Anyone have any experience freezing a pie to bake later?

Discussion in 'Pastry' started by dlawyer, May 23, 2019.

  1. dlawyer

    dlawyer Member

    Nov 5, 2018
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    Boise, ID
    I've never frozen a pie for baking later and would like to know anyone's experience (and equipment used) when doing this? Can a pie be made, wrapped up and put in a residential freezer to freeze it? Or do you need something more elaborate (and expensive) like a BLAST FREEZER?
    dlawyer, May 23, 2019
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  2. dlawyer

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2017
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    Northern California
    Yes, I do it all the time. I freeze unbaked pies. Hand pies. Also pie crust. I tend to freeze hand pies and piecrust more often though because they take up less space. Around the holidays I’ll bake full-size pies in advance and freeze. Pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie can be baked and then frozen though I will not make and freeze. To me that’s sacrilegious. There’s just some pies that we must find the time to bake.

    There will be a slight change in the texture of the crust because the filling has moisture in it, and the crust will be in contact with that moisture until everything freezes.

    I don’t freeze for more than three months. I really don’t like to keep anything in my freezer more than three months

    To freeze a whole pie or hand pies, I place it unwrapped on a plate and place it in the freezer until it’s frozen. I then take it out, double wrap it in plastic and place it in a Ziploc freezer bag.

    When I freeze piecrust I cut the dough into 13” disks. I layer wax paper between the disks, then stack on a plate and freeze. I then make sure the wax paper isn’t stuck to the dough, then wrap the stack in plastic and place it in a freezer bag and back into the freezer.

    When I am ready to use the piecrust, I unwrap two disks. One I leave on the paper, the other I unwrap and place on top of the pie plate. As it thaws it pretty much sinks on its own into the pie plate. So I It’s pretty simple to fill it, top it with the second crust, egg wash and bake it.

    I used to keep a dozen sweet and savory and pies in my freezer at all times. A salad and a chicken pie or roasted vegetable pie makes a nice but effortless lunch for friends who stop by.

    When you bake pie preheat the oven for at least 25 minutes. Place the cookie sheet in the oven when you’re preheating it so that the cookie sheet is hot when you put the pie in the oven. Bake hot at least 400°F. Place the rack lower in the oven, not in the middle of the oven.

    For thickening fruit filling see Stella Parks article on thickening blueberry pie filling. The method and ratios she uses works on all fruit with the high water content. This is the only method I have ever used that works every single time.

    That this was a frozen mini chicken pot pie. The crest is nice, but it does lose the puffy pasty quality that my dough normally has.

    This is how my pie dough bakes without freezing. You can see it has more puff pastry look to it.

    This is a cherry pie made using Stella Parks thickening method. The tapioca starch stays clear and doesn’t leave a taste like flour and isn’t gooey like cornstarch.


    Stella Parks’ article
    Norcalbaker59, May 24, 2019
    Becky and Angie CupcakeQueen like this.
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  3. dlawyer

    J13 Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2019
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    I've frozen hand pies. Which is an awesome thing to do, as you can make a dozen or so (unlike a complete pie they don't take up that much room in the freezer and are easy to stack). You make up a bunch at once (don't forget to add little slits to release steam). Lay them out flat on parchment paper or non-stick foil on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, wrap each in foil and put, stacked, into a big freezer bag. As recommended, I would use within 3 months.

    What's especially good to do here is to make savory hand pies from left-overs that work in a crust, like chicken curry or beef stew. Use a crust that is a tad more robust then what you'd use for a sweet pie, so it'll go with the savory filling (like a pot pie crust) and won't crumble when being held in hand. Freeze and store. Unwrap as many as you want when you want them, brush with cream or an egg wash if desired, then bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet@350° 25-30 minutes. Serve up warm for afternoon tea, or let cool on a wire rack, then put them in a lunch box. So much better than a sandwich. :cool:
    J13, Jun 6, 2019
    Norcalbaker59 likes this.
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