How are those apples cellaring 2018-19


This year was not a good year for me but I still got a couple bushels in the cellar (read: basement fridge).

Today I pulled out a Suncrisp, it was not much different from when I picked it. It was excellent and it could be even better in February. I’ll try to hold a few back. I’m going to remove some nearby trees and let this guy get bigger, its one of my favorites; fortunately its on M7 so it should be able to take over a bigger spot quickly.

Rubinettes have been really good, they are not a long storage apple and at this point they are optimal: no more starch left and also no softness or loss of flavor. This year I am putting all the apples in ziplocks right away, in the past I let some sit out in the fridge without being bagged for some time. The Rubinettes I did that with got all rubbery. This year in the ziplocks they are staying crisp and excellent. I have been eating a lot of them, I stored around a bushel.

Reinette Clochard is never a very crisp apple, but they are also not getting rubbery in storage. Its supposed to last for a very long time and I can believe it. My tree is not in the best spot and the apples vary in quality depending on how much sun they get. When they are good they are really good, they have many different interesting flavors packed in, from pineapple to caramel.

Hubbardston Nonesuch are good but not great, I think I picked too early due to deer activity. They need to fully ripen to get the nice rose-petal aromatic flavors, and you never get more aromatics in storage.


I’ll be interested in know just long those Rubinettes do hold up in storage. My limited experience was that after a few weeks in plastic they start to decline pretty quickly.


I have some keepsake, roxbury russet and baldwin in the crisper (along with my forelle pear experiment). They have only been in there since Oct 10ish, so not much of a test so far. I only got a few keepsakes, but I’m having a hard time not grabbing one occasionally and eating them. They are so good (from the start) that I probably won’t find out how well they keep. I got more baldwins so I don’t feel too guilty about eating them. I like their taste better biting into them with the skin on if that makes any sense. The keepsakes we can cut up and shovel down :slight_smile: Maybe the baldwin flavor has improved a bit but I’m not sure. I haven’t done too much with the roxbury – they seemed kind of rubbery to me earlier so I thought they might get better with some time. I had some roxbury and baldwin in the regular part of the fridge, and it was maybe dehydrating them a bit but not too bad.


I finally had a good harvest of Haralson apples so was able to save some out to see how they last. Not surprising those with any kind of damage (corking, birds, insects) mostly got rubbery first. Storage is not the best as it is a root cellar that doesn’t cool down (to about 40) till November. Now it’s as cool as I want it till spring. I had 16 apples left (been eating them right along) and just took the ‘worst’ 8 which were still in pretty good shape, some just getting a little rubbery, rest still pretty firm (though not as crisp as fresh). They didn’t sweeten up as much as I thought they would but they mellowed (they are mostly a cooking apple on the tart side) and were acceptable for fresh eating (very good if have no others!).Maybe would be better harvested later. But they make good sauce which is what I have them for. The last 8 feel nicely firm. Storage is in a wood box with towels over top. Sue


I should add another update here… I am keeping more apples longer than usual so I should get better data. Also Matt visited a month ago and we tasted some apples then, its on this thread:

Recently I have been eating through my Hunge’s. They are getting a bit past prime, so they are not a long cellaring apple. They are still very good but are a touch mealy now. Pomme Gris is also very good, also past prime but by even less than Hunge - more just a bit on the soft side, no mealiness yet.


This thread reminded me to check on the apples in my crisper :slight_smile: I’ve been preparing for the growing season and haven’t been sampling my apples enough. The baldwins in the crisper are getting a little softer on the outside. I grabbed one of the softest and it still tastes great. Having grown up on store apples, it just feels strange to bite into an apple that is soft at the skin, and find that they are still crisp underneath. Ordinarily I would be hunting for a firm apple, thinking that firm means it’s still good/fresh/edible.


I have a dozen Goldrush left. They are getting better and better. I’m just going to leave them alone another month before I try one.


