Thursday, October 30, 2008

Preserving the Harvest: Freezing Apples

In addition to the Ida Reds we gathered on our trip to Barthel's orchard, we were the recipients of a bag filled with apples that my parents gathered on their property.

The apple tree that bore the apples has been around for as long as I can remember. It grows alongside the drive that leads to my parents house, unincumbered in almost every way by humanity. Organic as can be, the apple harvest is entirely dependent upon the kindness of the weather and the serendipity of finding the apples before they're eaten by the deer.

Most years, the apples are small and severely marred. This year, while they weren't the prettiest, the apples were of a good size. Their flavor profile is sweet, and the flesh more firm than mealy. But, I knew they weren't built to be stored. So, I decided to freeze what I could. After all, this will extend our ability to eat locally grown apples into the winter months.

Peef set to work peeling and slicing the apples. When they were adequately trimmed, we sent them swimming in a bowl of salted water to inhibit the inevitable browning process.
After draining the apples, we tossed them with a bit of sugar (which extends the life of dry-packed apples in the freezer by a few months)...... and we packed them into bags.
If you think that's the end of the line, you're mistaken. In fact, the fun part still remains!
Peef is entreated to suck ALL the air out of the bags. Yeah, yeah -- we've tried the gadgets that profess to do this job more quickly and efficiently. But, we always seem to return to the basics. Plus, he's so CUTE!
Once all the air is sucked from the bags, we tuck the apples into our chest freezer for a long winter's nap. I'll retrieve them long after local apples have departed from the grocery shelves and the farmer's market has long since closed.

We're fans of cobblers and crisps, so we're likely to use these apples for that purpose. But, they'll also be fine candidates for pies, cakes, or apple sauce. YUM.

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11 comments:

  1. Haha, I love the ol' straw technique! It's inevitably what I always resort to as well. You know, I have a freezer full of berries and peaches but I've never thought of freezing apples. Thanks for the info!

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  2. I've never frozen apple slices before. I froze a ton of applesauce this year though, it's been defrosting nicely.

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  3. Hey, what a great idea. Love the straw sucking it made me laugh out loud.

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  4. too bad Lily is in bed! :-) She would love this pic of Peef! :-)
    Frozen apps are a nice treat for baking!Have some in my freezer that I should actually get using!
    ~jo

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  5. I didn't think that apples would freeze well at all, but it's such an enticing idea... I'll have to try with our next big batch of u-pick apples!

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  6. I think the apples would do me in for eating locally. I eat one a day--I couldn't give them up.

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  7. Well I learned something new today...I never knew you could freeze apples! Thanks so much for that information!

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  8. Hahaaha that whole straw thing is hilarious :) Who needs that crazy air sucking doo-hickey?

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  9. Great post and tell Peef I do the exact same thing when I package my dehydrated food for backpacking trips. You're right, it works better and is much cheaper (free) than buying those contraptions that do it for you.
    I'm making applesauce and apple cobbler and apple everything as well. I love this time of year. I dehydrate a bunch of them and save them for snacking.
    Loved the photos!
    Melissa

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  10. Suck that air out! Funny pic! No fancy schamcy equipment necessary.

    Can't wait to see how they eventually turn out.

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  11. for the record, i have done what peef is doing. yes, i have.

    then i bought a foodsaver...

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