Thanksgiving Tips from The Kitchn

How I Freeze Unbaked Pies Now to Save Time on Thanksgiving

Image Credit: Kelli Foster

With just two weeks to go until Thanksgiving, I'm prepping everything — including the pies. I won't bake them until the day of the meal, but I'm preparing and storing the unbaked pies in the freezer until then.

Not only can this trick save you valuable time in the days leading up to the holiday, but your pie crust will be even better after spending time in the freezer.

Which Pies Are Best for Freezing?

To be fair, this trick doesn't work equally for all types of pie. Fruit pies — like apple and cherry — freeze extremely well. Custard pies like sweet potato or pumpkin pie can be frozen but need to be thawed slowly in the fridge to minimize weeping before reheating.

You can always prepare custard pies ahead in steps. Make and freeze the pie shell ahead, then making the filling the day of.

Two Easy Steps

After preparing your pie, wrap it so it's completely covered with three layers of plastic wrap. Then, either place the covered pie inside a large resealable bag, or wrap it with a layer of aluminum foil. Your pie is ready to go into the freezer.

Image Credit: Kelli Foster

Use the Right Pie Dish

Metal pie dishes are the safest choice for freezing pie. Certain ceramic pie dishes, like Emile Henry (which is pictured above), are also safe to go straight from the freezer to the oven.

Avoid using Pyrex and glass pie dishes. The temperature difference when transferring it from the freezer straight to the oven will very likely cause it to shatter. You have enough to worry about on Thanksgiving day, and you definitely don't want to deal with a mess in the oven.

Label Your Pie

I also like to label the pie. This is especially helpful when you're freezing multiple pies. I note the type of pie, date it was made, and baking instructions. The last thing you want to worry about when it comes time to pop your pie into the oven is dragging out a cookbook to check the baking instructions, or worse yet, scrambling to remember where the recipe came from. It's easier when it's right there in front of you, labeled on the pie.

Go Directly from Freezer to Oven!

There's no need to defrost your pie. Remove the foil and plastic wrap, transfer the pie directly to the oven, and bake away. One thing to note is that you'll need to bake your pie for an extra 20-45 minutes, depending on the size of the pie and the amount of filling.

Have you ever tried freezing your unbaked pies?

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