Thanksgiving feast isn’t complete without a generous slice of pumpkin pie topped with a dollop of whipped cream. But, preparations for holiday dinner can be laborious and stressful.
You might be thinking of baking several dishes in advance to put your mind at ease. So, can you bake a pumpkin pie and freeze it for later? Can store-bought pumpkin pie be frozen?
A short answer, yes you can freeze this Thanksgiving staple before and after baking. However, each method has its pros and cons.
Keep reading to find useful tips to freeze this scrumptious dessert.
The Best Way To Freeze Pumpkin Pie: Baked or Unbaked?
Freezing is the ultimate way to preserve food, no matter if it’s a leftover or make-ahead dish.
Thanks to its creamy custard filling, pumpkin pie is a perfect candidate for freezing. The filling is high in fat content, enabling the dessert to hold up cold temperature pretty well.
The next question is which freezing method works better – before or after baking?
According to Michigan State University, freezing pumpkin pie before baking results in better texture and quality. If you freeze this holiday pie after baking, the filling might separate, and the crust tends to get a little bit soggy.
To conclude, you can freeze pumpkin pie either before or after baking. You can make the dessert in advance to avoid hassle on the big day or salvage leftovers.
In the section below, we have tips for minimizing the risks of having a soggy crust.
How To Freeze Baked Pumpkin Pie
Freezing baked pumpkin pie means that you have finished a task that otherwise you need to do later on the big day.
Like freezing other pies and cakes, giving full protection against freezer burn is the most crucial step to ensure that the dessert won’t lose its texture and flavor.
Here is our simple guide to freezing pumpkin pie after baking.
- 1. Prepare and bake it as usual according to your family recipe.
- 2. Let it cool quickly or for a maximum of two hours.
- 3. Wrap the pie completely and tightly in two to three layers of plastic wrap. Add additional layers of aluminum foil for extra protection against freezer burn.
- 4. Write the name and the freezing date. Labeling is extremely helpful if you freeze multiple baked goods simultaneously.
- 5. Pop the packages into the freezer.
How To Freeze Unbaked Pumpkin Pie
For a better result, prepare the pie crust and filling in advance, freeze, and bake later. Follow our instructions below to freeze unbaked pie successfully.
- 1. Prepare the crust and filling as usual according to your favorite recipe.
- 2. Let them cool before assembling.
- 3. Use a metal or a disposable dish. Glass or Pyrex dishes are more not recommended because they can shatter due to extreme temperature change when the pie is transferred from the freezer straight to the oven for baking.
- 4. Pour the filling into the chilled crust.
- 5. Wrap the pie in two-three layers of plastic wrap and package it in a zip lock bag for extra protection.
- 6. Label with the freezing date and instructions on how to bake it.
- 7. Transfer the package to the freezer. Keep it level, and don’t stack other items on top of it.
How To Freeze Pumpkin Pie Filling
Sometimes we prepare much more than we need for a recipe. Luckily, you can preserve unused portions of pumpkin pie filling for future baking—no need to worry. Follow the instructions below.
- Pack the filling in a freezer-safe bag. If you don’t plan to use it all at once, portion it out into several packs. Each one should be enough for each baking session.
- Flatten the bag and suck out the excess air.
- Seal it tightly and write the freezing date.
- Pop the package into the freezer.
When it’s time to bake, transfer frozen filling to the refrigerator at least a few hours or a day before baking. Let it thaw completely before pouring it into the pie shell. You might add extra pumpkin pie spice to enhance the flavor because some frozen foods lose a little bit of its original flavors.
How Do You Defrost and Bake Frozen Pumpkin Pie?
For frozen, baked pie, place it in the refrigerator overnight or the day before you want to serve it. Don’t thaw it at room temperature. It is unsafe and makes the crust soggy.
Shortly before serving, leave it on the kitchen counter to reach room temperature. Add a generous amount of whipped cream or frosting to your liking.
For frozen, unbaked pie, you can bake it straight away, and no need to thaw. Remove the wrapping and bake it in the oven at 400 °F for 10 min. Reduce the temperature to 325 °F to finish baking. (*)
How Long Can You Freeze Pumpkin Pie?
Freezing baked pumpkin pie allows you to enjoy this holiday dessert for up to four weeks. Of course, it is possible to enjoy it beyond this time frame. However, it might be less tasty due to changes in texture and flavor.
The unbaked one freezes wonderfully up to 4 to 5 weeks. Make this Thanksgiving staple in advance and bake it before the big day for a less stressful holiday.
|Unbaked||4 to 5 weeks|
No. This holiday pie has a custard-based filling typically made with egg, milk, and heavy cream. These ingredients make the dessert perishable. If you leave it at room temperature, it will spoil quickly. The USDA recommends refrigerating leftover pie no longer than 2 hours after cooking to maintain food safety.
Commercially-prepared pie usually contains shelf-stable ingredients such as preservatives to prevent spoilage when the product is stored and displayed at room temperature. (*)
Yes, pecan pie freezes wonderfully, whether baked or unbaked. Simply make it according to your favorite recipe, wrap tightly, and freeze for up to 3 months. You can bake it right away when frozen and add 15 to 30 minutes for baking time. Or, bake until the pie is fully cooked.
Pumpkin pie is a delicious dessert to end any festive dinners. If you are afraid of having no time to bake it on the big day, rest assured that you can make it ahead of time and freeze it for later.
Technically, you can freeze both baked and unbaked ones. If you want to impress guests, freezing unbaked pie results in better quality in terms of texture. A frozen, baked pie tends to become a bit watery and soggy after freezing and reheating.
Also check our guides on how to freeze apple pie, and pecan pie.
*image by Switch-84&studioM/depositphotos