Saturday, November 8, 2008

Freezing Fruit Pies

Today I have designated as a "day in the kitchen" for me. I have a surplus of apples that need to be tended to, as well as pears, and the last of the zucchini from my garden. I will be making a lot of applesauce to can, and pies to put in the freezer. Freezing the fruit pies is wonderful because then we can have apple pies for several months to come. How fun is it to plan a spur-of-the-moment apple pie for dessert without having to dirty up your kitchen with all of the preparations usually necessary.

I prepare the pies in the usual manner with a bottom and top crust. If your pies are typically juicy, then you can also add an additional tablespoon of thickener when you put it together. If you are going to freeze the pie, then it is best not to cut a vent in the top of it at this time. However, any observant readers will note that I actually did cut a vent in the picture of my "Apple Pie Number 2" that I posted before I froze it. I just did it out of habit, but don't think it will really make that much of a difference when it comes right down to it. Anyway, you should wrap the pie well, label it, and pop it in the freezer. I actually just pop it directly into a large freezer bag and make sure I get all of the air out of it. 2 gallon plastic storage bags are available at the grocery store in which a pie plate will fit nicely. I also label the baggie with the baking temperature and time since I could never keep track of which recipe was used in which pie. This way I don't have to hunt down the recipe at baking time, it's all right there on the bag.

When the opportunity arises to bake your pie, preheat the oven, unwrap the pie, place it on a cookie sheet, and cut vents in the top crust. Bake the unthawed pie just adding about 15 to 20 minutes to the recommended baking time. I personally have a problem with the edges of my pies getting too brown, so I purchased a couple of round pie shields that I just set right over the edges of my pie while it bakes. You can also use foil around the edges of your pie as well.

If you don't have extra pie plates to fill and freeze, you can also prepare the filling for a pie and put the filling in the freezer. When you are ready to use it, take it out of the freezer while you make the crust, put the filling directly in the crust, and continue as your recipe directs you.

I did mention that this is to be a day in the kitchen for me. I think I had better get busy on making pies myself.

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