freezing apple pies?

marian-mSeptember 22, 2006

I'd like to freeze some ready-made apple pies for my husband. Do I need to bake these first or can I throw the raw pie into the freezer? Thanks!

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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

I've always baked mine.
I think the dough would get soggy if unbaked, but I haven't tried it, so may be wrong!!
I'm sure someone else will chime in here.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 12:46PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I freeze unbaked pies all the time and prefer the results even to fresh. Baking the pie from the frozen state seems to result in a more tender, flaky crust. I don't have any scientific basis for that, just my observation.

Right now I think I have 10 rhubarb pies, 3 peach pies and a raspberry-cherry stacked in the freezer. Oh, and two wild blackberry pies.

If you want to freeze your pies, make as usual but don't cut vents in the crust. I freeze then wrap to avoid damaging the crust. Wrap well. I double-wrap with freezer paper or foil (which can be re-used) then place in a bag.

When ready to bake, unwrap, cut vents and place in oven. I usually start out at about 375 but check for browning in 10-15 minutes and then lower the temp to about 325. Baking will take longer, an hour or more. I get the best results with long, slow baking.

I've had excellent results using ClearJel or other freezer-stable thickeners. Tapioca works pretty well too. I wasn't happy with a flour-thickened pie filling. It didn't hold up well for me.

Another option is to use cheap metal or foil pie plates, line with saran wrap and put in your apple filling. Freeze. Remove the disk, wrap and store. When ready to bake place in crust. The cheap pie plates are just slightly smaller than a regular pyrex, so this frozen filling will fit fine in a regular pastry-lined plate.

Again, baking will take longer, but the advantage of this method is it doesn't require as much space in the freezer. You can easily stack the disks.

I also sometimes make double batches of pie crust. I line up bowls on the counter and measure out 4-5 batches at a time (8-10 double-crust pies). I make the crust to the point where I cut in the fat. Everything's done but adding the liquid. I freeze this mixture in bags. Then, if I want to bake a fresh pie all I have to do is pull out a bag, thaw a bit, add liquid and I'm ready to roll, LOL.

Streusel can be made and frozen in the same way. If you have canned or frozen fruit filling, you can make a fruit crisp in no time.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 1:06PM
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Thanks Carol, This is alot of help. I have about 1/2 bu. of McIntosh apples that I really don't want to turn into sauce as they are my husband's favorites. I've already loaded up the fridge for fresh....
So, if I can figure out to print off the info, I'm in good shape. Let it be noted I can, but am computer-illiterate!!! Marian

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 2:54PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I forgot. When you bake the pie, put it on the lowest or second-lowest rack so it browns nicely on the bottom. I use the second-lowest.

P.S. You can select the information I entered, then copy (using file at the top of the page or right-clicking your mouse) and paste into a Word document. Then you can save the file on your computer. I do that all the time.

You can also save entire threads, but one thing at a time, LOL.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 3:02PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I make fresh meat pies for the freezer all the time. They are mostly made of chicken or turkey, vegetables and a gravey sauce. Before filling the shells, I spread some soft margerine on the inside bottom and sides of the shell. Then fill and cover with the top dough, and seal. I also cut a small vent hole in the top to allow for steam to escape. Have never had a soggy pie crust when making pies this way. It works well with fruit pies too, as well as making it and baking it fresh.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 5:08PM
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malonanddonna(z7 NC)

Right now I think I have 10 rhubarb pies, 3 peach pies and a raspberry-cherry stacked in the freezer. Oh, and two wild blackberry pies.

I think I'm in love.....

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 6:01PM
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sandy_s(z4 CO)

hi i freeze just the filling and add the crusts later, that way they don't get chipped or broken in the freezer. i turn a plastic bag inside out and put it in the pie pan; put the filling in it; freeze it; turn bag right side out with filling inside and stack them up without the pans. made 40+ last fall (apple, peach, apricot, pear etc.) they don't take up nearly so much room and can be used frozen as pies or thawed for other things. sandy

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 8:32PM
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trixietx(7a TX)

Thanks Carol, I make pecan and baked custard type pies and freeze after they have been cooked and cooled, but I have wandered about fruit pies.

I put up some apples for pies last week, now I wish I would have made the whole pie. I always make fried pies and don't cook them, but like you said freeze them and then bag and cook when needed.

We farm and I take lunch to the field during harvest and it sure does help to have some pies or cookies in the freezer that I can drag out when I am running behind, or fried pies that I drop in the deep fryer.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 9:14PM
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I think I'll have to try a few different methods. Raw, pie filling and pree-baked. I can decide this winter which way is going to work out best for me as far as time and getting them in the oven. Wish I had thought of doing this during blueberry season..not that's it's a big deal to get the blueberries out of the freezer. My husband will thank you all come January!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 11:57PM
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melva02(z7 VA)

I have canned apple slices in light syrup in quarts. It's just the right amount for a shallow apple crisp in an 8-inch square pan. If you use an apple pie filling recipe, you only need to add minimal stuff to the apple crisp.

Here is a link that might be useful: canning pie fillings

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 12:34AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

All these methods are helpful. Partly it's a function of how much freezer space you can spare.

I do have pie-fillings canned and freezer bags measured out with fruit for scratch pies. But when I'm pushed for time (DH comes in and says he needs dessert for the car club meeting.) it's wonderful to pull out a pie ready to go; all I have to do is bake.

