Keeping the Harvest – Apple Storage
The Ultimate Guide to Storing Ambrosia Apples for a Long Shelf Life
Ambrosia apples are a delicious pantry staple, and during the harvest season, it is the best time to snag your apples! To fully enjoy their flavour and nutrition, it’s crucial to store them properly. Whether you bought them in bulk, picked them from your tree, or simply want to make sure your supply stays fresh, this article will guide you on the best way to store Ambrosia apples for an extended shelf life.
Understanding the Basics
Before delving into the storage methods, it’s essential to understand the factors that affect the shelf life of Ambrosia apples:
Temperature: Apples should be stored at a cool temperature to slow ripening. The ideal range is 32-40°F (0-4°C).
Humidity: Apples require a moderate humidity level to prevent them from drying out. Aim for around 90% humidity if possible.
Isolation: Apples release ethylene gas, which can cause other fruits and vegetables to ripen more quickly. Store them separately from other produce or use ethylene-absorbing products.
Protection: Prevent physical damage to apples, as bruised or damaged fruit spoils faster.
Now, let’s explore the best ways to store Ambrosia apples to maximize their shelf life:
Refrigeration is the most effective method for preserving the freshness of Ambrosia apples. If you are lucky enough to have a 2nd fridge for storing food longer term – you can keep many apples for many months!
Follow these steps:
Use the Crisper Drawer: Place your Ambrosia apples in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. This will provide the right humidity and temperature levels.
Bag Them: Keep your apples in a perforated plastic bag to maintain moisture levels without trapping excess humidity. You can also use a produce bag or place them in a breathable container.
Separate and Insulate: Isolate your apples from other produce by storing them in a separate drawer or container. This prevents the ethylene gas emitted by apples from affecting other fruits and vegetables.
Inspect Regularly: Check your apples periodically for any signs of spoilage, and remove any damaged or overripe apples to prevent them from affecting the others.
Root Cellar or Cold Storage
If you have access to a root cellar or cold storage area, these environments are suitable for long-term apple storage:
Temperature Control: Ensure the temperature stays within the 32-40°F (0-4°C) range.
Humidity Control: Maintain the proper humidity level, around 90%, using a humidifier or other means.
Store in Boxes or Crates: Apples can be stored in boxes or crates, ideally with layers separated by paper or straw to prevent direct contact between apples.
If you have a surplus of Ambrosia apples and wish to store them for an extended period, freezing can be an option:
Peel and Slice: Wash, peel, and slice the apples.
Flash Freeze: Arrange the slices on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then, transfer them to airtight containers or bags.
Label and Date: Don’t forget to label the containers with the date so you can use them promptly.
Usage: Frozen apples are best used for cooking and baking, as the texture may change after freezing.
Proper storage is the key to maintaining the freshness and taste of Ambrosia apples for an extended shelf life. Whether you choose refrigeration, cold storage, or freezing, follow the recommended guidelines to enjoy these delectable apples year-round. By storing your Ambrosia apples correctly, you can savour their flavour and nutritional benefits for a long time!