Apples: Smart Storage
The days are getting shorter and fall is here, which means … apple season! Already pretty mounds of both new and old varieties are appearing in markets everywhere.
Apple producers have so improved the quality of apple storage that many apples can keep for months. This is because apples are kept around 32°F, something that’s hard to do at home unless you have an unheated space that will maintain this temperature. Of course, this also depends on the type of apple: a soft one like a MacIntosh never tastes as good come December no matter how it’s stored, while a firm apple like Gala can last well into the next year.
If you do have a root cellar or other appropriate storage area and find yourself with bushels of apples to store, wrap each in newspaper, and don’t pile them more than two layers high to prevent bruising. Check them often for softening.
For the rest of us, a bag of apples will keep in the fridge in a perforated bag for a few weeks. My husband, who really follows that old adage of an apple a day keeps the doctor away, keeps our crisper full.
Let’s say you love to make apple pies and have bought lots of apples at the farmer’s market. To freeze the apples for future pies, peel, core and cut them into thick wedges. Toss the wedges with ascorbic acid to prevent discoloring and freeze in 6-cup quantities in freezer bags or containers.
If your family loves applesauce, just cook up a large batch with a bit of water — no peeling, coring or ascorbic acid necessary! Pass the cooked sauce through a food mill, then discard the skins and seeds and freeze in 2-to-4-cup containers, leaving 1-inch of headroom.
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