, the salt keeps them from browning. I should have said that. I have tried lemon juice and salt and found that salt works better. They keep well in bags for the winter and spring at least. After that they may get iced up a bit, but it doesn't spoil the crisp and once there's too much ice, I just throw them into a pot (no water needed) and cook until they turn to mush. I add a bit of sugar. I have frozen applesauce in the freezer now from the old bags I cleaned up.

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  4. Anneliese, I thought about doing this with my apples too this year, instead my pot just kept cooking up the apples and freezing the applesauce. I used to do this exact method years ago and enjoyed the very quick crisps, it takes only 2 or 3 minutes to throw together the crumbs for a crisp.
    I'm so glad you documented this family tested .. . preserving your apples.

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  5. wow....nope...not everyone knows how to freeze apples. I am most grateful for the post...now..
    I really really really need to buy a freezer! That little fridge top freezer is just not going to do anymore with all my freezing!

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  6. This is exactly what I do Anneliese! Great that you thought to share this tip!

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  7. I've always used the lemon juice to keep my apples white...with good results, but I think some apples turn brown sooner than others..If the salt water works better I'll do that instead.
    Thanks for the tip !!

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  8. Yes, this is a tried and true method which my mom and mother-in-law taught me as well. I would also like to add that when using frozen apples in recipes, take out of the freezer and allow to thaw just enough so the quartered apples can be sliced into smaller pieces. DO NOT THAW COMPLETELY, as too much liquid separates out and you won't get a good result. I use them for all apple recipes, pies included, and they are great! And they're free if you have your own tree!

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  9. Anneliesa, Have you tried freezing crab apples this way? We have a Chestnut Crab apple tree that is loaded so I am looking for ways to use them up. Yvonne

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  10. Yvonne,
    The only thing I've done with crabapples is can them. They are just too tiny to work with (cut up etc) and dont' have the flavor for pies. They are actually quite easy to can if you like tham that way. Just an idea. A nice side dish ready for pork or turkey dinners. I saw a recipe for spiced crabapples on line and there is a recipe for crab apple butter on this blog.

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  11. Annelies,I did try the crab apple butter you mentioned and it was wonderful. I have given a lot of the apples away but still have more then I know what to do with. I will have to donate them to our local food shelf. I love your Mennonite Girls Can Cook site!! Who needs cook books when so many great recipes are at your finger tips. Yvonne

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  12. I see no one has posted for a bit, but I needed an easy recipe and this was just what I needed. Thanks!

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  13. this is exactly the information i was looking for.. thank you so much... you should keep posting... this is a wonderful site.

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  14. Hi there. Thank you for posting this. I have a question though.

    I've sampled a few of the apples I've dropped in the water and they taste bad. Salty bad. I'm a bit concerned about using them in pies now. Any thoughts?

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  15. Hi there. Thank you for posting this. I have a question though.

    I've sampled a few of the apples I've dropped in the water and they taste bad. Salty bad. I'm a bit concerned about using them in pies now. Any thoughts?

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  16. Hi Mike and Charlotte,
    I know what you mean... I have noticed a faint taste of the salt when tasting them right after soaking them, but never noticed it once they were used in cooking or after they were baked. If the apples absorb the flavor too much,(I think the variety may play into the factor) lessen the amt of salt or use lemon juice and don't soak long.

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  17. Freezing on trays first is a great tip, thanks. I'm going to dip the apple slices in lemon juice instead of salt water only because they will later be used to make apple cider. But does a little bit of browning effect any recipes anyway? I don't bake much, so i wouldn't know. But i had an idea that maybe if you soaked the apple slices using both lemon juice and salt, you could reduce the amount of salt.

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  18. Anonymous, I've never tried both .. only expereinced tha salt works better, but you should do what workds best for you. A little bit of browning does not affect the product you are baking.

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  19. I used your recipe for freezing apples today. It worked out well, and I sure appreciate it! As for salty apples . . . a measuring tsp of salt to all that water should not be enough to cause the apples to be salty . . . I followed the diections to the nth . . . and the results turned out perfect. @;~)

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  20. Thank you! I was given a whack of apples from my neighbour and didn't know what to do with them. I love your blog...all my Mennonite girlfriends really CAN cook!

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  21. I always put the food I'm freezing on a double layer of wax paper on the cookie sheet. After it is frozen I roll it up, put one end in the freezer bag and dump it in. Re-use the wax paper for next time. Parchment paper works too. Slick and tidy.

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  22. Hello all

    My mother just sliced the apples and put them in the freezer. Great for apple sauce and ham at Christmas. She had a apple sauce maker and we fed the skins and cores to the pigs. Nothing lost but that was in 1957

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  23. Does this method also work with pears?

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    1. I have not frozen pears but here is a website you could check...
      http://busterbucks.hubpages.com/hub/How-To-Freeze-Fresh-Pears

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  24. does this work for apple pie as well?

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    1. If you mean, can you use frozen apples for pie ... yes.
      For apple pie you want to be sure the apple slices are
      frozen on a cookie sheet before putting them in a bag.
      It would be hard to fill a shell with a frozen "lump" of apples.

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  25. wonderful!!! Thank you

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  26. Perfect timing to see this! I was just given a bushel of apples and was hoping to freeze some but had only seen methods using "fruit fresh" I'm sure it's a good product but prefer just a natural way to freeze them...the salt and/or lemon options are great! Thank you :)

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  27. Should the apples be rinsed after removing from salt water?

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    1. No, it is such a small amount of salt and it is what keeps them from browning for quite a while. You will not notice it when you use them in baking recipe later.

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  28. I accidently left a bag of apples in a car and they froze... now thawed, can I use them for cooking? juicing?

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    1. If they did not turn brown, I'd say you could make apple sauce. Just peel, chop them up and cook on low with a minimum amount of water until soft enough to mash. Use sugar according to taste.

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