Tag: desserts

Bread & Baked Goods

Can You Freeze Lemon Meringue Pie?

A sweet finish to a lovely meal is always welcome especially if it’s a generous slice of lemon meringue pie! And making a meringue pie is by no means a walk in the park! So what if you have leftovers? Can you freeze lemon meringue pie?

As you know, meringue is made from whipped egg whites. Since egg whites are sensitive to freezing temperatures, they do not hold up well in the freezer. In addition, the meringue could turn rubbery or crusty once it’s been frozen and thawed. In some cases, the meringue becomes too soggy when defrosted.

That being said, it is possible to freeze a lemon meringue pie. As long as you’re okay with the possible changes in the meringue’s texture or flavor, you can prep leftover pies for freezing. We do recommend making and adding the meringue to the pie only when you are ready to serve.

Image used under Creative Commons from jules

Different Types of Meringues

Italian Meringue

This type of meringue is made by beating hot sugar syrup into beaten egg whites gradually. It’s the most popular meringue variant and is often used as frostings for cakes and pies.

Swiss Meringue

This meringue is made by simmering dissolved sugar and egg whites together and then beating the mixture in an electric mixer. Swiss meringue is often used as a base for buttercream frosting.

French Meringue

This type of meringue is made by adding ultrafine sugar to uncooked egg whites gradually. Then, the mixture is beaten until it forms stiff, shiny peaks. French meringue has a characteristically crisp and light texture.

TIP: Meringue is often baked or cooked. Italian and Swiss meringue are cooked while French meringue is baked.

How to Make Lemon Meringue Pie

Baking Tips

Avoiding Meringue “Weeping”

The meringue topping tends to “weep” when the pie is left standing in a humid room for too long. You can avoid weeping by cooking the meringue before it is added to the pie. In addition, cover the filling completely so the meringue won’t shrink.

Refrigeration could also cause even the most stable meringue to weep. You can avoid this by serving the pie immediately or leaving the pie to stand in a draft-free spot before serving. If a pie is left untouched for a few hours, prep it for refrigeration or freezing.

Sometimes meringue weeping is caused by the improper sugar syrup temperature. You have to boil the sugar syrup to a soft ball stage (120c or 248F) before being added to the egg whites. The egg whites should be beaten to stiff peaks prior to the addition of the syrup.

Keep the Lemon Filling Hot

Always keep the lemon filling hot before spreading the meringue over. If the lemon filling cools completely, it creates a melty layer between itself and the meringue, causing the meringue to sweat.

Tart Filling

Love a sharp-tasting lemon filling? Try adding the lemon juice just as the curd filling cooks so the flavor remains fresh and tart! It also helps to reduce the contact with the cooking starch because this thickening agent tames the acidity of the lemon juice.

Image used under Creative Commons from jules

How to Freeze Lemon Meringue Pie

Freezing Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie

If you’re making the meringue pie from scratch, leave the lemon custard filling to cool completely prior to freezing. Do not add the meringue topping just yet, do this only when you are ready to serve. If you don’t give the pie enough time to cool, the pie could turn soggy.

Once the pie has cooled completely, place it in a baking dish and stick in the freezer. Leave the pie to freeze for at least 2 hours, no cover needed. When the pie is frozen stiff, take it out of the freezer and wrap it in several layers of cling wrap. Leave no spot uncovered to prevent freezer burns. After wrapping the pie in cling wrap, place it in a heavy-duty freezer bag. Write the storage date, seal, and stick in the freezer.

Freezing Leftovers or Pre-made Lemon Meringue Pie

For leftovers or pre-made meringue pie, make sure the pie has cooled completely prior to freezing. Cut the leftovers into serving portions and place them in a freezer-safe plate. Stick the pieces of meringue pie in the freezer until they are frozen stiff (about 2 hours of freezing). Once the meringue pie pieces are frozen solid, take the plate out of the freezer and place the pie pieces in a heavy-duty freezer bag. Write the storage date, seal, and stick in the freezer.

Shelf Life and Thawing Suggestions

When frozen, lemon meringue pie will keep for 3 to 4 months. However, consume the pie as soon as possible for optimal flavor.

When it comes to thawing the frozen meringue pie, just transfer a portion of the pie to the fridge. Leave the pie to thaw for several hours to overnight then serve. No need to reheat the pie, it’s ready to eat as soon as it is thawed.

