Does it make sense to freeze apples for the winter? Why do it? Do not the fruits lose their valuable properties in storage? Of course, we all know and love to cook stuff like apple jam or compote of this most useful fruit. But in winter we sometimes want to enjoy fresh fruits, grown with our own hands, instead of sterile store products. In that case, freezing is the perfect option for you.
Selection and preparation
For freezing select ripe fruits without defects, dents and rotten areas. Over-ripe specimens for freezing are not suitable. The fruit should be well washed and dried.
Most freezing methods involve pre-treating the fruit in various ways, during which they are cut. In this case, they must necessarily cut out the core and get rid of the skin.
It is recommended to freeze fruits of sour-sweet late varieties: they better retain their flavor and shape after defrosting.
To check whether a product of a particular variety is suitable for freezer storage, you can use one simple method. Put the peeled fruit into the fridge and leave it there for 10-20 minutes. If after time the fruit has oxidized and darkened, then it is not suitable for freezing.
See also: Green Apple vs. Red Apple
Recipes for frozen apples for the winter
Let’s take a detailed look at several popular and effective ways to freeze fresh apples for the winter at home.
How to freeze whole apples for the winter in the freezer
Whole fruit is frozen for the winter for consumption fresh, making drinks and baked fruit. For this freezing method, we recommend choosing small fruits that won’t take up much space in the freezer.
We will need:
- Citric acid or lemon juice;
- Paper or cotton towel;
- Storage bags.
- Before freezing, whole apples are carefully cut out the core from the underside; the stalk can be removed if desired.
- To prevent the fruit from darkening, they are dipped in a solution of citric acid (0.18 oz of lemon juice in 1.3 gal of water) for 10-20 minutes.
- Then they should be well dried, placed in bags and put in the freezer.
Citric acid will help to extend the shelf life of the product up to six months.
How to freeze apples for the winter for compote
To make compote and other delicious drinks at home freeze apple slices. In the future, the fruit will not require defrosting. When making compote, all you need to do is drop them in water frozen.
- To prepare the preparation, the fruit is cut into small slices, peeling from the seeds and parts of the stalk.
- Slices are placed on a cutting board so that the slices do not touch.
- Place the product in a freezer for a couple of hours, then take out the frozen slices, move them to an airtight container, close tightly and send the sliced apples to freeze for the winter.
For the fruits to be stored longer, better preserve their flavor and color, air should be pumped out of bags or containers as much as possible.
Frozen apple puree for winter
Rich in vitamins, apple puree is the first complementary food for babies. And if this mashed apple is made from fruit grown in your own garden, its benefits are only multiplied. To save puree for kids for the winter, it can be frozen.
- Prepared apples of sweet varieties are shredded into slices of any size.
- Then the slices are pureed in a blender until a homogeneous mass.
- The puree is poured into molds and completely frozen in the freezer.
- Then the frozen puree take out of the forms, put into airtight bags and put for long-term storage.
Important: It is strongly advised not to put the product into the freezer again after defrosting.
How to freeze grated apples for winter
Grated fruits retain a lot of nutrients and bright apple flavor. Such a preparation is suitable as a filling for pies and other culinary products made of dough.
- Pre-prepared for freezing fruit is shredded into slices. So they will be easier to grate.
- Grate the products on a medium grater.
- The apple shavings are placed in a deep bowl and mixed with a little lemon juice to preserve the color.
- The pulp is packed in containers and sealed tightly. Grated garden gifts are stored in the freezer.
By the way. Freezing whole and grated specimens allows you to save up to 90% of the vitamins and minerals contained in the fruit (zinc, phosphorus, iron, calcium, vitamins A, B, C).
Defrosting apples at home
Defrost the product gradually, first moving it to a compartment of the refrigerator with a higher temperature. The fruit will thaw for a couple of hours, after which it should be allowed to finally thaw at room temperature.
Frozen applesauce has the shortest shelf life: only 2-3 months. Fresh, unprocessed fruit will last the longest in the freezer.
Frozen apples store well, do not darken or oxidize. Apples, like all products for freezing, should preferably be tasty, fresh and undamaged. If there are small damages, you can carefully cut out the problem areas with a knife.
If you have an ambitious and powerful freezer, stocking up on frozen apples for the cold season and spring is a great idea.