Enjoy apples storing! If there is one fruit that can be stored for many months and that can be enjoyed until the middle of winter, it is the apple! It would be a shame to let all those apples with which our apple tree is covered get damaged.
If you can't eat them all, there is the solution to share them with your family and make jams. But it would also be good to keep "fresh" ones to eat in autumn or even winter. As the ultimate fruit for storage, apples can be stored in good conditions until Christmas and sometimes even beyond.
From picking to storage, here are the rules and precautions to follow for optimal apples storing.
Varieties of storage apples
Nature is not equal between apples. Some are better able to be stored than others because not all of them can be preserved as well. Before starting to store them, it is important to know if the variety is called "storage". This is the case for many varieties of terroir or old varieties and each region has its own.
Those found in supermarket shelves for most of the year are apples stored in cold rooms in a controlled atmosphere to spread their sale. Large areas also import from the Southern Hemisphere when there is no production in the North. These techniques are not within the reach of the individual….
Here are best varieties for apples storing:
- Golden Delicious
- Granny Smith
- Ida Red
- Red Delicious
Those more difficult to find but also good in conservation
- Arkansas Black
- Bald Mountain
- Belle of Boskoop
- Bentley's Sweet
- Blushing Golden
- Bryson's Seedling Cannon Pearmain
- Chiver's Delight
- Clearwater Gold
- Cox's Orange Pippin
- Dixie Red Delight
- Egremont Russet
- Erwin Baur
- Gloria Mundi
- Gold Rush
- Golden Russet
- Golden Supreme
- Holstein Cox
- Honey Crisp
- Hudson's Golden Gem
- Kidds Orange Red
- Northern Spy
- Northwestern Greening
- Oxheart Pippin
- Pitmaston Pineapple
- Prairie Spy
- Red Pippin
- Sir Prize
- Virginia Gold
- Winesap (turley, stayman)
- Winter Banana
There are still many others as the number of apple varieties is so important, we would count more than 1000!
Apple picking before storage
This is one of the most important steps in storing your apples. Pick them neither too early nor too late. Too early, the apple will be too acidic and it will have trouble ripening. Too late, the conservation will be less good.
Depending on the region and location where the apple tree was planted, it is not easy to determine the date of harvest of the apples, as the fruit is often out of sight and it is therefore difficult to estimate its maturity.
To know the best time, there are scientific tests using refractometers and other instruments. But these tools are not accessible to the amateur who will only have to watch out for the signs announcing the time to harvest. They are located when the first non-virulent apples start to fall.
the earliest apples generally do not keep for more than a month, sometimes less. Mid-season apples, harvested in September, are normally kept until November. The ones harvested from October onwards are winter apples, they keep for several months and can even, for some, make the link with the early ones of the following season!
There is no need to pick up apples that have fallen to the ground because they are very fragile and usually only last a few days. They should be eaten quickly or made into a clafoutis, a crumble or even jam.
You have to pick the apples from the tree but, be careful, you have to choose them well and do this operation in dry weather, the fruit must be dry. Avoid picking them in the rain or in dewy weather, which promotes mould growth.
- Choose apples that are not too ripe or too green, color is also an indicator. For some varieties, the color of the seeds may also be an indication. They must be black or brown.
- Use a two-sided ladder for easy access to the periphery of the tree.
- Wear an apron with a pocket at the front to be able to bear fruit and climb down the ladder safely.
- We then try to pick the first fruits by lifting them slightly and rotating them a quarter turn. If the fruit comes off, it's okay. Otherwise, do not insist. And on the same tree, not all apples are ripe at the same time. The ideal is to be able to stagger the harvest.
- If the apple comes off, it is good to pick
- Apple is delicately placed in its basket so as not to damage it
Note: For apples intended for storage, you can harvest before maturity as long as it continues during the storage phase. The apple is a climacteric fruit: if you pick it before it is fully ripe, it will still finish ripening after harvesting.
The selection of the best apples for storing
In order to ensure that each apple is free of disease or fungus, a first step will be taken to select the first choice apples.
