Pumpkin pie is a holiday favorite and once pumpkin pies start making their appearance, you know the holidays must be around the corner.
The holiday season tends to be pretty chaotic and many home kitchens turn into high-pressure environments of celebratory food production. To avoid the last-minute madness, you can actually prepare your pie well in advance.
Since making pumpkin pie from scratch can be a little time consuming, preparing it in advance and freezing it is the perfect way to avoid holiday kitchen chaos. Simply take it out of the freezer a day before needed and your feast is ready.
Here is everything you need to know about freezing pumpkin pie.
Types of Pumpkin Pie
Despite being made largely from a vegetable, pumpkin pie refers to a sweet dessert pie. A single pastry shell is filled with a spiced, pumpkin-based custard filling and is baked without a top crust.
The pie color ranges from orange to brown and spices include cinnamon, powdered ginger, allspice, and sometimes, cardamom and vanilla are also used. A premixed spice mixture specifically for pumpkin pie can be purchased as ‘pumpkin pie spice’.
Due to its popularity, home cooks can now purchase canned pumpkin or premade pumpkin pie filling to speed up the home-bake process. Similar pies are also made with sweet potato and butternut squash fillings.
Can Pumpkin Pie Be Frozen?
Whether you want to make it in advance for the holidays or want to keep leftovers that you cannot finish before they go bad, pumpkin pie can be frozen to prolong its shelf life.
It is important to keep pumpkin pie free from contact with air and moisture when freezing so that it maintains a good quality once thawed.
A great tip when planning to freeze pumpkin pie is to bake it in disposable aluminum pie pans. Whether for mini-pies, or a large pie, these thinner pie casings ensure that the pie will freeze fast and evenly which will prevent texture-ruining ice crystals from forming.
How To Freeze Pumpkin Pie
Step 1: Cool
After the pumpkin pie has been baked, set it aside to cool completely on a cooling rack. Freezing the pumpkin pie before it has cooled completely will result in the formation of large ice crystals and freezer burn which will ruin both the texture and flavor of the pie on thawing.
Step 2: Portion and Wrap
Once completely cooled to room temperature, wrap the pie in a double layer of cling film. If you are freezing individual mini-pies, or slices, wrap each portion individually. Make sure that there are no exposed gaps where air can enter.
Step 3: Pack and Label
Place the wrapped pie in an airtight zip lock freezer bag and press out any remaining air before sealing the bag. If you don’t have a bag big enough, you can wrap the pie fully in aluminum foil instead, ensuring that no gaps are left open.
Step 4: Freeze
Label the packaging with the contents and date and place it in the freezer making sure that the pie is not going to get squashed by any surrounding items.
How To Thaw Frozen Pumpkin Pie
Remove the pumpkin pie from the freezer a day before you need it and place it in the refrigerator to thaw slowly. Defrosting it at room temperature may cause the crust to turn soggy.
Serve the pie topped with a dollop of cream or dusted with cinnamon sugar to cover up any marks created by the cling film or foil wrapping on freezing.
Now that you know you can prepare your pumpkin pie for the holidays a month in advance, there is no reason not to have it ready for the celebrations this year. Remove it from the freezer a day before you need it to give it plenty of time to thaw.
Holiday catering just got a whole easier, so this year, you can sit back and enjoy the party with everyone else.
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