I am looking to freeze some cooking apple slices, but this question applies more broadly to any fresh ingredient with a non-trivial water content.
Just dumping them in a freezer bag/container and sticking them in the freezer inevitably results in the individual pieces frozen hard together. Is there a "home cooking" method to prevent or reduce this problem?
Things I've tried:
- For finely chopped ingredients, I've found removing the container periodically -- while it's freezing -- and stirring or agitating the contents, to break things apart, works OK. (It doesn't work well for larger, or more fragile ingredients, such as apple slices.)
- Separately laying out ingredients on a baking sheet, freezing that and then decanting the result into a container. This works, but it has practicality problems (it takes a lot of prep time and freezer space) and potentially hygiene problems (uncovered ingredients, run-off perhaps, etc.).
Is there some trick that works better?