Apple fruit is abundant with nutrients and has a lot of fans around the world. We may like to eat apples when they are raw or cooked. Seven thousands of apple varieties have been known today. These various apple types are available throughout the year, but some of them are seasonal and need to be preserved for later uses. All the apple varieties can be stored for a long period. For keeping their freshness, quality and flavor, apples should be stored in an appropriate way. So, the appropriate selection of a method for preserving apple fruits helps in keeping apples texture and flavor for at least two months.
Preserving apple fruit at home
Sometimes you may have a stock of apple fruits that you bought or picked from your garden. You may wonder how to preserve these apple fruits because after a while they may spoil. Some factors may affect or accelerate apple fruit spoilage, such as apple fruit type, time, presence of rotten apples and cutting the skin of apple fruit. Some steps should be followed for preserving apple fruits. These steps include selection and sorting, Slicing, preparation and freezing (storing) apple fruits.
1. Selection of apple fruits
First, we should select appropriate apple fruit types for storing. The apple types that are long-keeping and have a firm texture and thick skin are the best for keeping in long periods than those with soft texture and thin skin.
Some apples are not appropriate for storage and should be separated. For example, apples that have cracks and bruises are not appropriate. Also, apple fruits that are very sweet flavored and contain high sugar dosage are not appropriate for long term storage. So, the best apples to choose for long term storage are sour and tart flavored, have a thick skin, are from a similar variety, and lack cracks and bruises.
After section and sorting out, apple fruits should be washed and then dried with a towel. Then, peel the apple fruits by a peeler or a knife and remove the bruised spots of the apple fruit.
3. Slicing apple fruits
After washing, drying and peeling, the apple fruits should be cored and sliced. The seeds, dark spots, bruises and stems should be removed from the apple fruit. Apple slices turn brown quickly. So, immediately after slicing, put the apple slices in a mixture of water and lemon juice. Soon after slicing and before turning brown, apples should be stored in refrigerator.
4. Choosing the freezing method
After processing apple fruits, they should be stored in freezer with temperature of below 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Freezer lowers the speed of apple fruit ripening and maintains the apples flavor and texture. If appropriately frozen, you can keep apple fruits for about one year in freezer. The apple fruits should not be placed in the same place with smelly foods because apples absorb the smell very quickly.
Based on your future use of the apple fruit, you should choose the freezing method. There are three main methods for freezing the apples.
– Sugar pack
If you are going to use apple slices for making apple pies, you can apply sugar pack method for preserving apple fruits. This method inhibits apple slices from turning brown. For this purpose, mix ½ tea spoon ascorbic acid and three tea spoon water. Pour this mixture over apples that you sliced before. For every ¼ cup of apple slices you need to add ½ cup sugar. Sprinkle the enough amount of sugar on apple slices and mix it well.
– Syrup pack
Another method of preserving apple fruits for home use is syrup pack method. Mainly, syrup pack prevents apple fruits from turning brown. For this purpose you should make a special syrup. for making this syrup we need 2 ½ cups sugar, 4 cups water, ½ teaspoon acid ascorbic powder, and 1.5 kilogram apple fruit. These ingredients will make about5 and half cups syrup which is enough for 3 quarts of apple fruit slices.
For making the syrup, first solve sugar in warmish water and stir it until the liquid becomes completely clear. Then add ½ teaspoon acid ascorbic powder to ground vitamin C tablets. Acid ascorbic prevents apple fruit slices from turning brown. Add vitamin C and ascorbic acid the sugar mixture and blend it to dissolve. Let the syrup to get chilled.
Select the crispy and firm apple fruits. Wash and peel them with peeler or knife. Slice apple fruits. Add apple fruit slices to the syrup in a bowl. Press apples and let the syrup cover apple slices. Then use freezer bags which have zip closure or freezer containers and pour apple slices with syrup in them. Finally fasten them, write the date on the container or freezer bags, and freeze them at zero Fahrenheit degree or lower degrees. You can preserve these syrup packs in freezer for one year. So, try to use them within one year. In this method, the apple slices can be used uncooked and in dessert which we need to use raw apple slices.
– Dry pack
In dry pack method two approaches are followed: dry pack method with sugar and dry pack method without sugar.
In unsweetened dry pack method, you should wash, peel, core and slice apple fruits. In a separate bowl, mix water and ascorbic acid. Pour this solution on apple fruit slices and toss them well. The ascorbic acid prevents apple fruit slices from turning brown. Put the mixture in freezer bags, seal them, and immediately put them in the freezer. Apple slices preserved by dry pack method are good for all the cooking recipes.
In sweetened dry pack method, you should add ½ cup sugar to each quart of apple fruit slices. Then, you should add the mixture of water and ascorbic acid to apple fruit slices and press apple slice down. Finally pour the mixture into freezer bags, seal and freeze them.