Frozen Apples

bellamartJanuary 15, 2008

I have a dumb question. I have some frozen apples and wanted to make an apple pie with them. Because I have never frozen apples before, I have no idea if it's better to thaw the apples first before I bake the pie or if it's ok to use them frozen and just increase the baking time? If so, how much longer should I bake it? Also, will the crust become soggy from the frozen apples or is there a way to prevent that?

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melva02(z7 VA)

Hi Bellamart,

I hope you get other responses too, but here's my experience. I always thaw the apples in the fridge overnight first. My bottom crust doesn't seem to get any soggier than it already is, but maybe using a dark pan will help. If your recipe calls for any liquid (besides lemon juice), I would measure the apple liquid and use that instead of water or juice.

I know there are several people on here who freeze both whole pies and pan-shaped discs of pie filling ready to be put in the crust. I think they just bake about 10 minutes longer, not sure. As long as you bake until the juices bubble thickly, you should be ok. You can also use a skewer to check the apples inside; there should be no resistance when they're done.

My thawed apples seem to keep a nice texture, almost like spongy but in a good way. They usually hold onto most of their liquid and bake up really well. I think last year's were mostly winesap or stayman, with some granny smith and golden delicious mixed in. I dunk them in water with either Fruit Fresh or straight ascorbic acid before freezing.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 6:45AM
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I just made a apple crisp this weekend with some of the apples from the freezer :D

I thaw them in the fridge first (Like Melissa) at least 1 day, so I can mix all the spices and whatever else in there.

I have noticed that these apples are MUCH more watery (juicy) than using fresh...I'm not sure if it was the specific apples I used, or putting them in the freezer and then thawing them.

To make up for that I added a little more flour/corn starch or whatever your recipe calls for to thicken...but you can play around with the recipe.

I didn't notice any differances after cooked! It tasted just fine ;)


    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 8:53AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I would thaw them too. IN fact, if they ar still firm, I usually partially cook mine before they are put in a pie. Too many times I have made apple pies with fresh sliced apples and once they bake a while, they exude a lot of liquid as well as shrink. You start with maybe 3 inches of apples and end up with an inch or less after its baked. I like my apple pies to be high and loaded with apples, close to the top crust instead of a big empty cavity. Freezing sliced apples should be dipped in ascorbic acid solution prioer to freezing so they don't turn all brown. Add a bit of ground cardamom spice to the apples, as well as the cinnamon, a bit of ground nutmeg and ginger.
Here is an inexpensive site for ascorbic acid in big 1 pound jars. Much better price than those little $4+ four ounce bottles.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ascorbic acid source

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 10:51AM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

Great idea!! I never thought about partially cooking the apples first to avoid that cavity! guys are bad influence........I'm not even crazy about applie pie, but now I want to make one! Good thing hubby likes 'em....(grin)


    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 12:10PM
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gran2(z5 INDIANA)

I don't thaw first, rhubarb either. The moisture separates during thawing. I don't even notice a difference in baking time.

If you're concerned about the bottom crust, be sure to bake pies on the bottom rack of the oven. Dark pans are good, but I'm stuck on glass and that way I can see whether it's done or not. Also, a thin sprinkling of sugar on the crust before filling sometimes helps.

Let me know what you think.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 1:41PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

if you have some cranberries, drop a few on too. You can just put a few berries on one quarter of the apple filling. I do this if they are too sweet on their own. I use Clear Jel to act as the thickener too, as it adds just enough to help the juices from pouring out when you cut it open. Also, if you want a non-gummy bottom crust, spread some margerine or butter into the raw bottom crust before its filled. I do this with my meat pies too and it works great and gives me nice crisp bottom crusts, not a soggy one.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 4:27PM
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prairie_love(z3/4 ND)

Ha ha Deanna! No kidding they are a bad influence! So much so that this summer I made and froze both apple pie filling and peach pie filling! And I don't EVER make desserts! I have not used any of either type yet, maybe this weekend I'd better make a pie. Just to see if it's any good.

