Preserving Fresh Apples For Winter Use
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Preserving Fresh Apples For Winter Use

Apples have got to be one of the most versatile of home grown fruit and every year they offer families a really good food source in sweet or savory recipes. Preserving fresh apples for winter use can be as simple as wrapping them in paper and storing in a garden shed or garage, but inevitably they start to deteriorate in flavor and become wrinkled, altogether very unappetizing.

So What Else Can You Do?

There are several other ways you can get the best from the fruit while it really is fresh and the same applies to pretty much all fruits and vegetables, home grown or store bought.

Always popular amongst people growing their own produce are food dehydrators, and these are now catching on in more kitchens with people buying fruit and veg in season to dry. They make a spectacular job of preserving the full flavour of apples, pears and bananas, maybe because of the low juice content compared to mangoes or passion fruit, though you can dry these too. Carefully stored in zip lock bags preferably in a cool dark place, home dried fruit and veggies will last for several months.

Inexpensive enough for most people to afford one, home dehydrators come in several sizes from small round machines through to big square oven sized appliances suitable for farm kitchens . The only disadvantage is the footprint on your counter and one way to get around this is to house it in another room - anywhere dry will do including garages or outhouses, besides not everyone like the fragrant aroma of drying veggies drifting through the house.

For us a huge allocation of the apples produced go into the fruit steamer to make either apple mint jelly or sugar free pasteurized juice. The juice can then be used to make sauces and puddings, or in my diabetic husbands case, used as a healthy drink with a little sweetener added to sharper batches. Rhubarb is spectacular done in the same way and makes delicious fruit fools.

The fruit steamer makes excellent apple sauce in big enough quantities to make it worth either bottling or freezing it for serving with roast pork or sausages – great with a crispy crunchy sweet topping – just serve with cream.

Freezing is probably the most popular and yet time consuming way of hanging onto summers bounty, who hasn’t frozen something down to use later? If you accept you’re going to freeze food you might just want to consider a vacuum sealer for food.

Why? Well, call me idle if you like but prepping fresh meat and veg to freeze is simple but time consuming, so if you’re going to roll up your sleeves, then make it count in the freezer by making sure it comes out tasting as fresh and full of flavor as when it went in.

Which is where home food vacuum sealers come into play, because meals or raw food will keep much longer and in much better condition with all the air hermetically removed and sealed out – you extend shelf life in the refrigerator to several weeks.

In the freezer, it isn’t so much a case of extending its shelf life, but more a matter of having it come out in excellent condition even after several months longer than you’d normally expect, for example one lost and forgotten packet of gently cooked applesauce put through a food sealer vacuum then frozen, kept superbly well for a year.

Preserving fresh apples and other fruit is incredibly rewarding - but it can also be very time consuming! There’s no doubt having the right equipment and therefore several options on the method available, will speed things up plus help you get the best from your crop.


Street Talk

Very informative! I am getting into the routine of eating fruits and vegetables of the season and keeping them for months after. This gives me two additional methods.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Glad it helped April - if you follow the seasons, nothing gets boring!

Reply
  about 5 years ago
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