Riddle me this, apple people

Last fall in the rush of getting my apples off the tree and bagged ahead of a nasty cold wave I left this one sitting in a plastic tub outside in the unheated garage. Since then we’ve had lows into the teens two or three times and highs into the low forties. I kept glancing at that apple thinking it should be mush, but it looked so good I decided to bring it in and cut it open. Gave it an hour to warm a bit and cut it open. It wasn’t perfect but it was really good. Still had lots of excellent Cox-or-Kidd’s-like flavor, sharp/sweet balance, not very mealy but just a bit, juicy still. Obviously a little shrivelled, but then, who wouldn’t be?

Don’t know just what apple it is, but I had a few Cox’s Orange Pippin and Kidd’s Orange Red and I’m pretty sure it was one of those.

So how come that apple survived all those temperature shifts and held up so well?


One of my guesses would be that your garage didn’t go through the same temp swings like you see outside and instead normalized near the low 30s to high 20s. Also since it’s winter I’m guessing you are having high humidity days which would also create an ideal environment. Either way definitely something to consider as a bigger experiment if you need to store larger quantities of apples going forward.


I think you’re probably right in that there was some buffering of the temps. But surely the apple got frozen solid (me figures) and I would have expected that to be the end of it.


At 14 a JONATHAN became inedible here in Kentucky. Pthoooowwwwyyy!


Sugar is an antifreeze
The more sugar in the apple
the colder it needs to be to begin freezing


That’s what i was going to say. The freezing temperatures of most plant and animal cells is below “freezing”, because the liquids have dissolved sugars, salts, and proteins, all of which will reduce the freezing temperature. So if your garage never got below, says, 25F, and the apple was sweet, it may never have frozen.

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Agreed, @Ginda & @Boizeau, but we had a-7F on October 25, and garage is not heated or insulated. So I’m fairly confident the poor thing froze solid. I’m missing something, I’m sure. And, maybe some apples just take freezing better than others.

Keep a thermometer in your garage and sort of keep track of what the temps are inside. I think you will be surprised at the temp difference being inside the garage is vs outdoors.
I believe the sugar contents kept the apple from being completely frozen and useless.
I had some apples like yours turned out. Sort of a rubbery texture to the skin. They were okay but not like " yum" when I tried eating them. I had forgotten I put a small basket of late picked apples I got off the tree before we had two days of cold rain. They would have probably been fine in a cobbler or fried up.

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