Apples are deliciously sweet with a nicely-balanced tartness, making them the perfect seasonal fruit to enjoy fresh, baked into apple pie, or mashed into applesauce. In this post, we’re sharing the best way to freeze this colorful fruit so that it doesn’t turn to complete mush once thawed!
Apples are one of our favorite fruits, and not just because the moderate North American climate is ideal for growing these round, little sweets that come in every combination of bright red, green, and yellow, plus a variety of flavors.
We love them because they’re great to eat as raw, sliced snacks or used in warm, cinnamon-spiced pies and applesauce. Besides, nutritionally, you can’t go wrong eating an apple - they’re full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals – even doctors tell us to eat them!
But how long are apples good for? They’ll stay reasonably fresh in the fridge for 6-8 weeks!
While that’s a pretty long shelf-life, much longer than you get with other fresh fruits, we may sometimes end up with too many to deal with at once, especially during the plentiful time of fall, apple season.
Can Apples Be Frozen?
Absolutely! Any extra apples that you won’t use before they spoil can be frozen.
Using the proper techniques we’ve outlined below, you’ll learn how to freeze apples so that they stay in great shape even after they thaw.
Does Freezing Apples Ruin Them?
Freezing your applescanruin them if you don’t do it properly. We’re here to help you freeze them right the first time around!
How To Freeze Fresh Apples
You can freeze fresh apples whole on a baking sheet and place them in a freezer bag once fully frozen.
This is a super easy method for apple-freezing, but it’s not the best way to store apples, as when you peel and work the apple after thawing, it’ll bruise and become spongy quickly.
Here is our simple freezer guide on how to freeze apples to keep them in their prime.
1) Blanching (Optional)
You don’t need to blanch your apples before you freeze them, but it can be a helpful step that preserves their flavor, texture, and nutrients.
To blanch your apples:
- Dip them in a pot of boiling water for 30-60 seconds.
- Then, carefully remove the apples.
- Afterward, drop them into an ice bath, and peel.
2) Peel and Slice
The best way to freeze your apples is to first peel them with an apple peeler and slice before freezing so that you don’t have to mess with them too much upon thawing, keeping their texture more intact.
Don’t throw your apple peels and cores in the compost just yet! We’ve got plenty of ideas for what to do with apple peels so you can use every bit of this delicious fruit and cut down on your food waste.
3) Add Lemon Juice or Fruit Preserver
Dip your sliced apples in lemon juice or ascorbic acid to prevent browning and ensure the best preservation of your apple slices.
4) Freeze Slices Individually
- Place your sliced, preserved, and possibly blanched apple slices spread individually on a baking sheet and pop the slices into the freezer for a few hours.
- Once the pieces are fully frozen, you can gather them into a freezer bag, seal, and store them.
Freezing the slices individually prevents them from sticking together, so you don’t need to pull out an ice pick later to separate your frozen apples.
These frozen apples can last in your freezer for well over a year!
How To Thaw Frozen Apples
You can thaw your frozen apples a few different ways, depending on what you’re going to do with them.
Thawing Apples for Baking
If you’re using your frozen apple slices for baking, it’s best to let them thaw slowly overnight in the fridge to keep them as intact as possible.
Thawing Apples for Cooking
If you’re thawing apples for cooking applesauce or apple butter, you don’t need to worry about preserving their texture, as they’ll cook down anyway.
You can thaw apples for cooking a little more quickly by placing them in lukewarm water. You can also safely begin the cooking process before they fully thaw without affecting your results.
Apple Pie and Applesauce
Now you know how to freeze apples for baking. But what if you’ve already assembled an apple pie or applesauce and want to freeze it?
Can You Freeze Apple Pie?
You can absolutely freeze a pre-assembled and unbaked apple pie. Many grocery stores offer pies in a frozen format so that you can enjoy that truly fresh-baked taste.
How to Freeze Apple Pie
There are two options for freezing apple pie.
- First, you can make apple pie filling, place it in a tightly-sealed container, and freeze.
- Second, you can pre-assemble the entire pie with the filling inside, wrap it tightly in foil or plastic wrap, and place the apple pie in the freezer until you’re ready to bake.
How to Store Apple Pie
Storing apple pie that’s already baked is a little more tricky.
You can freeze a baked apple pie in the same method above, but it won’t keep as well.
Instead, we recommend eating your baked apple pie fresh. You can store your apple pie at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Can You Freeze Applesauce?
Applesauce does well in the freezer, as you don’t need to worry about maintaining its texture.
- Place your applesauce in freezer bags and remove the excess air.
- Seal freezer bags and stash the applesauce bags in your freezer.
This way your applesauce will be good for up to 3 months.
Final Note: How To Freeze Apples
You can enjoy the deliciously sweet taste of apples and apple desserts outside of apple season by keeping some fresh apples on hand in your freezer.
To recap, here’s the best method to freeze apples:
- Optionally, giving your apples a quick blanch.
- Peeling, coring, and slicing your apples.
- Dipping the slices into lemon juice or ascorbic acid.
- Freezing in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- And placing the pieces in a freezer bag once frozen.
We hope you enjoy your perfectly frozen apple slices, apple pie, and applesauce!