Though we eat them year round, many varieties of juicy, sweet-tart apples become available in late summer and early fall. Heirloom varieties don’t last as long as regular apples, so eat them while they’re fresh.
- Store in the refrigerator in a breathable bag in the low humidity drawer.
- As apples emit ethylene, a naturally occurring gas that encourages ripening, keep them in a bag to prevent them from speeding up ripening of other produce items.
- Apples ripen 6 to 10 times faster at room temperature.
- Handle carefully to prevent bruising, and remove any with bruises from other apples (or they will cause the others to brown).
- If you buy in bulk, store in a cardboard box covered with a damp towel in a root cellar or other cool place. Ideally, you would wrap each apple in newspaper to reduce their influence on each other.
- Many heirloom varieties are not suited for long-term storage, so try to eat them right away.
Wash, peel (if desired), core and slice. Then choose between one of three methods:
- Pack dry: combine with 100 g of sugar per 1 kg of apples. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze.
- Syrup: pack in a heavy sugar syrup. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze. Apples frozen in syrup are generally best for uncooked desserts or pureeing into sauces and smoothies.
- Place directly on a baking sheet and freeze, then transfer to an airtight container.
- Cook and cool.
- Pack in an airtight container and freeze.
Root to Fruit
Use apple peels to make a tea, flavour fresh water, make a jelly or syrup, or in smoothies.
Browning on apples is generally harmless. It’s the result of the inside flesh of the apple being exposed to air and oxidizing. To prevent apples from browning, toss with one part citrus juice and three parts water.
Mealy or Wrinkled
Even shriveled apples can be cooked into applesauce, apple pies, and apple crisps.
A few bruises are fine and can be cut out. If the whole fruit is soft or mushy, discard.