It’s true that we eat with our eyes first. So it can be problematic when cut fruits begin to oxidize and turn brown, looking rather unappetizing. Eating oxidized fruit isn’t unsafe, but it can alter taste and texture. So how does a skilled home cook keep it from happening? In short, we need to create a barrier between the fruit and the oxygen.
Many people use acids to lower the pH and keep fruit from browning, such as lemon juice, pineapple juice, and even lemon-lime soda. However, every time I used one of these methods, the taste of the juices or soda remained with the fruit even after it is rinsed.
And then I found the best of both worlds: long-lasting protection against oxidation with zero alteration to the taste. What is this magic ingredient, you ask? Salt water.
To use the saltwater method:
Create a soaking liquid by stirring together 1/2 tsp kosher salt per 1 C of room temperature water. Place your cut fruit in the saltwater and soak for 5 minutes. Strain the fruit through a colander and rinse in clean water. Your fruit should stay fresh for 12 hours (though at that duration, we recommend covering with a lid or plastic wrap to keep from drying out).
TIP: 1 TBSP honey per 1 C of water works just as well, but salt is more affordable.
Try this method on your next apple pie filling or this stunning Honeycrisp Apple and Pomegranate Salsa!