Savvy hosts know the worth of planning prematurely, particularly in the course of the vacation season. Take it from Brendan Smith, govt chef for Constellation Culinary Group. As knowledgeable caterer, Smith isn’t any stranger to cooking for a crowd—even his household gatherings can embrace greater than 50 folks. “Getting stuff accomplished forward of time is important for having an excellent vacation dinner,“ says Smith, important for making certain every little thing is able to be served on the identical time.
Thankfully, pumpkin pie (very like its twin, candy potato pie, and their nutty counterpart, pecan pie) is considered one of many Thanksgiving desserts that take nicely to freezing, partly as a result of high-fat content material in each the crust and the filling, which slows the formation of ice crystals. (This goes for each store-bought and selfmade pumpkin pie.) In fact, a pie contemporary out of the oven (and barely cooled) shall be technically greatest, however freezing pumpkin pie is unquestionably doable—so long as it’s accomplished with care.
The secret is to stop crystallization. Any ice crystals that type in your pie will soften when thawed, creating sogginess and compromising the flavour and texture of your dessert.
In line with Smith, this implies cooling the baked pie fully earlier than transferring it to the freezer and minimizing the time it takes to freeze. He stresses it is best to do all you’ll be able to to maintain your freezer door closed whereas the pumpkin pie freezes. JB Royer, proprietor of Royers Prime Spherical Café in Spherical Prime, Texas, with spouse Jamie-Len, agrees. Their enterprise has been freezing and delivery pies for 35 years—usually about 10,000 in November and December alone.
Snag step-by-step suggestions from these execs—then go forward and make your pumpkin pie now for a head begin to Thanksgiving.
The best way to freeze pumpkin pie:
1. Bake it in a disposable aluminum pan.
Because it’s a lot thinner than a ceramic or nonstick pie dish, a disposable aluminum pie pan lets your pie settle down and freeze sooner after baking, serving to stop ice crystals. Don’t fear about aesthetics—you’ll be able to all the time switch your dessert to a guest-worthy vessel earlier than serving.
In case your pumpkin pie recipe requires a glass or ceramic pie plate, set the aluminum tin into the suitable dish to take care of correct cooking process. In case your recipe requires steel, putting the disposable pan on a rimmed baking sheet shall be ample.
2. Cool the pie fully.
When you pull your pumpkin pie from the oven, set it on a wire rack and stroll away. Be affected person; cooling a pumpkin pie can take as much as three hours. The step permits steam to flee earlier than you cowl it and switch it to the freezer. Trapped condensation would render a wrapped pie soggy and result in icy spots that will wreak havoc in your pie’s taste and texture. When the underside of the pan now not feels heat to the contact, you’ll be able to proceed.
3. Defend your pie.
As soon as your pumpkin pie is completely cooled, wrap it throughout, together with the tin, with at the least three layers of plastic wrap. Wrap tightly to reduce any trapped air, taking care to not mar the highest of the pie. Royer makes use of shrink wrap when delivery, however that may be impractical for somebody freezing a few pumpkin pies at residence. As an alternative, comply with the plastic with a layer of aluminum foil or an hermetic container, like a resealable freezer bag, for further precaution. Not solely will this battle freezer burn, however it should additionally maintain ambient freezer smells from penetrating your pie. Saved nicely, a pumpkin pie can sit within the freezer for as much as 3 months.
Two suggestions for completely thawed pumpkin pie:
Thaw your pie slowly.
The day earlier than serving, take away any wrappings and let the frozen pumpkin pie thaw within the fridge, uncovered, for 12 to 24 hours. Don’t attempt to rush issues by defrosting your pie at room temperature, which might improve the chance of a soggy crust. The extra gradual the thawing course of, the higher.
End it with warmth.
You could possibly merely set the thawed pie out at room temperature for 1–2 hours earlier than serving, but it surely’ll be higher with somewhat warmth. A microwave works nice for reheating a single slice (warmth on excessive for 10-second intervals till simply warmed via).
When reheating a complete pie, Royer recommends putting it within the oven at a low temperature for about half-hour to render the filling “warm and gooey.” The strategy advantages the pie crust, too, drying out extra moisture and recrisping these flaky layers. Right here’s his rule of thumb for a seamless end: “Just before you sit down to eat, set the oven to 225° and slide in the room-temperature pie.” When it’s time for dessert, your good pumpkin pie shall be ready.