The Very Best Way to Freeze Apples
One of the many highlights of the fall season is taking a trip to an apple orchard and lugging home bushels of fresh fruit. And, just like earlier in the summer when you picked blueberries, strawberries, and peaches, you are left wondering what to do with all that produce. If you plan on making fresh apple pies, apple breads, and apple cakes throughout the coming months, one way of storing apples is to freeze the fruit. Here are three different ways to successfully freeze apples.
Freeze Whole Apples
There aren't a lot of reasons why you would freeze a whole apple; once thawed, the texture will be a bit mushy, not crisp and juicy, and it will be difficult to slice and dice to use in baking. If you are dead set on freezing whole apples, however, here is what you do: Wash the apples thoroughly and dry completely. Place on a baking sheet, whole and unpeeled, and freeze them. Once frozen, transfer the apples to freezer bags. Don't put them in the bag before freezing them or you will wind up with a giant frozen apple clump.
Freeze Apple Slices
This is the preferred method for freezing apples. Wash, peel, core, and slice the apples to your preferred size. (It is best to keep the pieces rather large; the smaller cuts might get too mushy during the thawing process.) Once sliced, dip the apples in a bowl of water with a little lemon juice stirred in (about a tablespoon per gallon) to prevent browning. Place the apple pieces on a baking sheet (don't let them touch each other), and freeze thoroughly. This step keeps the pieces from sticking together and you will be able to pull out the amounts you need later. Once frozen, transfer apples to freezer bags, seal, and label the bag with the measurement and freezer date.
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Freeze Apple Pie Filling
Peel, core, and slice apples to whatever size your apple pie recipe calls for. Then, sweeten and season with sugar and spices according to the instructions. Try this genius freezing method to get your pie fix anytime. Mix the pie filling, pour it into an aluminum foil lined pie pan, and freeze it. Once frozen, simply remove the filling from the foil, place it in a freezer storage bag, and store in the freezer until you are ready to bake a pie. When the time comes for pie, simply drop the frozen filling into a prepared piecrust and bake. You may need to bake your pie a bit longer when using frozen apples, but it won't take any longer to bake than a frozen pie from the grocery store.