Using and Preserving your Apple Crop



How I am using and preserving my apple crop this year

As you would have seen recently from my Facebook post, we picked a great heap of apples this year. I have tried over the last couple of years to store as many as possible in the “beer” fridge (much to the disgust of my significant other), but they have not kept at all well and most of them finish up in the compost. As we have gone to all the trouble to look after the trees and net them so we can get some fruit, it would be a shame not to find uses for this bounty.

So this is what I have been doing with my crop throughout the apple season this year:

–          Firstly, anyone that comes near the house is not allowed to leave without taking a dozen apples – mandatory I am afraid.

–          Each morning I have been juicing a couple– absolutely fabulous as just apple juice, but I also add carrot and beetroot to get a bigger nutritional hit.


–          Every two or three days I use the juice of two apples and grate another two to make Bircher muesli.

–          I have tried juicing the apples and adding lemon juice to stop oxidation, but it still goes brown and does not keep all that well. Better to juice the stored fruit fresh each day.

–          I am making and freezing apple crumble, apple pies, stewed apples and apple sauce. But with limited freezer space I have only used about half the crop this way.

–          I am also going to try storing the apples wrapped individually in newspaper, put into boxes and then kept in a cool dark spot – They need to be wrapped individually as the ethylene gas apples produce reduces their shelf life, however when wrapped this does not happen as quickly. We will see.

So far these methods have used up probably 2/3 of the picked crop and there is still one more tree to pick. I need to find more ways to preserve the rest. Please let me know your favourite apple recipe or preserve!

Next year I think I will try making apple cider and apple cider vinegar. If your have made either of these, please send a recipe and let me know how it went.


These apples have been lightly stewed and then put into containers ready for freezing

These apples have been lightly stewed and then put into containers ready for freezing

apple pies freeze exceptionally well

apple pies freeze exceptionally well

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Happy gardening,

Posted on May 16, 2014 in USING YOUR PRODUCE, WINTER

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Responses (8)

  1. Elisabeth
    May 16, 2014 at 11:29 pm · Reply

    Hey Kath,

    What would happen if you just peeled, sliced and froze the apples? I do this with pears, then they can be put into zip lock bags/flat containers, so they take up less room in the freezer. Then use them for cakes, puddings, sauces, etc. Works well, and there’s no browning of the fruit. I do douse them with lemon juice prior to bagging though.

    Also, regarding the newspaper idea… not sure where I read/heard this, but oranges are often stored in sand. Maybe that’d work?

    Happy to relieve you of any surplus you have! 🙂 I’m good like that! Ha ha.
    Cheers, Liz. xx

    • kmfinigan
      May 17, 2014 at 12:53 am · Reply

      Hi Elisabeth!

      Thanks for commenting! Ill absolutely try saving them raw – I remember hearing in a home-ec class when I was a child that this was bad as they ended up mushy and lost their nutritional value – but Ill look into that!

      Im still very short on freezer space though, so thats always going to be a bit of a connundrum… But Ill get something!

      Happy gardening!

  2. april
    June 9, 2014 at 11:58 am · Reply

    I use an apple slinky- so quick and easy to prepare them then, it peels (optional), cores and cuts the apple like a slinky. when done I just cut the apple in half, leaving the apple in half slices. I just vacuum pack and freeze for use in cooking so I can have crumbles, cakes, sauces etc all year ’round. HTH

    • kmfinigan
      June 10, 2014 at 7:40 am · Reply

      Hi April,

      This is a fantastic device! Ive seen antique ones, but nothing new – if I see one Ill pick it up though, it sounds so easy!

      Thanks, and Happy Growing!

      • Elisabeth
        June 10, 2014 at 12:50 pm · Reply

        I have one you can have Kathy. We never use it. This sounds like a great use for it.

        • kmfinigan
          June 11, 2014 at 3:33 am · Reply

          Thats very generous of your Elisabeth, thankyou!

  3. Saving the Apple crop! | myproductivebackyard
    November 23, 2014 at 12:25 am · Reply

    […] Job Done! It has taken all day but I am now assured of getting a great crop of apples. […]

  4. Bumper Apple crop | myproductivebackyard
    March 15, 2015 at 9:54 pm · Reply

    […] Now 130 kgs of fruit is a lot at one time, which may not be what everyone wants, so I would suggest trying just one tree of each variety, then you only need an area 12 meters x 0.5 meter x 1.3- not a lot of space. […]

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