Boiled apples are one of the tastiest ways to enjoy any leftover apples you have after the last harvest or bulk buy at the store - and it’s ridiculously easy to prepare these super delicious treats at home!
We boil apples in order to soften them, and this cooking technique comes in handy when you have crunchy apples that you need to be soft for baking or if you’re looking to prepare sweet, soft apples for your kids to enjoy.
With a little added sweetener and a little cinnamon, boiled apples become a delicious treat in their own right too. Get your apple peeler ready because, in this article, we’re explaining the best ways to soften and boil apples.
How to boil apples
Let’s start with a quick boiled apple recipe. This is a great way to soften up those hard apples while adding some extra spice and sweetness. We recommend using this recipe if your kids are hungry or if you simply have lots of apples to use before they start to go brown. The result is a quick, applesauce-like dish that goes down a treat!
Boiled apple ingredients
- 10 apples
- 3 tbsp of honey
- 1 tsp of cinnamon powder
- 3 c of water
Boiled apple directions
- You can peel the apples, or you can leave the skin on for a little extra texture. Either way, chop your apples into small pieces and place them into a boiling pot of water.
- Boil the apples in the pot until they start to soften. This should take no longer than 15 minutes.
- Once soft, drain the pot, then mix in honey and cinnamon powder.
- Use a large spoon (or you could use a masher for super soft-boiled apples) to mix the ingredients together.
- Serve warm, or leave to cool in the fridge.
How long does it take for apples to become soft?
When you’re boiling apples and learning how to soften apples, then on average, it takes no longer than 15 minutes for them to soften up in boiling water.
This can really vary, however, depending on the type of apple you’re using. The best apples for baking (for example, a Granny Smith) are often larger and tougher than softer, snack-sized apples (such as a Fuji). A Granny Smith is going to take much longer to boil than a smaller apple!
It also depends on how many apples you are trying to soften up by boiling. More apples are going to mean more time spent boiling. Quicken the process up by ensuring your water is already boiling when you drop the apples in, by cutting the apples into smaller pieces, and by using a larger pan with a larger surface area.
How long do boiled apples keep for?
Once they have been boiled, you need to keep the apples in the refrigerator, or they’ll go bad quickly. Store the boiled apples in a ziplock bag or an airtight container. They’ll last at least five days in the fridge.
You can easily freeze boiled apples too. Again, place the boiled apples in a ziplock bag or airtight container (once they have cooled down), then leave them in the freezer. They’ll last at least 6 months when frozen.
When thawing, you should allow them to thaw naturally on the side until you’re hungry again for boiled apples, then reheat on the stove to thicken the mixture (otherwise, it can be quite watery after being in the freezer for a long time).
How to steam apples to soften them
Apples can also be softened up by being steamed, a method which is quite easy, even if you don’t have access to a dedicated steamer in your kitchen.
Steamed apples are wonderfully soft and healthy, but they aren’t anywhere near as mushy as boiled apples are. To steam apples, you need to place them in a steaming basket above boiling water (not in the water). Then simply let the steam soften the apples. Remember to slice them up first, into bite-sized chunks.
You can coat the apple slices in cinnamon or sugar before or after steaming them.
How to make apples soft in the microwave
If you’re in a rush, then the quickest way to soften up apples isn’t by boiling apples, but by microwaving apples. This is a particularly popular method for softening up tough slices of apple for young children, as it’s super easy!
Simply slice your apple into your desired chunks or bite-sized pieces, then place them into a microwavable bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, then remove.
The apples will now be easy to eat, and you can sweeten them up by coating them with sugar and cinnamon, too. Microwave apple slices are easy to make, but we still prefer the freshness of boiling apples - set the microwave power too high, or leave them in the microwave just a few seconds too long, and they can be far too dry!
How to prepare apples for baking
Ideally, apples need to be softened up before you start baking with them. This is particularly true for larger baking apples, such as the Granny Smith, which are notoriously crunchy!
You can lightly boil the apples in water for a few minutes (five minutes should do the trick) before adding them to your apple pie or apple cake and baking in the oven. They’ll be super crisp on the outside yet soft in the middle!
Are boiled apples healthy?
Apples are generally healthy snacks to enjoy, but the healthiest way to eat them is actually raw. That’s because no matter how you cook apples, heat is always going to break the structure of the apple down and ensure that some nutrients are lost.
But still, boiled apples are going to be packed full of nutrients even if a few of those nutrients have been lost along the way. Boiled apples have plenty of goodness, from large quantities of vitamin A to high levels of fiber. Apples are always a healthy choice, so enjoy them!
Boiled apple: the last soft bite!
Boiling apples is a simple, easy, yet surprisingly delicious way to soften up your apples and prepare a tasty treat for you and your kids. Boiled apples can be spiced up with cinnamon and sweetened with sugar or honey, and they can be ready in less than twenty minutes.
If you’re in a rush, though, then there’s always the microwave! If you’ve got lots of apples to use up, then why not try our boiled apple recipe?