Fruit pies are best frozen uncooked and later baked in the oven for a longer period of time. Fill the pie crust with a fruit mix before freezing or freeze prepared fruit to add later to pastry just before baking. Advantages of cooking frozen fruit pies are the fillings take longer to cook while the pastry tends to a very flaky crust. The pie crust does not overcook as quickly when it is cooked from frozen, allowing for an even browning over a longer period of time.
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Preparing Frozen Fruit Pies
When preparing homemade fruit pies, increase the amount of flour in the fruit mix by 1 tbsp before freezing the pies. Do not cut steam vents into the pie crusts until ready for baking. Cover pie with a paper plate before wrapping the pie for freezing.
Bake uncooked homemade frozen pies within four months to ensure freshness. Bake store-bought uncooked frozen pies within two months if purchased before the "use by" date.
Baking Frozen Pies
Do not defrost a frozen pie before baking. Instead, cook a frozen pie in the oven at 218 degrees C for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 190 degrees C and cook uncovered until pie is done. On average, it will take a frozen pie approximately 20 minutes longer to cook than an unfrozen pie.
Reheating Cooked Pies from Frozen
It is not recommended to bake a previously cooked and frozen fruit pie. If you have to, thaw the cooked frozen pie at room temperature for several hours before crisping it in an oven for approximately 20 minutes.
Exceptions apply to some pies such as pecan and pumpkin pie, which must be cooked before the pies are frozen. Cheesecakes can be frozen after baking and then reheated. Never bake and freeze custard pies, cream pies or pies with meringue topping.
Frozen Pastry Tips
It is not recommended to thaw homemade or store-bought frozen pies in the microwave. Brush the bottom pie shell with egg white before filling pies for freezing. This prevents soggy pie crusts. Sprinkling the bottom of the shell with flour is another method to prevent soggy crusts.
Wrap pie crust edges with aluminium foil 30 minutes into the cooking time to prevent crust from browning too quickly. Cool hot pies over a rack to prevent the bottom layer of the pastry from becoming overly moist and soggy.
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