Apples are a nutritious convenience food and one of the fruits that grow well here in Ireland. Whilst commercial apples are usually exposed to carbon dioxide to delay ripening, there are many ways to preserve the innate goodness of home grown varieties. Later ripening varieties, which tend to be thicker skinned and sweeter keep for longer than early ripening apples. To preserve apples as you use them, rub them with a wedge of lemon. Apples turn brown as a result of an enzyme in the fruit reacting to oxygen in the air. Putting apples in water does not prevent them from turning brown.
To freeze, apples should first be peeled, cored, chopped and stewed.
Stewed apple is simple, perfect for infants, and delicious stirred into porridge or natural yoghurt.
Apples can be dried in an oven or dehydrator.
Other suitable preservation methods include apple jam, apple jelly, apple butter, chutney, juice, vinegar, and cider.
If you don’t have access to an apple tree, consider foraging native wild crab apples. Although crab apples are a sour apple, they are perfect for a sweet crab apple jelly. Harvest between early September and early November.