What is the one thing you love about fall? If you asked me that question, I'd say the glorious pumpkins.
Yes, for some, the orange-red autumn leaves are the highlight of this wonderful season, but for me is the wonderful treats we bakers can whip up with a delicious pumpkin.
With so many holiday baking ideas flooding your mind, you may be wondering: can I freeze pumpkin pie to enjoy throughout the festive season? - The answer is yes; you can freeze pumpkin pie. So prepare your pie ahead of time and enjoy the festivities.
Below we guide you on the best ways to freeze and reheat your pumpkin pie for best results. Keep on reading as we answer this and many other questions!
CAN YOU FREEZE PUMPKIN PIE
If you love enjoying every bit of the fall season and want to retain its magic for as long as possible, then do what I always do, freeze your delectable homemade pumpkin pie. The process is possible because the pies contain rich custard fillings. The high-fat content makes it possible to freeze this delicacy without changing the texture and taste of the pie.
The best way to freeze your pumpkin pie is by storing it on a disposable yet inexpensive pie pan.
The reason behind this is that the aluminum pan will allow faster freezing of the pie due to the thinner base. This will prevent the formation of ice crystals on the pie surface. Ice crystals are the gold ol' pumpkin pies' enemies because they cause the beautiful pies to go soggy and soiled when you thaw them.
You can find disposable pie pans at almost every grocery store for approximately $5 per pan. Alternatively, if you are not in a hurry, get them from Amazon so you can buy them from the comfort of your home at a much cheaper price: 30 pie pans for $25.91 ($0.86 per pan).
Have you ever wonder if you can freeze a whole pumpkin pie or in portions? The answer is you can freeze your pumpkin pie either way. If the pie is frozen in portion then you will be able to reheat the individual portions, avoiding any wastage. However, if you freeze the whole pie, then the whole pumpkin pie will have to be reheated and consumed at once.
The pumpkin custard filling is the best for freezing purposes. You do not need to change your classic recipe to freeze your pie; the regular formula works perfectly well for this.
All you have to do is bake your pie in the aluminum pan and then cool it on the wire rack completely. There should not be so much as a hint of warmth even under the bottom of the pie pan.
Warning: The Food and Drug Administrations (FDA) suggests that no food should be allowed to stand at room temperature for more than 2 hours. This is because bacteria thrive at room temperature (between 40 °F (4 °C) to 140 °F (60 °C)).
If you skip cooling the pie down completely, you risk for the moisture of the heat to get trapped under the pan.
This moisture will freeze as ice crystals making the crust go soggy, changing the texture of your delicious pie.
To freeze your pie as securely as possible, seal it with several layers of plastic wrap to prevent the pie from drying out, and add a final layer of foil to avoid freezer burns.
Freezer burns will not be harmful to you or your family, it does however change the texture and taste of your pie!
You may wonder if it would be possible to freeze your unbaked pie. After all, how great will it be to surprise the family after a long hard day with a delicious meal and an incredible pudding that you only had to take out of the freezer, right? The good news is that yes you can freeze an unbaked pumpkin pie, and this will be delicious.
But which one freezes better the baked pumpkin pie or the unbaked pie? We explore the answer to this below!
Is It Better To Freeze Pumpkin Pie Before or After Baking?
You can freeze separate elements of your pie before you get to the baking part. But the truth is that the better option is to bake the entire pie first, cool it, and then freeze it. It is an efficient time-saver for the holidays and works better for the taste and texture.
However, if you wish to do the freezing part first and get on to baking later, then that is absolutely fine too. Simply freeze your pie filling in a zip-lock freezer bag for up to 2 weeks, and your unbaked pie crust under several layers of plastic wrap and foil for up to 6 months.
Once you are ready to bake, ensure the filling is thawed in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before you bake it.
Can You Freeze Pumpkin Pie from Costco?
Yes, pumpkin pies from Costco freeze very well. However, it is best to freeze the pie the day you buy it.
If you are one of those that wonder why will anyone want to freeze Costco pies? -The answer is simple; Costco only sells its delicious pumpkin pies from September to December.
So if you are anything like me and enjoy these delicious pies, buy 2 or 3 in the season and freeze them to enjoy all year round! One pie will cost you around $5.99.
The best way to freeze your Costco pie is to slice the pie but not remove the slices out of the container.
Slicing the pie before freezing it, will make it easy to slip one piece at a time with a knife or a fork. Then pop the slice in the oven and enjoy it.
I avoid using the microwave to heat my pie as this can make the crust soggy. However, if you are in a hurry, and not to bother about a soggy crust, the microwave works just as well!
If you wish to know how long your Costco pie will remain profitable in the refrigerator, then you must look at the expiring date. If the pie was at room temperature when you bought it at the store, then you too can sit it on your counter till the sell-by date.
Generally, your store-bought pies can last for two to four days beyond their printed date in the refrigerator and up to six months in the freezer.
Can You Freeze Pumpkin Pie filling?
Yes, you can freeze either your home made or your store bought pumpkin pie filling.
That is the beauty of pumpkin pie, you can freeze either the separate elements or as a whole. Either way, it freezes well and saves so much time, especially during the holiday season.
So if you plan to whip up an extra batch of pumpkin custard filling, you can do that and store it in zip-lock freezer bags.
The filling stays right in the freezer for up to five days. Then all you have to do is let it defrost in the refrigerator, fill in the crust, and bake away.
How Long Can You Keep Pumpkin Pie in the Freezer
You can store a baked and cooled down pie for up to 6 months in your freezer, and an unbaked pie for up to a month.
How to Bake a Frozen Pumpkin Pie
Unbaked frozen pumpkin pies are best baked from frozen. This is because if you thaw the pie before baking it, the crust may go soggy as it absorbs the moisture during the thawing process. To avoid this, bake the pie frozen instead of thawing it.
I know you may be a trifle hesitant to bake a frozen pie, especially if you haven't done it before, but trust me it is possible and it will give you the best results.
Here is a step-by-step short guide for you to bake your frozen pie without any mishaps.
- Line a tray with a cookie sheet.
- Preheat the oven to 450 °F (230 °C)
- Remove the pie from the aluminum tin. Taking your pie from the pan will prevent the crust from absorbing any leftover moisture at the bottom of the tin and thus it will prevent your crust from turning soggy.
- place your frozen pie on the cookie sheet in the oven.
- reduce the oven's heat to 350 °F (176 °C)
- Your pie is ready when you insert a knife in the center, and it comes out clean; it takes approximately 1 hour.
- If you note your pie is browning too early before cooking through, then you must reduce the heat by 25 degrees or cover with a foil.
How do you Reheat a Frozen Pie
When you're ready to reheat your frozen pie, you must unwrap the plastic and aluminum layering. Remove the frozen pie from the aluminium pan and place it on a baking sheet.
Pumpkin pies are just as delicious cold as they are warm. If you want to eat your pie cold, just de-freeze the pie on a baking sheet for approximately 2-3 days in the refrigerator, then eat.
If however, you prefer your pie warm, preheat the oven to 300 °F (149 °C) and then bake on a cookie sheet for approximately thirty minutes. Or you may check to see if your pie is warm enough throughout and the crust looks a nice golden brown.
You may also heat it in the microwave with a fifteen-minute interval in between, however this process may make your pie slightly soggy.
Pumpkin pies are the star feature of every fall season .
If you have holiday parties lined up at home, the chances are that you will have enough leftover pies to serve you well throughout the season.
Luckily, pumpkin pies freeze well, and you can reheat them in the oven. So here's to a pumpkin filled holiday –feasting season to you!