Everyone’s been there. You’re hungry, you pick a seemingly juicy, fresh apple from the basket, take and bite, and instantly regret your decision! You’ve only gone and bitten into a mealy apple!
Unfortunately, a mealy apple isn’t easy to spot from the outside unless you’re a real apple connoisseur, so most of us get stuck with that unusual, dry, mealy taste.
Some people don’t mind a mealy apple, but the majority of us would much rather enjoy that juicy freshness when biting into an apple.
But don’t throw that mealy apple away, no! Mealy apples might taste bad as they are, but with a few tips, you can still do a lot with them.
From baking and juicing to applesauce and apple butter making, here’s what to do with mealy apples!
What is a mealy apple?
Apples go mealy as they age. It’s a normal part of the apple life cycle, as the apple goes brown inside and dries out.
- The process occurs as the cells found within the apple lose their moisture over time.
- A fresh apple has plenty of juicy cells to bite into, but the cells dry up and lose their perfectly tart flavor over time.
- Mealy apples become more prominent during the winter months in the USA. Apples are picked in summer and early autumn, and by the time it’s December, the ones in the store have been in storage for months. The apples are kept refrigerated, of course, but this only slows down the aging process.
What do mealy apples taste like?
Okay, so what does ‘mealy’ mean in terms of taste? Mealy apples are much, much drier than fresh apples. Some refer to the taste as sawdust. The mealier the apple, the drier and more sawdust-like it is.
Mealy apples lose that distinctive crunch that a fresh apple has too. While being dry, they are also super soft. Without enough moisture to hold the cells together, the apple literally falls apart in your mouth (and not in a good way!), giving it a mushy feel.
It’s challenging to recognize mealy apples apart from not so mealy apples if you're at the store. They might be brown on the inside, but you can’t tell this from looking. You can, however, try and give them a quick tap.
Mealy apples sound much denser than fresh apples, but this is hardly an accurate method of detection!
Unfortunately, you probably won’t find out until you take your apples home and have a bite.
Are mealy apples safe to eat?
Mealy apples aren’t dangerous to eat. They are perfectly safe for us to continue consuming for a long time after they start to dry out and soften up.
If you’re in the minority that doesn’t mind the unusual taste and texture of a mealy apple, then, by all means, cut away the ‘bad’ parts and eat away.
However, mealy apples eventually turn moldy, and this is when they become dangerous.
If the apple has a bad or unusual smell to it, throw it away (or better yet, put it in the compost.)
If you see visible mold or bacterial growth, then it should have gone a long time ago.
Moldy apples are not healthy for us to eat!
What are mealy apples good for?
Don’t throw those mealy apples away. Instead of wondering ‘why is my apple brown inside?’, ask yourself, ‘what can I do with these mealy apples’?
Grab an apple peeler like this and get ready to start cooking; those mealy apples have a lot of life left in them!
Baking and cooking
Mealy apples are perfect for baking and cooking. Mash the apples up for a delicious apple cake, or use the mealy apples for added sweetness when preparing muffins or pancakes.
There’s the classic apple pie or apple tart to make or turn the apples into a hearty soup alongside a few winter vegetables.
Alternatively, you can simply fry or bake them for a quick and tasty snack.
Our favorite dish to make with mealy apples is applesauce. It's super easy, as all you have to do is stew the apples with a little bit of cinnamon, sugar, and apple cider vinegar.
The slow cooking process totally breaks the apple down, giving you a sweet and delicious sauce that pairs particularly well with pork chops!
Apple butter is a yummy concentrated form of apple sauce that pairs particularly well on top of warm biscuits. You stew the apples for much longer, reducing the liquid until you have a paste or butter.
Apple butter lasts for a long time, so it’s the perfect solution when you have truckloads of mealy apples to deal with.
Use apple butter in baking and cooking or cook it up with water to turn it into apple sauce.
You can turn your mealy apples into juice, too. Rather than making sweet apple juice, though, why not turn the apples into a healthy green juice?
Add some leafy green vegetables, like kale and spinach, then juice everything in the juicer! Hello, healthy and satisfying juice!
Why is my apple pink inside?
You might be surprised to see that your apple is pink inside. This is quite rare, but like mealiness, it’s nothing to be worried about. Not all apples are the same, so not all apples look the same.
If your apple is pink inside, it’s a result of genetics, so they are perfectly safe to eat. However, apples with pink insides can taste different from your regular apples, as they are often quite bitter.
If you come across pink apples, don’t throw them away; use them in baking or turn them into apple butter!
Our last thoughts on the mushy, mealy apple!
Now you know what to do with mushy apples that may not have a ton of life left. Remember, though, if you’re unsure if your apple is mealy or if it’s simply gone bad, then it’s best to throw it away. Moldy apples are simply not good for you, so if it smells funny, don’t feel bad for throwing it on the compost heap!
If they are mealy, though, then don’t throw them away. Cook up a delicious apple sauce, or turn them into long-lasting apple butter that will see you through the winter. Bake them into cakes, add them to soup, or knock the dust off your juicer!
Stop worrying about what to do with your mealy apples! Bookmark these simple tips for the next time your apples go dry.