Whether it is an impromptu fruit market sale or a Thanksgiving gift from grandma, extra apples are always welcome in the house. We only wish to store all these apples to avoid rotting came easily. How about stashing them into the freezer to provide us pies at the ready throughout the season? If you're wondering if frozen apples can be used for pies, let's take a look!
Yes, you can use frozen apples for pies and any other apple recipes. All you need to do is slice the pieces in the right way, prepare them against browning and cover them appropriately. Frozen apples will easily last you approximately a year without showing any signs of rot!
What exactly is the right way to slice and prepare them? What if you don't want to slice them? Is there any other way to freeze? Find answers to all these questions and more as you keep reading ahead.
How to Freeze Apples for Pies?
Knowing the right kind of technique to store apples for pies is very important. There are a few ways to go about it, for instance, freezing them as a whole or cutting them in a particular style. Another common approach is to store them directly as pie filling.
Let us dissect the pros and cons of each style and how to proceed with each method.
Freezing Whole Apples
You can freeze extra apples without cutting them. However, it is the least preferred way of storing apples for a pie. Freezing is going to stiffen the apples. If you do not cut before freezing, you will first have to thaw them later on. This will cause the apple texture to go mushy and ultimately steal the crispy ripe first bite of the pie.
If you’re willing to compromise on the finish, use the following procedure to store whole apples.
- Wash the apple with clean water.
- Spread them evenly on a cookie sheet, leaving sufficient space between each of them.
- Before directly storing them in the freezer for days and months, it is better to toughen them up a bit. Put the sheet tray into the freezer and let it be for 15-20 minutes or until the apples become firm.
- Take it out and let it settle at room temperature before wrapping. This extra step will reduce the texture change in frozen whole apples later on.
- Put them into freezer bags and store them in an empty corner in the freezer.
Freezing Sliced Apples
Slicing whole apples before freezing is always a good idea. It gives the apple more room to toughen up, helps them freeze quicker, and makes thawing easy. However, directly freezing sliced raw apples will cause their skin to brown. This adds a bitter tang to the apples and makes them look unappealing.
To prevent the apple slices from browning or developing freezer burns, you should treat them with a preservation coating. You may use one of the following techniques to coat the apples:
- One lemon/lime for every one cup of water
- Concentrated Vitamin C has a similar effect to citric acid. Use ½ teaspoon of ascorbic acid for every three tablespoons of water.
- One cup of water in a bowl and fill with sufficient salt to cover the bottom.
To effectively store apple slices in the freezer, grab a baking sheet. Place each slice sufficiently apart and season with sugar. Freeze it for the night and then transfer it to ziplock bags to properly store it in the freezer. This would prevent the slices from sticking onto one another or turning crumbly.
Freezing Pie Filling
If you are sure that the frozen apples will be going in the oven to make pies, you should store them in the same form. While some spices may lose flavor due to extended periods of freezing, the filling itself will gain no harm. Thus, we can make a freezable filling beforehand using the following instructions:
- 9-10 whole apples
- ¾ cup sugar
- Preserving ingredient of choice
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup flour/cornstarch
You can follow these steps:
- In a bowl, combine your apples with the ingredients needed to prevent later browning. You may use lemon juice, ascorbic acid, or salt in the quantities prescribed above.
- Put a pan on medium heat with water. Add in all the ingredients and stir. Bring it to a boil and then lower the flame.
- Add in your apples and bring them to a boil again. Then, lower the flame and let it simmer until the apples are soft and tender.
- Transfer to a bowl and let it cool for at least an hour.
- To freeze, separate gallon-sized portions of the filling and place them in freezer bags.
You can make this filling up and store it in an airtight container for 8-9 months with little change in flavor.
Freezing Whole Pies
You can take your preliminary pie preparation a level further and freeze a whole apple pie beforehand. Use the same technique to make the pie filling. Follow these instructions for the pie itself:
- Choose your pie pan wisely. Remember that it will be reserved for days, maybe months, and has to be oven-friendly. Metallic pans are a good option for freeze-to-bake apple pies.
- Pour in your filling very tightly yet modestly. You don’t want to leave any air spaces for moisture to form.
- Once you cover with the top pastry, gently press on the edges. You do not want bacteria seeping into the pie.
- For the wrapping, use a double layer of tin foil or plastic cling wrap. Otherwise, use a single layer of material and then place it in a ziplock freezer bag.
- Date all pies, so you are sure to use them before they expire.
What Are the Best Apples To Freeze?
If you want to reap the precise benefits of freezing apples, it is essential to have the right kind of them. The following is a list of a few readily available apples that are great for freezing to make pies.
- Golden delicious
- Granny Smith
What Can I Use Frozen Apples For?
Frozen apples are good for any of your grandma’s classic apple recipes. From pies, cobblers, muffins to applesauce butter and a good breakfast pancake, you name it! As long as you carefully store them and defrost the apples the right way, they will work well for several apple recipes.
How Long Do Frozen Apples Last?
Freezing apples considerably extends their shelf life. When stored in the pantry or the fridge, they can merely last a few days or weeks respectively. However, frozen apples can easily last you 8-12 months with proper storage.
Does Freezing Apples Ruin Them?
Freezing apples does not ruin them. In fact, it retains their flavor and nutrients and helps them last longer than other temperatures. However, freezing does affect the texture of the apples. They will lose their crisp tenderness and will instead become sloppy.
Do Apples Turn Brown When Frozen?
Apples do not turn brown only when they are frozen. Enzymatic browning is a natural phenomenon that causes apple skins to begin browning when they are sliced. It occurs because the cutting introduces oxygen into the injured tissue, which triggers oxidation on the surface.
How Do You Defrost Frozen Apples?
Thawing frozen apples at room temperature is dangerous. It creates sites for bacteria to occur, possibly contaminating the food. However, there are a few other ways you can go about defrosting the apples.
An ideal way to defrost frozen apples is to transfer them to the fridge overnight. It will keep the temperature fluctuations to a minimum, thus retaining the flavor and tenderness at most. By keeping the thawing temperature low, you will be able to avoid the mushy aftermath of high temperatures.
Another way to defrost the frozen apples is to place the freezer bag containing them in a bowl. Then, run ice-cold water all over the bag to effectively thaw the fruits.
If you’re willing to compromise on the consistency of the filling, you could go for easy microwaving. It will give you a pureed form, which may not be ideal for pies but can be utilized for other recipes like apple butter sauce.
How Long Do Apples Take To Defrost?
Defrosting time depends on what method you’re using. For instance, thawing in the fridge is perfectly done overnight, while cold water only takes about an hour or two. Out of all, microwaving is the fastest way out.
However, as you increase the number of apples, the time taken to defrost increases too. The durations discussed are suitable for an average 8-9 apple filling size.
Now you know that extra apples in the house are a moment of joy rather than worry! Just stow them away in the freezer and enjoy delightful apple desserts to your desires throughout the winter season. We hope you found the information above helpful!
Before you go, do you want more information on freezing apple pies? We can give you some ideas. For more information, check out our post - Does Apple Pie Freeze Well?
Do you want to bake a pie - but don't have a pie pan? We can give you some alternatives. If you'd like to learn more, check out our post - Can You Bake Apple Pie In A Cake Pan?
Until next time!