Q. I made too much dessert over the holidays. Can you freeze pumpkin pie?
A. Yes! In fact, you can freeze pretty much any type of pie. When frozen incorrectly, pumpkin pie can become soggy and inedible upon thawing. Follow these few simple steps to ensure a pie that tastes as good after it’s been frozen as it did fresh out of the oven.
Cook your pie according to the recipe, and then let the pie cool completely. Place the pie in the fridge until slightly chilled before preparing it for the freezer. A pie that is still warm will cause condensation and moisture to get trapped between the pie and the wrap, making the pie wet and soggy upon defrosting. Carefully wrap the pie in plastic wrap, being careful not to leave any part uncovered. Once wrapped, cover the entire pie in aluminum foil. With a permanent marker, label and date the foil. A pumpkin pie can be frozen up to a month, but ideally would be consumed within a few weeks of freezing.
Pies easily absorb the odors of other foods, so make sure that it is wrapped tightly, and that the freezer is free from offending odors that can change the taste of the pie. Also, store the pie flat and leave some room around the edges to avoid cracking the crust. Ideally, place the wrapped pie in a pie box to protect it from being bumped and cracked. Do not store anything on top of the pie until completely frozen.
To thaw a frozen pumpkin pie, it is important to move the pie from the freezer to the refrigerator to defrost. Thawing the pie at room temperature will cause it to “sweat,” allowing moisture to pool and turn the pie crust soggy. It can also allow harmful bacteria to grow. Remove aluminum foil and plastic wrap before placing the pie in the refrigerator. Leave the pie to thaw completely, preferably overnight. To check if a pie is thawed completely, a toothpick inserted in the centre should slide down to the crust without meeting any resistance from a frozen middle. The pie can then be served either cold from the fridge, or reheated in an oven until the desired temperature is reached.
Once a pie has been frozen, it cannot be frozen a second time. Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within three days for maximum freshness.