Freezing apples is a really great way of preserving them, especially if you have a glut. Find out how best to freeze apples for use in crumbles and smoothies.
It's best to use frozen apples in baking or smoothies, because the texture of fruit that has been frozen and thawed is softer. Use freezing to preserve apples that aren't in season for long, like Bramley apples.
To make apples easier to use straight from the freezer, the best thing is to do something called “open freezing” which will prevent the slices forming one big clump.
How to freeze apples
- Line a baking sheet with a piece of baking parchment, then arrange the apple pieces or slices on the parchment so they’re not touching each other.
- Put your freezer on to its highest setting. This will freeze the fruit faster, meaning the ice crystals are smaller and the fruit retains more of its nutritional benefits.
- Put the tray of apple pieces in the freezer for a few hours or until frozen through, then take them off the paper. Put them in a freezable container or bag then return to the freezer. Don’t forget to label the box or bag.
Frozen fruit will keep for 3-6 months in the freezer. If it's kept any longer, it might start to lose its flavour a little or the texture may deteriorate.
To freeze cooking apples (makes enough for the base of 1 crumble)
- 3 medium Bramley apples
- juice of ½ a lemon
- Peel and core the apples then cut into slices, around half a centimetre thick.
- Put the slices in a large bowl and spritz over the lemon juice.
- Toss the slices together to make sure they’re all lightly coated in lemon juice.
- Open freeze the slices until solid, then transfer to a food bag.
- When you want to cook with them, heat the oven to 190C/170 fan/gas 5. Tip the fruit into an ovenproof dish and bake for around 15 mins or until the fruit is starting to soften. Add sugar and spices then top with your crumble topping and bake as guided by your recipe.
To freeze baked apples
- 4 whole Bramley apples
- lemon juice
- Prepare whole cooking apples as if for baking by taking out the core with an apple corer then brushing the cut part with some of the juice of 1 lemon to stop it discolouring.
- Freeze, then allow to defrost before continuing with your recipe.
For eating apple varieties like Granny Smith, Cox or Golden Delicious
- 3 eating apples
- juice of ½ a lemon
- Peel the apples if you want to, or leave the skins on. Core the apples then cut into slices around half a centimetre thick, or chop into cubes or chunks.
- Put the prepared apples in a large bowl and pour over the lemon juice. Toss the slices together to make sure they’re all lightly coated in lemon juice.
- Open freeze the apple pieces until solid, then transfer to a food bag.
- If you want to cook with them, heat oven to 190C/fan 170/gas 5. Tip the fruit into an ovenproof dish and bake for around 15 mins or until the fruit is starting to soften. Add the other ingredients and continue with your recipe. For smoothies, either leave to thaw in the fridge overnight before blending or defrost in the microwave.
Defrosted apple recipe ideas
The best apple crumble
Sausage & maple swede traybake
Bramley & blackberry pie
Apple, cream & spiced rye crumble pots
Chorizo & apple sausage rolls
For puff pastry bites with a spicy kick, team Spanish paprika sausage with sweet apple and top with poppy seeds.
How do you use up a glut of apples? Leave a comment below...