Can I Freeze My Pumpkin Pie?
Posted by The Pie Guy
The best frozen pumpkin pie is the one you make.
Why bother with store bought frozen pies when you can do it yourself the natural way.
Can I freeze my pumpkin pie?
The short answer is YES, but you must know the right way which we will show you here.
I ran a test and froze a pumpkin pie I made from scratch. It sat for three days in the freezer. There was no detectable difference in taste or appearance to when I first baked it fresh.
Now I kept the pie in the freezer for a total of two weeks. The pie is still very good but the crust lost some of its buttery flavor and tenderness. Only you the baker will be the wiser.
A pumpkin pie can be stored up to a month in the freezer but anything after two weeks the pie exponentially starts to degrade in taste and texture.
If you plan to freeze many pies, I recommend you buy a compact freezer that you only put pies in. Put a fresh box of baking soda to help remove any funny smells or flavors that might build up in the freezer.
Can I freeze my pumpkin pie?
Some say NO because freezing the pie will ruin it and make it taste funny. The results of the pumpkin pie will be a watery filling after thawing and a soggy crust.
Actually, the problem happened before the pie hit the freeze. When custard is overcooked the eggs and milk start to curdle, which breaks down the custard. This creates pockets of water in your custard.
When the pie hits the freezer, the pockets of water start to freeze causing the custard to separate more. During the time the water turns cold and freezes, some of the extra moisture moves into the pie crust.
So when the pie thaws, the water stays in the crust making it soggy. Since your custard now has less water in it, it starts to sag and dip in the middle and break up the filling. Now you have a pie pan that is just a soggy bowl of eggs and milk. Yuck!
If you must save a custard pie for more than three days then it is got to go in the freezer, no ands or buts about it. This is the best way I know to preserve any custard based pie in the freezer.
Step 1 - Cool down the pumpkin pie after it is fully baked
The pie must be completely cool before wrapping, better if it is slightly chilled. If this is not done the steam will get trapped below your wrapper.
This extra moisture will move into your crust and destroy its texture and taste.
Step 2 - Cover the pumpkin pie with plastic wrap
Wrap the pie completely with plastic wrap (saran wrap). If gaps appear, put another layer over to cover it.
Step 3 - Cover it again with foil
Now wrap the whole package with alumimum foil. The purpose of the foil is to prevent funky smells and odors in the freezer entering your pie.
Step 4 - Place pie in freezer
Never put a pie in a freezer
where fish has been,
unless you want fishy pumpkin pie.
Now your pie can be placed in the freezer. Put it on a flat surface in the freezer until it is frozen solid at which point you can put it any which way it will fit in the freezer.
Now, how do you thaw out your frozen pumpkin pie?
There is a right way to thaw out your pie. The process is almost the exact opposite of what you did to freeze.
Step A - Remove all wrappers
Remove the foil and plastic wrap from the pie. Throw away the foil and plastic.
Never reuse them. Try not to contaminate the pie with the foil that might have touched raw meat while your pie was in the freezer.
Step B - Put the pie in the refrigerator
Place the pie in the refrigerator on a flat surface. The pie must set in the refrigerator for at least 4 to 8 hours. Why thaw in the refrigerator first?
If you take the pie directly out of the freezer and place it at room temperature the pie will turn out bad.
It is like this. A glass of ice water will start to sweat when the surrounding air is much warmer than the glass. Water is condensing on the surface of the cold glass. Place the same glass of ice water in the refrigerator and it no longer sweats.
A frozen pie is no different than a glass of ice water. Water will condensed on your frozen pie when sitting at room temperature. You do not see the water because the pie crust is absorbing it. This is not good. You do not want a wet and soggy crust.
So thaw your pumpkin pie in the refrigerator first.
Step C - Heating or warm up your pie
If you want to heat your pie up or if it still is a little too cold to eat after thawing in the refrigerator, you can use the microwave oven.
Remember microwave ovens do not heat things evenly. A spot on the pie filling could be steaming while the pie crust is still chilled.
Do not heat it in the oven all in one shot. Put the pie in the oven for 15 seconds then let it rest for 2 minutes. Repeat the process until you reached your desired temperature for the pie.
refreeze a pie
that was once frozen.
This process will limit the damage the oven could do to your homemade pumpkin or custard pie.
That is all folks! Now enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Store the remaining pie in the refrigerator for up to three days and do not refreeze any of it.
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