- Spread the apples without them touching each other to avoid possible contamination
- Then observe the apples in a box for about ten days, in a room, away from heat. This period will allow the apples to reveal anomalies such as bruising or rot marks.
- Meanwhile, prepare the boxes, crates, and racks to receive them or the shelves where you will store the fruit. Everything must be cleaned and disinfected to eliminate any germs that could contaminate the fruit. Good wooden crates recovered or made from pallets will be essential for the preservation of apples.
- Remove apples that show signs of weakness (blackening, staining, browning, staining, etc.)
Isolate the most beautiful apples, those that appear the healthiest
Apples storing for the winter
It is this step that will determine the proper storage of your apples because, in the right conditions, you can keep them beyond Christmas, sometimes until spring.
- Place the fruit side by side with the tail down, without them touching each other. Use only one layer.
- Make sure that the air circulates well around the apples
- Store the crates in a room with low light, neither too humid nor too dry, the ideal humidity should be at least 65% but not more than 85%. Investing in a hygrometer can, therefore, be useful. If the atmosphere is too dry, moisten it. The room must also be fresh but without risk of freezing, the ideal temperature being between 8°C and 10°C. The room must be well ventilated to eliminate the ethylene released by the apples because this gas accelerates their maturation. A shed or garage may be a suitable option as long as the apples are placed in plastic bags to retain moisture (leave a 2 cm hole for ventilation).
- Inspect your apples regularly to remove any that show signs of rot as soon as possible so that they do not contaminate the others. As a priority, consume those most advanced in their maturation by gently palpating them. If you are an enlightened amateur, the color should be sufficient as an indication of maturity.
- By gently turning the apples every month, you increase the apples storing life, as the sugars have to migrate back into the fruit… By adding dried elderflowers to the storage shelves, you will give your apples a pineapple taste.
- SAFELY STORE - Store your garden harvest for months of enjoyment. The drawers are slatted to ensure good air circulation, and they slide out for easy access.
- FOOD SAFE WOOD - Untreated, rough-cut fir
- Store your garden harvest for months of enjoyment
- Ideal for keeping apples, squash, potatoes and more
If all these precautions are taken, you will therefore greatly increase the shelf life of your fruits and their tasting and thus have fresh fruits in winter.
Apple processing ideas
For apples that cannot be stored, it must be consumed or processed. Here are the options you can choose:
- Apple juice: there are steamed fruit juice extractors. With an extractor, all the juice and vitamins in apples can be extracted and sterilized in a single operation (about 50 minutes). The juice in hot-filled bottles keeps for a very long time. There are also private presses that you can use (mainly on farms) for a fee.
- Freezing apples: apples can easily be frozen if they have been previously cooked
- Apples in jars: raw apples can be stored in syrup, dried or cooked, by sterilizing the jars.
- Dried apples: drying apples is possible with a dehydrator that will remove water from your apples at low temperature (about 40 degrees) with good ventilation, which you can then store in a jar or plastic box.
The benefits of eating apples
To enjoy all the benefits of apples, it is preferable to consume the skin which contains many interesting substances, but this implies choosing apples from organic farming because apples are among the fruits and vegetables most contaminated by pesticides: thus in conventional arboriculture, apples can undergo up to 36 chemical treatments (fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, growth regulators).
Low in calories (54kcal/100g), apples are full of vitamin C and antioxidants (quercetin, which is a polyphenol) that play a role in preventing cancer. However, to enjoy this virtue, you must eat the raw apple.
The apple, rich in pectin, has diuretic properties and also influences bad cholesterol levels, diabetes and blood sugar levels, an important asset for diabetics to whom many fruits are contraindicated.
It contains a lot of potassium but also phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and trace elements, not to mention its high fibre content, which allows it to cleanse the digestive system like a perfect detox food.
People who are concerned about their figure or who are too greedy will be able to bite into an apple before a meal, because its richness in water and fibre will satisfy, preventing them from eating too much and helping them to digest better.
Among its therapeutic properties, the apple is calming, it can be crunched before going to bed to facilitate sleep.
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Updated on 2019-10-19 - Images from Amazon API. Logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.