’Tis apple season, and I had the pleasure of giving the program on apples at the Menard Garden Club this month. What a lovely bunch of ladies! Unfortunately our local (Mason) apple orchard didn’t have a good crop this year, so we’ll have to hope next year is a better one for apples in Mason.
Even if you have to buy your apples at the grocery store, they are one of the least expensive fruits if you buy them buy the bagful, and they make a great quick and healthy snack on the go! Keep them whole and unwashed (just remember to wash before eating) in your produce drawer in your fridge and they’ll last for a good month or more- you can’t say that for many fruits or veggies.
Tray-Freezing Apples Slices for Multiple Uses
Got an abundance of apples? Or, find a good deal on them at the store or farmer’s market? But, you can’t eat them all, now.
Perhaps you’d like to freeze them, but you’re not sure how you’ll use them later. Try “tray freezing” them as individual slices — you can even leave the skins on. Then, pour out as many as you need, when you need them.
Tray frozen apples work best in cooked apple dishes (the freezing will make them softer). Here’s how to tray freeze:
1. Slice apples to desired thickness.
2. To prevent browning, treat them with a “produce protector” such as Fruit-Fresh, following package directions.
3. Freeze apple slices in a single layer on a metal baking sheet until frozen, a couple of hours.
4. Transfer frozen apples to a “freezer” bag, excluding as much air as possible from the bag. The apples will remain separated for ease of use in measuring out for recipes.
5. Pour out the amount of frozen apples needed, reseal the bag and return to the freezer. It is generally recommended frozen vegetables be eaten within about 8 months for best quality.
For a quick microwave apple sauce, place the frozen apple slices in a microwave-safe dish. Add about two teaspoons of water per apple. Cover and microwave on high until tender. Microwaving frozen slices from two apples on high takes about 5 minutes; stir once during cooking. Adjust time upwards for more apples. Add sugar and cinnamon to taste after cooking.
Find additional methods of freezing apples, check the National Center for Food Preservation Website at http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/freeze/apple.html