Ken--Meat Pies, Freezer Flo

dgkritch(Z8 OR)July 19, 2007

Ken,

You mentioned making meat pies for the freezer on the "What Have you Put Up thread..........

Can I pick your brain? Bejay talked about this too on another thread.

Do you bake the pies before freezing?

Do you slightly bake the pastry before filling to keep from getting soggy?

How long does it take to thaw/bake from a frozen state?

Where did you find Freezer Flo? Kitchen Krafts??

Is it a timesaver preparing meals or just a great way to use produce/meat that needs using?

Would it be just as fast to freeze individual components and make the pie up when ready to cook?

OK, enough for now....... (smile).

TIA,

Deanna

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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

OK.. Here goes.. The Ingredients Store was where I got the Freezer Flo. According to National Starch, that formula works best for thickening a freezing product. I make a simple pie crust recipe (quite large) and roll out dough for the bottoms of the Au Grautin foil pans. They are steep sided, so you need a bit of care to position the crusts in them. Trim off all extra at the edges to the foil rim. The filling is made of cooked chicken or turkey, some fresh carrot slices and frozen veggies (like peas, limas, and corn which are OK to refreeze). I also add cut up partially cooked potatoes. The sauce is usually made from the skins, fat, wing tips and bones of the bird. Its seasoned with a bit of rosemary and sage. These herbs and solids are removed and then the starch is added to thicken the flavored and seasoned stock . The 'gravy' is poured into a big bowl with all the other ingredients and is mixed. I apply a small amount of margerine (my favorite is I can't Believe its Not Butter) to the bottoim inside crust (still raw). This helps to reduce soggy bottom crusts. The meat mixture is spooned into the pie shells. Its thick and chunky with just a light coating of the gravy/sauce. I roll out top crusts and place them on the filled pies, trim, and press around the edges with a fork to seal. The top center gets a small hole cut into the dough. They are packed in 8 inch wide Food Saver bags and a vacuum is pulled, and then sealed. The 8 inch wide bag material is quite snug, so use care in puttng in the pies. They are then frozen for as long as you like. If you want a quick bake, take it out of the freezer about 2 days before baking, which will be less than an hour usually at about 400 degrees. If its still frozen, I bake at 425 and cover the top to prevent burning. I do it in my little toaster oven and the top just browns too quickly without e foil on top. After an hour, you can check it for bubbling, as well as remove the foil off the top, so it will brown. If its not bubbling yet at the hour, let it stay in there a bit longer before you take off the foil. My toaster oven has an enamaled baking pan that the pie is on. In the regular oven, have it on a metal cookie sheet or larger flat pan. What you end up with is a frozen pot pie like you see in stores, only yours actaually have MEAT in them, instead of traces of rubber boots that were on the chickens.. A store bought pot pie usually takes an hour or more to bake, depending on if its frozen solid or thawed, or sold as fresh raw.

Here is a link that might be useful: Freezer Flo

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 5:30PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Deanna, I just wanted to mention I freeze lots of pies unbaked. Generally I do just what Ken does, except that I don't cut holes in the top until just before baking. I put the formed pie/pies on a sheet, freeze solid, then wrap/seal.

I really think that the freezing process makes the crusts more tender.

Carol

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 7:07PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

It is the Freezer Flow that I am wondering about.

Somewhere I read that rice flour worked well as a starch for freezing without changing it's character - could this be the same product with a commercial name?

Bejay

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 8:35PM
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jimrbto(Sunset Z11 CA)

Bejay,
I have some Freezer Flow on hand now and the package states that it is "modified corn starch". It can be purchased from:
www.theingredientstore.com I use it to make shepherd pies for my son at college. Works great and the sauce doesn't "break" when thawed and heated up.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 11:02PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

jimrbto -

Will definitely make a note of the "theingredientstore" for future reference.

My last pies had "thickening" problems, which is the reason I was looking for an alternative to the usual flour/corn starch thickeners. They were fine otherwise.

Bejay

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 10:04AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

The link I provided above offers the Freezer Flow brand name product. Rice flour seemed to soak up all the moisture before it was even heated, and I wasn't happy about its mealy texture. I cook the sauce/gravy prior to freezing. There are several types of 'modified' food starch. Some types are for just instant, cooking, high acid foods, freezing, ice reduction in frozen dairy, and several others.. The reason I cut that small round hole in the tops is for venting. Its a bit hard to cut into a frozen solid 'brick' when you need to get a hole in the crust to allow steam to escape.

Here is a link that might be useful: National Starch

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 10:10AM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

Cool.
Thanks for all the advice!
I will have to try some of these!
I'm a big advocate of cooking once, eating several times, but I like a lot of variety.

If I can cook a large piece of meat, then make a bunch of different meals out of it to be eaten later, that's a good thing!

Deanna.......going to check out Freezer Flo....

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 12:33PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I just cut slits. It works fine for me.

Carol

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 12:41PM
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