According to the New York Apple Association, it takes about 8 to 10 years for a standard-sized apple tree to bear fruit. According to my friends, it takes me about 15 seconds to pick so many pounds of said fruit, they're concerned for any given orchard's longevity. (Quickest way to drown 'em out? Feed them pie.)
Consequently, I end up with a lot of apples every fall, all at once. Which turns my kitchen counter into something of a ticking time bomb. This year, determined to extend the lives of these innocent apples, I've done some research about the best way to store them for maximum freshness. Here are three tips:
1. Refrigerate Your Apples
For the longest possible lifespan—we're talking weeks—keep your apples cold! The fruit ripens between 6 and 10 times faster if left out on the counter than it would in a refrigerator.
The ideal temperature for apple storage, says The Spruce Eats, is 30 to 32°F—they suggest making use of a cool basement, garage, or shed.
According to Backwoods Home Magazine, it's best to wrap each apple in sheets of newspaper (ideally ones without much colored ink on their pages). Taste of Home writes that this serves as insurance against one apple going rotten and ripening the others being stored.
Choose the best apples for storage if you're hoping to keep them fresh for many weeks.
"The best keepers are the more tart and thick-skinned varieties, such as McIntosh, Fuji, Rome and Granny Smith. The apple varieties harvested late in the season tend to be good keepers,” reports Gardener's Supply Company.
In essence, you'll want to avoid apples with bruises, cuts, or soft spots, if you can.
Ella Quittner is a contributing writer and the Absolute Best Tests columnist at Food52. She covers food, travel, wellness, lifestyle, home, novelty snacks, and internet-famous sandwiches. You can follow her on Instagram @equittner, or Twitter at @ellaquittner. She also develops recipes for Food52, and has a soft spot for all pasta, anything spicy, and salty chocolate things.