The apple pie filling was according to BBB and it also called for pre-cooking the apples some.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 4:48PM
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Thanks for all the great responses and tips!!!!!!!! Because I had never frozen apples before, I figured it was safer to ask first rather than experiment on my own. (Been there, done that! lol)
Another question, if you don't mind - if you use Clear Jel with the apples when freezing, how much are you supposed to use - or do you use it when you go to bake??
I know what you mean about piling up on the apples and then after it bakes, it has shrunk down to the bottom and half of the liquid has poured out!! I had also heard recently that if you partially cook them first, you won't have that problem.

Here is a link that might be useful: Apple Pie

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 5:35PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Clear Jel is one of those stable starches that you would use less of compared to cornstach. Its your choice if you wish to partially cook and thicken before freezing, or doing it after they thaw. Because it could clump up if just added loose as a powder onto the thawed apples, it may not thicken the same way. If you partially cook the apples with the added starch, you can usually tell by its consistancy if its enough, or too much. If its the latter, add a bit of apple juice, if its thinner than you like, add a bit more starch, but only if the mixture is hot, as it will thicken quite fast. Even for that, I have had better success with a starch called Freezer Flo, which holds up better to freezing and works better with higher acid fruits, compared to Clear Jel for freezing. I also use the Freezer Flo in my sauces/gravies when making meat pies, as it doesn't get watered down once the veggies start cooking. Freezer Flo, can be bought through The Ingredients Store.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 9:38PM
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Great, thanks again! I purchased some clear jel for canning apple pie filling, but it seems like it is thick and jellied. Yuck! I will have to thin it out when I use it. That's why I thought I would be safer just freezing the rest of my apples instead of canning. I just wasn't sure about when I'm ready to use them. But I do hate to loose freezer space on frozen apples!!
Anyone have a good recipe for canned apple pie filling they care to share? The first batch I made I think the apples cooked too long and got mushy. (*rolling eyes*) I haven't got a clue on what to do with that batch! Also, is it ok/better/worse to use cornstarch in place of clear jel when canning?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 10:24AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Corn starch is not as safe to use as the Clear Jel. Years ago, they also used flour as a thickener, but like everything else thats home canned today, some things have to be done differently due to safety issues. The Clear Jel is a modified food starch and is much more stable compared to corn starch. As mentioned previously, you use LESS of the Clear Jel when thickening. The starch can either slightly thicken or go all the way to being gummy, and it all depends on how much you use. When I made my batch of apple pie filling, it contained a lot of extra juice, so I also added some sliced dried apples to the batch. Its now in quart jars, and if I want to use some, and find its too thick, I only need to add a little water or apple juice when filling the pie crust. I only nuke my apples a few minutes in the microwave to 'sweat' them and soften slightly. Then, I add teh starch, spices, and sweetener. Some apple types are better for baking and pies, than others. If the apples are dry and mealy, they are overripe and are not good in pies as they turn to mush. Because I like to can, I chose apple varieties that are well suited for baking and cooking, and grow my own. Last summer was the first big harvest and between the two big trees, they ripened at different times, which is easier to deal with. If they are overcooked, you can turn the mixture to apple butter. Its great on most anything including ice cream, waffles, toast, etc. Even great in making an apple spice cake or muffins.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 1:31PM
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I gave up canning apple pie filling years ago. No matter what recipe, I ended up with a gob of thickener at the bottom of the jar. Now I can plain sliced apples in light syrup, just like I do peaches. It is important that you use a good pie apple that will hold up after canning and baking. I use Honey Crisp apples for this and also my cinnamon apple rings. When ready to make the pie I empty the juice into a sauce pan and add sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch. Cook until thickened, stir in apples ( no need to heat through ) and place in crust. Just like you would using store bought filling. If you like more filling, add 2 sliced fresh apples to the filling. Also, add lemon juice when canning to keep from darkening.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 7:14AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Macoun apples are a great one to use, and they also hold up quite well to cooking and baking. Oddly, my canned apple pie filling wasn't gooey or gummy. If you do add a thickener, its better to use less, and then correct it when filling the empty shell.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 11:09AM
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everytime I take the frozen apples out to use they turn brown..I did treat them first what do I do???

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 11:11AM
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Hi, I was wondering about this dilemma i was having and somewhat got some answers that I was seeking for in regards to using frozen apples for pies; thanks for the tidbits even thou these posting were from 2008 it has helped me in deciding to utilize these frozen apples for this "thanksgiving," dinner. Will post how they turned out and if i got the thumbs up or down on my pies.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 3:37PM
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