Apple Tips

Picking, Storing & Freezing Apples

If you're planning on picking apples, read our apple tips for choosing the best fresh apple fruit, as well as how to store apples, keeping fruit fresh and freezing apples.

The many apple varieties differ widely in appearance, characteristics of flesh, their availability during apple season, and their suitability for different uses.

Flavor also varies with variety, and depends on the maturity of the fruit at the time it is picked. Different types of apples can be sweet, tart, smooth and soft, or crisp and crunchy, depending on the varieties you choose. There's surely one or two apple varieties that will delight anyone's taste!

September marks the beginning of the traditional fall apple harvest in the Okanagan valley and continues right through November. You may find these varieties in local markets even in the month of December. Click here for Okanagan fruit ripening dates.

apple tree pictures picking apple tips

Living in an area surrounded by orchards, apple tips come in handy for pick your own fruit in the Okanagan.

Apple Tips - Picking Apples

Picking Summer Apples

Early summer apple varieties are softer, less crisp and also less juicy than later harvested apples. These are the first apples you find at fruit stands, orchards, and farm fresh markets in the Okanagan. Summer apples are delicious to eat fresh, but don't store as well as later harvested varieties.

In the Okanagan apples are available beginning in July, with summer varieties including Transparents, Sunrise Apple, Summer Reds, Ginger Gold, Sinta Apple, Royal Gala, and McIntosh Apples.

Picking Fall Apples

Fall apple varieties include Honeycrisp, Empire, Golden Delicious Apples, Ambrosia, Spartan apples, Mitsu, Jonagold, Ida Red apples, Fuji and Granny Smith apples! Some of the most flavorful fall apples are Honey Crisp and Fuji apple varieties.

Later season apples tend to be more flavorful, juicier and crisper, and have a longer shelf life, when stored properly.

When Are Apples Ready To Pick?

To have a good flavor, texture, and storing ability, apples must be mature when picked. Immature apples usually lack color and flavor, and the skin looks wrinkled after being kept in storage.

apple tips list image The general time for harvest of apples is based on the maturity of the fruit. Wherever you pick apple fruit, the orchardist will let you know which variety is ready for picking.

apple tips list image Look for firm, crisp, well-colored apples that are free of blemishes and bruises.

apple tips list image To tell if an apple is ripe you can listen for a dull thud when flicking near the stem of the apple. This sound indicates a nicely ripe apple, rather than the hollow sound of over ripe fruit.

apple tips list image Best apple tips for fall apple picking - Prepare For Cooler Weather! Fall harvest occurs during the cooler months and into late fall in the Okanagan. Be prepared for weather changes and cool temperatures. Bring along or wear layers to accommodate the weather. A good pair of shoes is also handy for climbing that orchard ladder to get to the apples higher in the tree.

More Apple Tips - How To Pick An Apple??

Yes, there is a technique for everything!

apple tips list image Pick an apple off the branch by rolling or twisting the apple away from the fruit spur (where the apple stem meets the branch). Don't pick the apples that have fallen to the ground.

apple tips list image Place apples gently into a box or bucket. Dropping or bumping apples can cause bruising.

Apple Tips - Storing Apples & Keeping Fruit Fresh

If you don't eat them all up, a constant cool temperature is key!

apple tips list image Store apples at a constant temperature - refrigerator temperature is good. Apples can be stored in a perforated plastic bag or in the fruit drawer of the refrigerator, where they will keep for a few weeks. Apples, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, greens, cauliflower, and potatoes should never be stored close together. As they age, potatoes release an otherwise harmless gas that makes apples spoil faster.

apple tips list image Avoid washing apples before storing them. Water absorbs through the skin of an apple and speeds up deterioration.

apple tips list image Unripened apples can be left out at room temperature to ripen, but check them regularly, as they ripen 10 times more quickly at room temperature than when refrigerated.

apple tips list image Boxed apples should be kept in a cool, dark spot where they won't freeze. Apples stored in clean wooden or cardboard boxes should be ventilated to allow air circulation.

apple tips list image Do not store any apples with bruises or soft spots, as they speed deterioration of other apples stored with them.

apple tips list image When ready to eat fresh picked apples, simply rinse with cool water. Eat larger apples first, smaller apples store better.

Apple Tips - Freezing Apples

You can freeze apples that you wish to use for pies, apple sauce and other baking, and still have the delicious taste of fresh picked apples when you use them.

apple tips list image Some types of apples freeze better than others. Generally speaking, apples that work well for making pies or sauce will freeze well.

apple tips list image Once frozen, apples tend to lose some texture and are not suitable for eating raw after they've been frozen, but are still excellent for baking.

apple tips list image The easiest and quickest method for freezing apples is by dry packing, either with or without sugar.

apple tips list image Some people use lemon juice, or other ascorbic acid to help prevent apples from turning brown with freezing. Other's say it is not needed.

apple tips list image The key to successful freezing is to use airtight containers or freezer bags.

How To Freeze Apples - Mom's Best Apple Tips!

Peel, pare, and slice apples. As you slice them, I drop them in about 1 cup of water with about one Tablespoon or so of lemon juice to keep the fruit from getting brown. Place the amount for one pie in each package, so it's ready when you want to make an apple pie.

That's it for apple tips and more apple tips :)

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