how to store your apples

How to Store Your Apples and Eat Crumble in Winter!

how to store your apples

If apples were the currency of England, I’d be a rich man. I’ve got bags of them already, and I don’t even own a tree.

Everywhere I turn there are apples and I’ve been filling my boots at each opportunity. I picked up a bagful of freebies being given away outside a nearby house and I went for a very pleasant post-work forage to an old orchard one evening this week.

If you live in a town, there are still apples to be had in parks and bits of scrubland. My mate Simon even helps himself to apples alongside the A12 dual carriageway that runs through Essex (in hi-visibility clothing, don’t try this at home kids).

The trouble is, with so many apples freely available, eating them all at the same time is rather difficult. Therefore, efficient storing is important.

Different varieties keep for different lengths of time, and in some cases storing can improve flavour. A good example is the D’arcy Spice, a heritage variety local to me that doesn’t come into its own until a good couple of months after harvesting.

I’m more of a cooker than a dessert man and always try to store as many cooking apples as possible so I can have a regular supply of stewed apple into winter.

Remove the Bad Ones
When I’m storing apples, I first pick through them so I can pull out the ones with bruises or damage. Never store bruised apples with your good ones, even if the blemish is small, and only store the perfect apples.

I stew up the bruised apples with some caster sugar and use them as a compote for afters. The compote will keep in a container in the fridge for a week or so.

Wrap in Newspaper and Don’t Let Them Touch!
To store the good apples over winter, you’ll need some newspapers. Wrap each apple in a sheet of the paper, and place them on a tray or in a cardboard box.

Don’t let any apples touch each other as this will make them go bad quicker, and it’s important to keep an eye on your apples so that you can swiftly remove any that have become damaged.

Temperature
The storage temperature needs to be cool but not frosty, and the atmosphere moist, so a shed or garage is a good place to keep your apples. Don’t be tempted to leave them in the house, as the temperature will be too high.

I’ve used these methods for several years now, and all my apples have always stored just fine. With a little bit of luck and effective removal of dodgy apples, you should be able to enjoy crumble and other treats well into the New Year.

7 thoughts on “How to Store Your Apples and Eat Crumble in Winter!”

  1. Thank goodness wasps don’t seem to like cooking apples ‘cos they have practically ruined the early eaters. My Bramley tree is pretty big so I can’t actually reach any of the apples and have to wait till they fall which means that mostly they have bruises so don’t keep for very long. I really must remedy this situation but not quite sure how!

    1. Just picked my elderly parents Bramleys off a massive tree (over 110 yrs old) & used an excellent tool to get even the ones 20 foot up. Its a fruit picker, basically a telescopic pole with a serrated metal ring at the top to cut the stem & a cotton bag attached to catch each fruit safely. I didn’t need to use a ladder & got all the apples down bruise free. I imagine a good garden centre would have them.

  2. Hey Elaine – I’d love a big old Bramley tree. My mum reckons a walking stick is useful as you can pull the high branches down.

    An old scrumping trick apparently…

  3. Free food tastes so much better than stuff you pay for! My allotments were planted up (in 1927) with a fruit tree on each plot ; now, some are finished but the scrumping is great. I only take the fallers and it’s a right faff to process them straight away but now I have a freezer full of fruit ready for winter. Off blackberrying today and will get a bucket of elderberries as well to stop colds in their tracks. Processing the harvest has run me ragged recently and I’m looking forward to getting back to my sewing machine!

  4. P.S. When you go blackberrying, take a bottle of water and a towel as well as buckets and containers that won’t rip on the thorns. Wear old clothes ( ask me how I learned to remember this one) and take secateurs and – of course- the walking stick. Be prepared to process them soon after you get home, as they go off quite quickly. Nothing like blackberries to go with those apples!

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