In this brief guide, we’ll address the query: “Can you freeze apple slices?” Also, we’ll explore how apple slices can be frozen, and what other ways apple slices can be preserved.
Can you freeze apple slices?
Yes, it is possible and feasible to freeze apple slices.
Freezing provides a long-term storage alternative and can help users dispense with the need to peel and slice apples in later cooking.
Also, it’s a way to process and then preserve large caches of apples such as those harvested from a garden tree or an orchard. Freezing greatly extends the shelf life of cut apples, and can be used as a way to reduce waste and save money on future apple purchases.
Freezing apples in slices is also convenient, as smaller apple portions thaw out faster than whole apples.
Below, we’ll describe a few outlines for freezing apples in slices.
How can I freeze apple slices?
When sliced open, apples begin to turn brown. This is because the long chains of sugar that make up an apple’s fleshy part are exposed to oxygen, and as a result, begin to oxidize (break down).
To avoid this happening while you prepare the remainder of your apples, many authors recommend squeezing lemon juice onto the peeled apple slices or chunks, as this reduces oxidation.
Using powdered ascorbic acid (vitamin C) also accomplishes the same, as it is an important component of citric acid. Powdered vitamin C can therefore be sprinkled over apple wedges and chunks.
Alternatively, some authors recommend blanching peeled chunks or wedges of apples. Blanching consists in dunking the apple slices in boiling water for around one minute and then soaking them in icy water for the same amount of time.
This process deactivates microbes that may cause spoilage and denatures enzymes on the apple’s surface that facilitate oxidation.
Once blanched or coated with ascorbic acid, apple wedges can then be transferred to a baking sheet and placed in the freezer, until they’ve solidified and acquired an icy texture. This usually takes about an hour or so.
After the apple slices have frozen over, they can be taken out of the freezer and promptly moved to a quality freezer bag or a freeze-resistant container. If the latter, it should be appropriately sized.
Freezing apple slices in a container that is too big may result in freezer burns, as a lot of air will remain inside and have a desiccating effect on the pieces.
In the case of using a freezer bag, all the air should be drawn out and the bag should be tightly sealed.
Properly frozen, apple slices can be preserved for up to six months, and large volumes can be defrosted by taking them out and leaving them overnight in the refrigerator.
Alternatively, they can be used piece by piece in cooking, as they’ll thaw shortly after being taken out.
What other ways can I preserve apple slices?
Other methods for preserving apple slices involve soaking them in brine, honey water, and coating them in ascorbic acid.
These alternatives don’t provide the same long-term storage that freezing does, although when combined with refrigeration, apple slices can keep for up to 2 days without browning.
Another alternative is to bake apple slices. This removes their water content and depending on how long they’re baked, they can have a chewy or crispy consistency. Either also makes them ideal for mixing with dried fruits such as dates, figs, and nuts.
Apple slices can also be canned, though this requires some skill, sterilized jars, and canning the apple slices in confectioner’s syrup.
This method adds sugar, which may not make it ideal for those who need to regulate their blood sugar, such as type II diabetes patients.
Also, canning apple slices in syrup requires heating the jars in a hot bath before sealing them, to deactivate any microbes that may have found their way into the mix.
To summarize, there are many ways for users to preserve apple slices, and they should be mindful of what they aim to use the apple slices for in cooking, and what alternative works best.
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In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the query: “Can you freeze apple slices?” Also, we’ve explored how apple slices can be frozen, and what other ways apple slices can be preserved.