Thursday, 19 September 2013

Storing Apples

I was hoping to post this marvellously thrifty idea last year however, due to the horrible weather in the UK last summer the apple harvest was so poor I didn't have any apples to store.  This year however there is a bumper crop.  The orchards around here, of which there are so many, are literally dripping with fruit and it makes my heart very happy to see.

I build up my apple store in September or October of each year and it keeps us in apples until Christmas, so it's really worth doing. 
To build your own apple store you will need some shallow crates or boxes (I use blue plastic crates that the stall holders at our local market use and give away for free), newspaper and apples suitable for storing.  "What apples are suitable for storing?" you ask.  Generally the crisper varieties work best, apples with softer or fluffier flesh don't, in my experience, store well.  Choose apples that are unblemished for your store, no worm holes or bruises.

Once you have picked your apples select those you want to store and wash them well, I had a little helper as you an see.

 Lay them out  in a single layer to dry.  Wait until they are well and truly dry (the slightest bit of moisture could ruin your whole store so DRY apples are the key).  You may need to turn them to get all the water out of their dimples.  Once your apples are really dry take your newspaper open it out flat and tear or cut it in half so you have single pages.  Wrap you apples individually and lay them in a SINGLE layer in your trays or boxes - that part is also very important for a successful apple store.

Here is how mine looks, for reference.  Keep filling trays until you think you have stored enough.  The reason why I like these blue trays so much is because the stack but still allow air flow.  They may not be pretty but they work well. Oh and did I mention they are free ;)

Store your apples in a cool dark(ish) place such as a shed or garage.  Check your store regularly and remove any soft or rotting apples, sometimes a bruised one slips through.  Don't panic as long as you take it out as soon as you notice it it shouldn't do too much damage  Another thing that can ruin your apple store is mice, beware!  

Happy autumn everyone!

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