How do I keep my honeycrisp apples fresh?
October 14, 2008 9:06 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way to store apples for the long term? I've got a serious honeycrisp apple addiction going and I want to keep eating them when they're out of season. Supposedly they keep for 3-4 months in the fridge. Is this true? Can I freeze apples and thaw them later? Will freezing destroy the texture or flavor?
posted by cnc to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Honeycrisps really aren't as good for keeping as the late-season apples that are just about ready now, but if you bag them, keeping an eye to ensure that there aren't any bad ones included, and stick them in a salad drawer on their ownsome, they should stay okay for a little while longer. You shouldn't seal the bags, as they'll sweat; keep an eye for any showing rot, as the old line about the bad apple holds true. Cool cellars or outhouses or pantries are useful, too.

Freezing them's not going to work. You could sauce or juice them and freeze that, retaining some of the perfumed flavour, but you lose the texture, of course. More ideas here.
posted by holgate at 9:19 PM on October 14, 2008

I can't speak for Honeycrisps, but every year, I have a fridge full of Macouns picked in late Sept/early Oct that last me well into winter. I wouldn't freeze them; they'll get mushy when thawed.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 9:20 PM on October 14, 2008

I can report that I've had Honeycrisp apples survive in my fridge for at least a month or two after Thanksgiving. I didn't eat them, but they looked perfectly fine, no brown spots or other signs of spoilage. They were not in a bag or anything, just in the crisper drawer.
posted by cabingirl at 9:24 PM on October 14, 2008

Oh, and I should clarify that there were grocery store apples, not orchard apples, so they were probably waxed.
posted by cabingirl at 9:25 PM on October 14, 2008

You can store apples in a cool, dry, dark place for months - you don't need to put them in the fridge. In fact, I would recommend that you don't, since most apples I've left in the fridge lose their flavor after a month or so.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 9:28 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

From this Perdue University cooperative extension service PDF Home Storage of Apples:
Apples are best stored at 30°- 32°F, with a relative
humidity of 90 percent and some air circulation. These
conditions provide the greatest delay in the normal ripen-
ing and aging process of the fruit.

..The most practical home storage device for apples is a
refrigerator. Approximately 8/10 bushel of apples will fit
in one cubic foot of space. However, only about 3/4 of
that space should be filled with fruit; the other 1/4 volume
should be left as air space for circulation. Use the avail-
able shelves so that air space is distributed around all the
Relative humidity in refrigerators is quite low, particularly
in “frost-free” types. It is therefore essential that apples
be placed first in plastic bags as described above. [with
some holes poked in the bags]
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:44 PM on October 14, 2008

Seconding out-of-fridge. Like onions, potatoes, garlic... this is a classic cellar-type thing. A cool basement?

They'll get soggy and tasteless too fast in the fridge.
posted by rokusan at 9:45 PM on October 14, 2008

Stored some apples in plastic bags in the bottom drawer of my fridge for five or six months last year with no problem. (I forgot about them, but they still made a great pie.)
posted by MasonDixon at 10:33 PM on October 14, 2008

I don't know about Honeycrisps but mine were orchard-picked apples if it makes a difference.
posted by MasonDixon at 10:35 PM on October 14, 2008

All I know is that apples stored in a wooden box outside the fridge get slightly wizened but become a lot sweeter, whereas apples from the fridge become spongy and tasteless. Your results may vary.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 12:07 AM on October 15, 2008

...come to think of it, we often stored them on an unheated porch - which would put the temperature generally over freezing, but not by much.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 12:15 AM on October 15, 2008

A quick reference guide to storing fruit and veg.

It's not apple specific, but gives you some tips on where and how fruit and veg should be stored.
posted by Nugget at 12:24 AM on October 15, 2008

Honeycrisps are specifically bred to be a long storing apple. If you have a cellar and can do the classic method that would work best but if all you got is refrig then the advice above thread is going to be fine. Honeycrsips are a great apple and I would suggest a little experimentation on methods, which justifies buying and eating a good many apples.

Freezing is awful to apples. I would recommend making a nice chutney instead with some crisp granny smiths so you can have a slight bite and tart tang throughout the winter in some form. A honeycrisp chutney pairs well with fish and pork. The season is excellent for making a chutney of apples, golden raisins, mint and a end of season tomato or two. If you are in the Twin Cities I will give you a jar.
posted by jadepearl at 6:41 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Controlled atmosphere storage. Reduced oxygen is the key.
If you want to get serious you could seal them in a plastic bag filled with nitrogen from those wine storage gizmos.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:57 AM on October 15, 2008

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