Freezing Apples

with Sharon Peterson
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Freezing Apples

Freezing apples is very easy. I freeze most items in freezer bags. Here I'll also share how to freeze apples ready for making apple pie!

You will need: 

  • tin foil
  • pie pan
  • fruit preserver or lemon juice
  • freezer bags or other freezer container
  • apples
  • sugar - optional

If freezing apples for pie, you'll also need the following ingredients per pie:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 T flour
  • dash of salt

Freezing Apples for Apple Pie

Peeling.

First, peel and slice your apples. I like mine in apple pie-sized chunks. Save the cores and peels for the mulch pile or bury them in the garden...the worms will love you!

Peeled apples.

As you peel each apple, slice them directly into fruit preserver (follow the directions on the package) or water treated with lemon juice (2 T lemon juice for 2 quarts of water). This will inhibit the browning so typical of apple slices.

Pie plate.

When you think you have enough apples for a pie, go ahead and place the apples in the pie plate just as if you were making a pie.

Go ahead and press them down and really pack them in. Pile them a bit so you will have lots of apples for you pie when you bake it.

Pouring other ingredients over apples.

Take these apples and place them in a large bowl. Combine your sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Pour over your apples.

Mixing.

Mix to coat apples.

Tin foil.

Place an oversized piece of tin foil into your pie pan. You want enough overlap to be able to fold the foil over the apples when you fill your pan again.

Apples in tin foil.

Pour your apples and flour/sugar mixture into the foil-lined pie pan.

Foil folded over.

Fold your foil over and cover thoroughly. Place the pan and foil in the freezer.

Tomorrow, when the apples are frozen, remove the foil package and place it in a large freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible. Seal, label, and date.

Baking Instructions

You now have pie-shaped apples to place in a crust and bake. When you are ready to make your pie, remove the foil and place frozen apple pie filling in a crust-lined pie plate. Dot with 2 T butter and cover with top crust.

Bake in a preheated oven at 425 Fahrenheit for 55 to 55 minutes. Cover top crust loosely with foil to prevent over-browning.

Cook from frozen! Do not let the apples thaw first. I've been told that if you let the apples thaw, they release more liquid and will make a soggy crust. 

Be warned, don't forget pie baking rule #1: Place some foil, a baking sheet, or something on the rack under your pie to catch the drippings.  

I found this pie to get very bubbly! Watch the bubbly juices. They will be very runny first and will probably overflow (thus pie baking rule #1). As it cooks, the juices will get thicker. Remove the foil about 10 minutes or so before you will take the pie out.  

When juice is thicker looking and the crust is lightly browned, the pie is done!  

Enjoy.  

How to Freeze Apples

Other Methods Used for Freezing Apples

Apples can also be frozen in a sugar or honey syrup, or dry packed with or without sugar. Instructions follow for how to freeze apples in these ways.

Packing in Syrup

Simply peel and slice apples into lemon water as above. Drain and place in a freezer bag and add cooled syrup to cover. Seal, label, and date.

To make sugar syrup, simply combine water with sugar and heat until dissolved. Let this cool before pouring over your freezer container.

  • Light - 2 cups sugar to 1-quart water
  • Medium - 3 cups sugar to 1-quart water

When making honey syrup for freezing fruits, boil your water first. Then remove from the heat and add honey. Stir until blended and let cool before adding to your freezer container.

Honey syrup recipes for dipping or canning fruits:

  • Light - 1 1/2 cups honey to 4 cups water
  • Medium - 2 cups honey to 4 cups water

Dry Pack

Dry pack means no liquid. Apples can be dry packed with or without sugar.

I dry packed extra apples with sugar as well as the apple pie above. Here's how to freeze apples using this method.

Apple slices.

Simply peel and core. Then slice into lemon water as above. When all apples are sliced, drain well and sprinkle with sugar. Mix to coat.

You'll need about 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar for each quart of apples. I use the lesser amount. You may like more, or you may want to freeze with no sugar. 

Freezer bag.

Place in freezer bags. Squeeze as much air as possible out of the bags. Seal, label, and freeze. Easy!

Freezing Apples FAQs

What kind of apples can be frozen?

I would think that all kinds of apples could be frozen, but my personal favorite is Granny Smith, since they are nice and crispy. Jona-Gold is a type of apple grown locally that we really love. It is a cross between the Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples. The Jonathan is crispy and the Golden Delicious gives it that good, sweet flavor.

Since I'm thrifty, I always look for seconds, as well of any type of apple. I live where there are a lot of orchards and it seems like every year these orchards will have seconds (meaning less-than-perfect apples that are still good) that they sell inexpensively. Sometimes, I luck out and get free boxes from people who simply have too much and would rather give it away than see it go to waste. :)

The National Center for Home Food Preservation says when freezing apples to "Select full-flavored apples that are crisp and firm, not mealy in texture."

How long can you freeze apples?

From what I read on freezing apples, frozen apples will last about a year in the freezer when properly packaged. The better the packaging, the longer it will resist freezer burn. I've never kept them that long though, as we always eat them up over the winter. This is a quality issue, because after that first year, the apples may get soft or freezer burned.

What do you do with frozen apples?

In addition to making apple pie, you can use frozen apples for making cobbler. You can also just sprinkle on some sugar and cinnamon and heat it up in the oven for a nice, simple dessert.  

Cooking Pie from the Freezer Video

Cooking Pie from the Freezer

Freezing apples isn't just for apple slices! This video is for cooking a pie that you've frozen in the crust.

When I make pies, I make homemade pie crust...and pie crusts and I have a love-hate relationship. I finally figured out a recipe I love, so I make pies more often now, but I still don’t like to make the mess...which is part of the homemade pie crust. So now I usually just make two pies, putting ONE in the freezer for later.

Tricks for cooking pies from the freezer:

  1. Do NOT thaw the pie before baking. It must go into the oven frozen. Otherwise, it will end up soggy.
  2. Turn oven to 450 degrees. Preheat. Pull the pie directly from the freezer and cover with foil before baking. (I freeze my pie directly in the pie plate.)
  3. Bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Turn temp down to 375 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes.
  5. Remove foil and finish baking (45-50 minutes, depending on your pie).
  6. When the pie is bubbly and the crust is brown, it’s done. Watch your crusts, because the crust will sometimes brown too much before the middle is done. If you have a pie ring (you can substitute foil), put it on the pie for the last 10 minutes to protect the edge pieces of crust.

Other Information on Freezing Fruit

Freezing Cherries
Freezing Bananas
Freezing Strawberries
Freezing Rhubarb

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How to Freeze Apples for Pies

Page last updated: 9/5/2019.

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