Holidays are meant to be enjoyed with foods that take us back to simpler times, such as good ol’ pecan pie! Whether homemade or store-bought, nothing beats a good slice of pecan pie! But what if you have leftovers? Can you freeze pecan pie?
Why Should You Freeze Pecan Pie?
Pecan pie can be frozen although it will be tricky to do so. For one thing, the pie has an egg-based filling, which is sensitive to freezing temperature. Freezing is not the best storage method for pecan pie but it is better than letting the pie sit at room temperature for hours on end.
Pecan pie makes a wonderful make-ahead dessert. Making the pie ahead of time and freezing it for later will save you more time. This works great if you’re pressed for time hosting a party or an intimate get-together. With servings of pecan pie in the freezer, you can make yourself a delicious snack, any time of the day.
Image used under Creative Commons from Stuart Mudie
How to Freeze Pecan Pie?
How you prep the pie for freezing will depend on several factors such as the state of the baked goods prior to freezing. Here are ways to freeze pecan pie:
Homemade Pecan Pie
Homemade pecan pie does not contain artificial preservatives so its shelf life is shorter than store-bought pies. When freezing homemade pecan pie, or any pie for that matter, you should always prep the crust the right way. If not, the crust could turn soggy once the pie has been defrosted and reheated!
Prepare the pie as you normally would. After baking, leave the pie to cool completely on a cooling rack before prepping for freezing. Wrap the pie tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Make sure the pie is covered completely to prevent freezer burns. Write the storage date on the label then stick the pie in the freezer.
Store-Bought Pecan Pie
Generally, store-bought pecan pie has a longer shelf life compared to its homemade counterparts so you can chill the pie in the fridge. But if you want to store the pie in the freezer, you have to wrap the product tightly using aluminum foil. Then, place the wrapped pie in a resealable plastic bag to protect it from freezer burns. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.
Freezing Tips and Tricks
Freeze the pie immediately after cooling
If you made more pies than you can handle and you know that you will store some of it in the freezer, do not leave the pies sitting at room temperature for too long. Egg-based fillings tend to go bad much more quickly at room temperature. The chances of bacterial growth and contamination are high if you leave the pies unattended for hours. Our advice is to prepare the pies for freezing the second they cooled down completely after baking.
Exclude the toppings
A slice of pecan pie isn’t complete without a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. If you’re freezing the pie, exclude these topping. Dairy products do not freeze well. In addition, ice cream and whipped cream could cause soggy crust after defrosting. Add the vanilla ice cream or whipped cream only when you’re ready to serve.
Opt for premade filling
This tip involves making and baking the crust in advance, then freezing it first. Then, create the filling a day before serving the pie and leave it to chill in the fridge. Thaw the pie crust completely, pour the pre-made filling and bake. It takes more effort to freezing pecan pie this way but here us out: if you really want to retain the quality of the pie after thawing, this is the best option.
Image used under Creative Commons from Pete Markham
What Happens When You Freeze Pecan Pie?
This depends on how you prepped the pie prior to freezing. Assuming that you prepped the pie properly, reheating won’t cause the crust to turn soggy. The filling won’t take on an odd texture or flavor.
On the other hand, if the crust is still moist after baking or the filling seeped through the crust prior to freezing, there is a good chance that the crust will become soggy after thawing. This cannot be corrected.
Once the pie has been frozen and thawed, you cannot refreeze the product. Refreezing and defrosting the pie a second time will cause the ingredients to degrade. There will be noticeable changes in the texture and flavor too.
Shelf Life and Thawing Suggestions
Frozen pecan pie will keep for two months or more in the freezer. However, we don’t recommend waiting this long before consuming the pie to minimize any flavor or texture changes. To thaw frozen pecan pie, just transfer the pie to the fridge. Leave the pie to thaw completely before reheating.
How to Tell if Pecan Pie has Gone Bad?
At a glance, you can tell if the pie is no longer safe to eat. If it looks off or overly mushy, it may have gone bad. Check for any off-smelling aroma or the appearance of mold. If it starts smelling funky or you’re seeing the presence of mold, discard the pie.
Pecan pie makes a delightful finish to any meal. But can you freeze pecan pie? As long as you followed the tips we’ve outlined in this guide, there is no reason why you shouldn’t store the pie in the freezer.