What’s the best way to store fresh apples once you get them home? I LOVE fall and one the things I love best is apple season! Washington state is one of the biggest apple growers in the nation and getting fresh picked apples IN season is just the best!
You can of course get them all year round at your local grocery store, but fall is when they really come into their own and are at there peak in freshness. You can find the tastiest, freshest apples from September through November and you can find some amazing deals too – particularly when you buy local! The only problem…
You can get cases of apples at your grocery store, pick them yourself (a fun family day, we used to do this) or like myself now…I have my son bring a case or two over the mountains from the farmers market! Oooh they are so fresh…YUM! Apples are just one of those foods that you can make so many recipes with, like this deelish Apple Cinnamon Puff Pancake! They are also very good for you!
But what do you do with an abundance of delicious apples….
Tips and ideas that will help you store fresh apples so they last:
After you buy a case of apples you need to start by checking every single apple for bruising or rot. A single rotting apple stored with the rest will cause all your apples to ripen, and then over-ripen quickly. Only healthy apples that don’t have nicks or bruises and aren’t too ripe yet should be stored.
What to do with those over ripened apples? Don’t throw them out! Use them in baking, and cooking right away. You can also preserve those apples by turning them into apple sauce or apple pie filling and canning or freezing the finished product as needed.
If you plan on making lots of applesauce, apple butter, pies, pie filling for canning or dehydrating your apples…you will LOVE having an apple, peeler, corer.
This handy little gadget makes peeling and coring apples SO QUICK and effortless! I’ve had mine for years!
Some fun recipes for using those apples ~
Sort your apples by variety, and then by size. Larger apples will go bad faster than others and different apple varieties have different shelf lives. You want to be able to eat and use the apples that will go bad faster first. Keep the smaller apples of long lasting varieties for last and you’ll have fresh and delicious apples well into winter and even early spring. Tart, thick-skinned apples usually last the longest. Keep that in mind as you pick different apple varieties.
Don’t store your apples in plastic. Instead choose crates, racks or baskets that allow the fruit to breath. Apples emit ethylene, a gas that helps ripen fruit. You want the air to flow around your apples and allow excess ethylene to escape otherwise your apples will ripen and rot much faster.
Also you don’t want the temp. of your apples to drop below 30 degrees. This will freeze the apples and they will become mushy.
You may have heard of this principle in action when you put an apple in a brown bag with green bananas to encourage them to ripen faster. If you’re storing apples, you want to slow down that ripening process.
Store the crates or baskets of apples in a dark, cool place. Basements are great, provided they are dry and get good air flow. Your pantry is another good option (if you don’t have a large amount of apples). You can also store them in an unheated garage.
Store your apples away from onions and potatoes for best results. You may want two storage bins for potatoes and apples.
OR if you are only buying or picking one box of apples, then you can use something that fits right into your pantry. I have one of these cute Amish Storage Bins and when it’s not being used for storing fresh apples then I use it for other things like potatoes, garlic, onions…stuff like that!
If you are only storing a small amount of apples, the crisper drawer in your fridge is another good option.
Be sure and inspect your apples regularly and pick out any fruit that’s starting to rot. This will prevent all your apples from going bad. Get in the habit of inspecting your apple harvest once a week, or anytime to dig in to pick fresh apples for eating.
A couple more bonus tips on storing fresh apples…
The sour and tart varieties keep the longest. That doesn’t mean you can’t the sweeter varieties…they just don’t keep quite as long.
Keep the same varieties together if you have more than one kind. The same variety ripens at the same time.
You can also wrap with newspaper to help keep you apples fresh.
That’s about it on storing fresh apples.
Have a blessed day!