I have no idea where the saying “easier than pie” comes from, because pie is labor intensive. Everyone wants homemade pies, and more than one kind, for the holidays. Yes, you can make them a couple days ahead of time, but it’s still one more thing to do during the holiday rush. The solution is making pies a month or two in advance, and freezing.
My trick is, freezing the pie crust in the shell before filling. I do this with custard and fruit pies. Freezing the shell first prevents the shell from becoming soggy. I always freeze my pies uncovered before wrapping them up with tin foil. With custard pies, you bake, cool, wrap up, and freeze. With fruit pies, you freeze unbaked.
Can you really freeze pumpkin pie? I’ve read a lot of nay-saying about this, but it always works for me. Custard pies are fussy, so it could depend on the recipe I suppose. My recipe does well with freezing, and, it’s the best pumpkin pie ever. A day before the big meal, I defrost in the fridge.
With pumpkin pie, I would make just a month in advance, but with fruit pies, I make up to four months in advance. During the fall, I always make a few apple pies for the freezer. I had leftover frozen cranberries from last year, so I made an apple cranberry pie for Thanksgiving in September. One down. I’ll make two pumpkin pies for the freezer this week.
When I go to bake my fruit pie, I will put it in the oven, frozen, and bake at 375. It usually takes my frozen pies about 30 more minutes to bake. Baking releases juices, so cool before slicing. Don’t just freeze pies for the holidays – – this is a great way in general to use fruit when it goes on sale. You don’t need a holiday to give your family pie. Every day is a special day when your family is together!
Are you feeling less stressed about the holidays with ideas from this Make Ahead Holiday series? I know working in advance has made things easier for me. Do you have any suggestions for making the holiday easier? If so, please post your tips on Preserved Home’s Facebook page.