Leave no leftovers because refreezing is not recommended for thawed lemon meringue pie.

Summary

Baking a lemon meringue pie as a make-ahead dessert? Can you freeze lemon meringue pie? Although freezing is not a recommended storage option for lemon meringue pie, it’s great to know that it can be done with little to no changes in flavor. Just keep all the tips we’ve outlined above to extend the shelf life of lemon meringue pie!

Dessert

Can You Freeze Rice Pudding?

Rice pudding is a satisfying and healthy dish made using milk and white rice. Enjoyed as a dessert or as a side dish, rice pudding is the perfect snack for kids and kids at heart alike! But how long will rice pudding keep? Can you freeze rice pudding?

Milk and rice are quite sensitive to temperature changes so flavor and texture changes are likely when you freeze the pudding. Still, rice pudding keeps surprisingly well in the freezer so no need to worry if you made a large batch. However, if you’d like to maximize the shelf life of the pudding prior to freezing, we’ll be sharing a couple of storage tips later in this post!

Easy Homemade Rice Pudding

Using the freshest ingredients is key to prolonging the shelf life of rice pudding. Here is a simple rice pudding recipe to get you started.

You will need:

1-quart whole milk
1 cup short-grain or long-grain white rice
6 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more as needed
A pinch salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
Chopped nuts, dried or fresh fruits, nutmeg or cinnamon and other toppings

Instruction

Heat a medium saucepan then pour the milk, rice, and sugar. Bring the ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat then season with salt. Stir the mixture well until the sugar has dissolved completely.

After bringing the mixture to a boil, lower the heat to a bare simmer. Leave the saucepan uncovered as you simmer the mixture for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the white rice is nice and tender.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the vanilla or almond extract then add more sugar or salt when needed. Place a ladleful or two in a bowl, add your favorite toppings, and enjoy!

Image used under Creative Commons from Brad Greenlee

How to Freeze Rice Pudding?

Now to prep the rice pudding for freezing, wait until the dish has cooled completely to room temperature. Once the rice pudding has cooled completely, pour the dish into a freezer-safe container with an airtight lid. Leave about two inches of space so the pudding has room to expand while it freezes. Cover the container with cling wrap before sealing with the airtight lid. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

If you are pressed for time, you can accelerate the cooling process by giving the sealed container an ice bath. Just pour the still-warm rice pudding into a freezer-safe container with an airtight lid then cover with cling wrap. Close the airtight lid then submerge the container in ice water. Leave to cool for at least 20 minutes before storing in the freezer. Never re-freeze the thawed rice pudding.

Freezing Tips

Milk Substitutes

Traditionally, rice pudding is made using whole milk. Since whole milk has a short shelf life, freezing the dish for long-term may affect its flavor and texture. To minimize the flavor or texture changes, consider using other milk substitutes such as evaporated milk, coconut milk, or sweetened condensed milk. These milk substitutes may alter the cooking times of the dish so make the necessary adjustments in the recipe.

Type of White Rice

The texture of the rice pudding will also depend on the type of white rice you used for the dish. Short grain white rice yields a more watery consistency while long grain rice makes for a denser, slightly drier pudding.

Exclude the Toppings

If you have leftover rice pudding, do not add the toppings as you prep the dish for freezing because these ingredients will turn bad much more quickly than the rice pudding. Just freeze the toppings in a different container and when you’re ready to serve, sprinkle the thawed toppings over the defrosted rice pudding.

Exclude the Milk

Since milk goes bad quickly, it is possible to prepare the pudding without it to extend its shelf life. Just prepare the rice pudding as you normally would but replace the milk with plain water. Prep the cooled rice pudding for freezing. Once you are ready to serve, reheat the rice pudding on the stove, gradually stirring in the milk until smooth and thick.

Divide into Serving Portions

Want to make thawing frozen rice pudding less of a hassle? Try dividing the leftover rice pudding into serving portions so you don’t have to defrost an entire tub of the dish. Remember, you cannot re-freeze the thawed rice pudding!

Prepare several packets of resealable plastic bags. Pour the cooled rice pudding into each of the resealable plastic bags, making sure to leave a couple of inches of space to let the pudding expand as it freezes. Seal then write the storage date. Store flat in the freezer.

Whenever you are craving for a soothing bowl of rice pudding, take a couple of bags of frozen rice pudding then thaw before reheating!