Another month gone by so I pulled out another Haralson, the one with the most “give” when gently squeezed (it was slight). Still medium tart but better flavor than earlier and firm enough to be a treat to eat. So far so good, with 5 to go. Willpower to wait kicks in now. (These are the only fresh apples I have). Sue


Let me add my latest. A Shizuka was soft, bland, and the bitter pit on it was bad as well. Wagener still tastes good but much of the skin needs removal as that part is going bad with rot. The star has been Blenheim, they are mellowing out very well and also are still looking un-damaged unlike many of the other apples I have left in storage now. Every year I like Blenheim more, its one of the few English apples that not only tolerates my hot and humid climate, it seems to thrive in it.


Any Yates in that cellar this year?


No, the deer got the low ones and a late mob of squirrels got the high ones … sigh. I ate a couple off the tree but that was about all I got.


Macoun started falling off the tree a little on the green side last year, so I bagged and refrigerated those early ones for storage test. Tree ripened ones usually stay firm enough for baking into the end of the year, which is a little over 3 months storage.

I recently pulled a bag of of those green ones out for use, which is just a little over 4 months in storage. Strangely, the skin and the flesh near the skin was still greenish despite the advanced stage of ripening. They were softer, less acid and jucier, as expected, but still good for baking. I baked them for an hour and they still held shape. I don’t think they will last much more than a few weeks, so green storage only extended the storage time by about 25%-30%.


Just had a Goldrush and an Arkansas Black that had been in the fridge since October. The Goldrush had gone soft but wasn’t mealy. It was nice and sweet and had a very different character than when picked from the tree. I thought I wouldn’t like it because of the softness of the flesh, but it wasn’t rubbery and I kept going back for more. The Arkansas Black was great. A little softer in flesh but still crisp enough and finely grained. Sweet, but with a little more acidity still than the Goldrush. I really enjoyed both and am happy to be eating them at this time of year.


In my limited experience those are two of the best storage apples, they mellow out very nicely.

I’m still enjoying my Blenheim’s, and still very impressed with how well they are holding up. I wish I knew how to describe the flavor, its a nutty citrusy thing.


I found out that I had a few Hoople’s Antique Gold apples in the fridge. (thought they were Korean Giant pears because they look alike and have brown skin). Cut up two to try today. Flesh was still firm. It was mellow, sweet and aromatic (honey after taste). I was surprised that they held up well until now.

I have two bucket full of Gold Rush in my unheated basement. I will get around to try them soon.


Goldrush are still pretty crisp and a bit sweeter to go along with the acid.

Had a Stayman yesterday, it was a bit mealy and mostly just a bit sweet, the skin didn’t have a pleasant flavor. Don’t know if Stayman are supposed to be a good storage apple, so maybe these are past their prime anyway.

Suncrisp are getting some big spots on them, not looking good. Haven’t tried any of the Pink Lady’s yet.

These were picked back in October.


Are you all bagging in airtight bags for long term storage, or the bags with a few holes in them? I’m curious about the best way to store apples for winter use.


My wife put them mostly in some large clear plastic containers, with lids, they’re in the cellar, which usually is cool and dark. Probably not a good idea to put them in airtight containers. Maybe trapping that ethylene gas speeded up their decay?

The Goldrush and Winesap have been stored in bags in the crisper in the frig. That may be why they taste and kept better.


From what I’ve read here, and from my own experience, apples will keep best in tightly sealed polypropylene (bread-type) bags. I store apples this way without washing or drying and they do well.

Self-defrosting fridges are harder on everything. If you have tons to store it might worth digging around here on how to convert an old non self-defrosting chest freezer.


A few more apple tastings from the cellar tonight…

Hunge - way over the hill. I thought I had eaten them all but missed one. Still edible but very mealy and skin browning.

Abbondanza (or Hubbardston, very similar apples) - not supposed to be a keeper but tasting not too different than it did many months ago. If it had more sugars it would be a real winner.

Unknown - I wish I knew what this one was because it was super crispy. Not the sweetest apple but it could last many more months.

Suncrisp - wow, this is the best apple I have eaten in a long time. They are just now starting to enter good eating phase, they had too many starches the last time I tried. Sweet, aromatic, crisp, excellent!! No skin problems either.