A common question in the fall is: can you freeze apple juice?
People go to apple orchards and find themselves with so many apples they don’t know what to do with all of them. There are only so many apple pies and jugs of cider you can make.
It only makes sense to turn those apples into juice that you can drink later.
Yes, it is possible to freeze apple juice, but you will want to consider a few things before you get started.
How to make apple juice
- Fill a food-grade container half full with water and add ½ teaspoon of ascorbic acid per gallon of water.
- Peel, core, and slice the apples discarding any wrong parts.
- Add the apples to the water and stir them around to make sure they are coated.
- Pour two inches of water into a large pot and add the apples.
- Cover the pot and simmer the apples until they are soft.
- Every 10 minutes, mash the apples with a potato masher. Do this for 15 minutes per pound of apples.
- Place a mesh sieve over another food-grade container.
- Transfer the apples to the sieve and press them through using a spatula.
- Discard the solid apple parts.
- Cover another food-grade container with a sieve and two to three layers of cheesecloth.
- Pour the juice through the sieve to collect any solid piece.
- Stir the juice to help it cool faster.
How to freeze juice
Once the juice has cooled, you can refrigerate it or freeze it. The first thing you will want to do is choose what type of container you want to freeze your juice.
Some people use mason jars, which are great for single-use, but they take up a lot of space. Some people freeze apple juice in ice cube trays to add a pop of flavor to their water.
The most popular way to do it, especially if you have large quantities of juice, is to pour it into quart freezer bags. To avoid messes from random holes, place your first freezer bag inside a second one before freezing.
No matter what you choose to store your frozen juice in, make sure to leave a little room since apple juice will expand when it’s frozen.
Apple juice will take longer to freeze than water, so if you want it to freeze in a hurry, you’ll want to turn your freezer down a few degrees.
How long does it last in the freezer?
Juice Buff references a study that says juice can last in the freezer for two years or more, but conventional knowledge suggests that three to six months is a better option.
While the juice will be safe to drink past then, it will start to lose its taste and nutritious value. Fresh juice will last in the refrigerator for three to five days, and thawed juice will last one to three days in the fridge.
How do I thaw frozen juice?
The best way to thaw frozen apple juice is to allow it to thaw in the fridge naturally.
This method can take a day or two, so another option is to place the container in a bowl of cold water to expedite thawing.
If you're in a real hurry, you can microwave apple juice to thaw it, but you run the risk of having hot apple juice. Apple juice that has been heated this way should be used entirely or discarded.
Can I freeze store-bought juice?
You can absolutely freeze store-bought apple juice, but there are a few factors you’ll want to consider.
Store-bought juice often has added sugar, which has a different freezing point than the juice.
This often causes it to separate into a syrup that doesn’t always mix back into the juice when it thaws. If you choose to freeze the juice in its original container, make sure that it’s freezer safe.
The juicy details
Freezing food is a great way to preserve it for future use, and the same goes for liquids.
By freezing your apple juice, you'll save yourself money in the long run by having juice at your fingertips whenever you want it.
If you make it yourself, you also have control over the sugar content and know that you're getting all of the nutrients associated with fresh apples. Now that you know you can, nothing stops you from freezing all of your apple juice to use year-round.
On the day she reached true enlightenment, Koko was still wearing a toga from the previous night's beer-fueled debauchery. Late for her first class, her college roommate shook her from a deep sleep and offered her a glass of juice. Bolting it down was like pouring electricity into her body. Now a principal cellist for the Salt Lake City Symphony Orchestra, Koko runs marathons in her spare time.