Whether you’re looking to prep holiday desserts in advance or are anticipating plenty of sweet leftovers, you may have wondered how long you can freeze a pie and have it stay fresh. For the answer to this confectionary quandary, we turned to the baking pros, who reveal the best kinds of pies for freezing and how to store them for months to come. Keep reading for their expert tips for both baked and unbaked pies along with how to handle them once out of the freezer so you can treat yourself to the most delicious dessert.
What kinds of pies freeze well
Popular holiday pies such as any fruit pie, pumpkin pie and pecan pie are fine to freeze in their baked or unbaked form. The reason? These pies all having a thick filling, which holds up nicely when frozen and thawed. On the other hand, meringue pies and cream pies are a bit too watery for prepping and freezing. These will likely break down soon after you take them out of the freezer, resulting in an off texture, so it’s best to enjoy them fresh.
How long can you freeze a pie for?
The storage life of your pie depends on whether it’s baked or not. Experts generally recommend storing tightly wrapping unbaked pies in the freezer for 3 to 4 months. Meanwhile, baked pies can be frozen and eaten within 6 months. The way you’ll store the pie also varies, but following the right steps ensures your dessert delight maintains its freshness and flavor.
To savor those slices later: how to freeze a baked pie
Although freezing baked pie is convenient, storing it correctly is key to having it still taste delicious once reheated. Below, recipe creator Lauren Allen, founder of Tastes Better from Scratch, recommends cutting the baked pie into slices before freezing — the smaller pieces will reheat more evenly when you’re ready to eat. Here, she shares five simple steps for freezing slices from a leftover baked pie:
- Cleanly cut slices from remaining pie to enjoy individual portions as needed.
- Carefully wrap each slice tightly in plastic wrap.
- Place all the wrapped slices in one large plastic bag or separate bags to avoid smashing them together.
- Label with the bag(s) with the date.
- Store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
To prep dessert ahead of time: how to freeze unbaked pie
There’s enough to stress about on the day of a big family gathering, so we understand wanting to at least take a few steps off your pie-making duties ahead of time. Luckily, fruit, pumpkin and pecan pies are perfectly fine to prep and freeze beforehand. Here, Allen shares three easy steps to follow once your pie is filled, topped with a crust and/or crimped.
- Tightly wrap the whole unbaked pie in foil or plastic wrap as it sits in the pie dish.
- If possible, write the date on top of the cover.
- Freeze and bake within 4 months.
Add this ingredient to unbaked pies before freezing
If you’re freezing a pie to bake later, food safety educator Jeannie Nichols suggests adding more cornstarch or flour to the filling. These dry ingredients help thicken pie filling, which is key as you want to maintain its solid consistency so it’s not watery after thawing. For best results, she recommends adding an extra ½ tablespoon of cornstarch, or 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour, to the filling before pouring it into the crust and freezing.
How to reheat or bake frozen pie
When you’re ready to enjoy the pie, let it thaw in the fridge overnight before placing it in the oven for an evenly heated or freshly baked dessert.
For baked pie slices:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place pie slice(s) on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Heat for around 15 minutes or until the pie is warm throughout.
- Serve immediately.
For unbaked whole pies:
- Preheat the oven to the temperature listed in your desired recipe.
- Unwrap pie and keep in dish.
- Once preheated, place the pie in the oven to bake as suggested in the recipe. (Note: Check the pie as it bakes and shield certain parts like the outer crust with strips of foil.)
- Remove from the oven and cool completely on the wire rack.
- Slice and enjoy right away.
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