Pile of red apples in basket

How to freeze apples

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.

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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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  1. Peel and core the apples then cut into slices, around half a centimetre thick.
  2. Put the slices in a large bowl and spritz over the lemon juice.
  3. Toss the slices together to make sure they’re all lightly coated in lemon juice.
  4. Open freeze the slices until solid, then transfer to a food bag.
  5. 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.

Apple and toffee crumble in a oven dish with serving spoon

To freeze baked apples

  • 4 whole Bramley apples
  • lemon juice
  1. 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.
  2. 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Open freeze the apple pieces until solid, then transfer to a food bag.
  4. 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

You can’t beat the traditional apple filling topped with crispy, buttery crumble – classic comfort food at its best.

The best apple crumble

Sausage & maple swede traybake

Forget boring bangers and mash, this seasonal traybake with roasted red onions, apples and swede is much more colourful, and just as easy to prepare.

Sausage & maple swede traybake

Bramley & blackberry pie

Make the most of scrumptious seasonal fruit in this apple and blackberry pie, topped with our ultimate sweet shortcrust pastry.

Bramley & blackberry pie

Apple, cream & spiced rye crumble pots

Combine layers of stewed apple, cardamom-flavoured rye breadcrumbs and whipped cream in this Scandinavian-inspired dessert that’s fabulous for a dinner party.

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.

Chorizo & apple sausage rolls

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How do you use up a glut of apples? Leave a comment below…