Image used under Creative Commons from Bex Walton

Shelf Life, Thawing and Reheating Suggestions

Frozen homemade rice pudding will keep in the freezer for at least 3 months. However, we don’t recommend waiting this long before consuming your supply. You have to finish the rice pudding as soon as possible for optimal flavor and texture.

To thaw the rice pudding, just transfer the frozen dish to the fridge. Leave the frozen rice pudding to thaw overnight. Once the rice pudding has thawed completely, it’s ready for reheating unless you enjoy the pudding cold. Never defrost the rice pudding at room temperature. The pudding will go bad much more quickly if thawed this way.

To reheat the pudding, just simmer the dish over low heat in a saucepan. Pour the dish into a bowl, add a handful of toppings and enjoy! You can also reheat the rice pudding in the microwave. Just make sure to place a cup of water before reheating the pudding so it won’t dry up.

Summary

Who knew freezing rice pudding is this easy? Keep our freezing tips in mind if you want to extend the shelf life of the pudding and minimize texture or flavor changes!

Dessert

Can You Freeze Pecan Pie?

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.

Summary

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.

Bread & Baked Goods

Can You Freeze Apple Pie?

No special occasion is complete without a helping of apple pie! As a quintessentially American dessert, apple pie is universally loved for its delicious mix of cinnamon and juicy apples. There’s just something magical about this delectable combination! But can you freeze apple pie for later?

Even better, you don’t have to make an apple pie from scratch. You can buy pre-made mixes and enjoy apple pie right at home. Of course, if you’re a purist, you can bake homemade apple pie using fresh ingredients. The recipe is pretty basic so you can have a pie ready within a couple of hours! You can also tweak the recipe to play up the flavors and come up with your distinct version of this well-loved dessert.

Image used under Creative Commons from Kanko*

Whichever way you choose to bake this dessert, storing them is just as important to avoid spoilage; this goes especially if your apple pie filling is on the watery side. Yes, you can freeze apple pie, regardless if it’s baked or unbaked! And whether or not you are freezing baked or unbaked pie, you want to use a container with a tight seal to prevent bacteria growth! Below is our simple guide on how can you freeze apple pie:

How to Freeze Apple Pie?

Freezing Unbaked Apple Pie

Keeping unbaked apple pie is a great idea because you want to store a nice treat for the kids or unexpected guests. Unbaked apple pie is best kept in the freezer, where it can last for up to 4 months! Before you freeze the apple pie, cover the entire container with either plastic wrap or aluminum foil, making sure that the pie is covered entirely and tightly. Now, chuck the pie in the freezer and you’re done.

Freezing Baked Apple Pie

Got apple pie leftovers? You can freeze apple pie and enjoy your favorite dessert without affecting its taste at all. For leftovers, just wrap the pie with tinfoil or plastic wrap and keep it in the freezer. When stored properly, leftover apple pie will keep up to 3 to 4 months.

How to Defrost Frozen Apple Pie?

The great thing about keeping frozen apple pie is that you can thaw and bake it straight into the oven. That goes for both baked and unbaked apple pie! You don’t want to leave the frozen pie sitting at room temperature for long to thaw because the moisture can cause the crust to go soggy. Worse, letting the pie sit in room temps may lead to spoilage so don’t waste time.

If you’re ready to thaw and bake your frozen, unbaked apple pie, just piece two to three holes in the upper crust and stick it in the oven for 20 minutes max at 450˚ F. Finally, reduce the heat to 375˚F until the crust is nice and brown.

On the other hand, if you’re defrosting a baked pie, just chuck it in the oven and re-heat to 350˚ F until warm.

Image used under Creative Commons from Brad Greenlee

Summary

The freshness of the ingredients matters the most because bruised apples tend to speed up bacteria growth, which may lead to a rancid pie in a matter of hours. If you’re baking from scratch, always choose crisp, un-bruised and fully ripe apples.

While you can always leave baked apple pie at room temperature, do not exceed beyond three days or the pie will turn moldy. Apple pie left in the refrigerator won’t keep as long as when it is stored in the freezer. When you store your apple pie in the refrigerator, it will only add 2 to 3 days to the dessert’s shelf life.

Now that you know how to properly freeze your apple pie, you can store as many pies as you like in the fridge and whip one up for dessert!