Instant ClearJel is now my favorite thickener and I'm changing all my old pie recipes to use it. The one thing I have noticed is, for my taste, all the conversion charts call for way too much. I use a lot less ClearJel than they call for and am much happier with the result. I like a thickened juice, not a gummy gel.

Trixie, your comment reminded me our neighbor gets together the family and they do assembly-line pies in two sessions. One's for the apples they pick and the other's for pumpkin. They make big batches of pumpkin pies with their own pumpkin meat, bake, chill, freeze and vacuum-seal.


    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 3:07AM
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Okay, so here's another question.When you can apple slices in syrup, what prevents them from turning to mush during thr processing AND do they retain a nice texture and flavor?Is any type of apple more suited for doing this?
I've thought about canning apples before but haven't because of above question.Usually the apples get turned into sauce. Canning may be a good option for the Red Delicious apples that are just about ripe. I have no idea how we are possibly going to eat them all before they go bad.(Do plan on giving some away and cold storaging some as well.)
So, if you can answer my question OR you have some really great ideas using Red Delicious apples.....

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 9:10AM
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Marian, funny you should ask. Of course, a Red Delicious right off the tree is a completely different thing than one of those mushy, mealy Red Delicious I get at the store.

I canned Red Delicious in slices in light syrup last year. Dad has eaten them all as pancake topping. They retained both shape and some texture relatively well, although they did turn a bit brown, in spite of the Fruit Fresh I used.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 10:52AM
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Our tree has produced a mega-crop top quality apple this year. I'm so proud of hubby! And I agree with you. No apple in the world tastes as good as one straight from the orchard.
I'm wondering. Don't you ever use ascorbic acid instead of the Fruit Fresh on your fruit? I think it works so much better and is cheaper too.
I think I'll try a small amount of canned slices this year. Hopefully the family will like them. I know they'll like the canned apple rngs with the cinnamon candies I'm planning on making.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 12:05PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Ascorbic acid and Fruit Fresh are the same thing. One is the generic name and the other is the brand name. They do the same thing, unless the fruits are floating above the syrup, where they darken.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 6:25PM
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mellyofthesouth(9a FL)

I can apple slices to use as a side dish. I used an extra light syrup but used brown sugar instead of white, and added some cinnamon. Mine are fairly soft and could be mushed into apple sauce in the bowl if I am not careful scooping them out of the jar. The girls really like them. I remember Malon canned slices that I think he uses for a quick apple crisp. He used the peeler, slicer, corer thingamagig. The apples I had from my friend were buggy, so I had to do all the cutting up by hand.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 6:44PM
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malonanddonna(z7 NC)

I did indeed use my handy gadget to peel, core and slice the apples at one time. I canned some in light syrup, some with red cinnamon candies and cut some in wedges instead of rings. I've canned with a standard BWB canner and like Melly, the apples will lose quite a bit of texture. There was no loss of flavor in the plain ones and the cinnamon was a nice addition with the others. I don't recall adding ascorbic acid to the individual jars but instead soaked the slices in water with Fruit Fresh until time to jar and process. I will say that since switching to using a steam canner to process high acid foods, my apples, pickles and similar products retain more of their original texture. Your mileage may very.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 8:12PM
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I just joined. I have gotten so many tips from all of you.
Thanks so much. Now I must get busy. I just have enough for a couple of pies, but after reading this, I am sure I will get more from the orchard.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 11:25AM
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Wow...this is great to know. I would have NEVER thought about making "pie" disks of just the filling for pie making later.

This was just in time also. I was going to go apple picking at a friends house. He has 2 trees there :D

You guys are awsome ;)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 4:48PM
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karenforroses(z5 NorthernMI)

I agree with Readinglady - you can freeze unbaked apple pies (and most other fruit pies) and they not ony bake up beautifully, but seem to have a flakier crust. We have a small orchard of about 55 trees (apple, peach, sweet & tart cherry) so I make and freeze unbaked pies as the fruit ripens. I put plastic wrap over the unbaked pies and slip them into a ziplock 2 gal. freezer bag. That combination prevents freezer burn and frost build-up. I freeze them in single layers and then stack them. What always amazes me is how long they stay really nice. I just finished baking the last of last summer's pies a month ago, and they were still really nice.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 10:25PM
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Thank you all for so much wonderful advice and information about freezing pies!!!

One question - does anyone use anything to prevent browning of the fruit before freezing?


    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 1:25PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Because the pie crust is on, and you have probably seasoned and sweetened the pie filling prior to crusting, it should hold up fine. When I make apple pies I partially cook the apples, to allow for shrinkage during baking. The partial cooking is done in a big casserole dish in the microwave, and then when its part cooked and softened slightly, I add the seasonings and sweetener. Because they get partially cooked, the oxidizing isn't much of a problem. I make chicken and turkey pies for the freezer. These are bottom and top crusts, and I usually spread a bit or soft butter or margerine on the inside bottom crust to reduce soggyness when baking.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 3:17PM
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G'Day Marian. Here are a few thoughts on frozen apple pies. The only time I need a frozen pie is for camping or hunting when it is not feasible to bake a pie. I have tried baking a pie (cherry works better than apple for me) and freezing it and taking it in a cooler and then defrosting it at camp. The apple pie is marginal that way (cherry works better) but welcome with a hot cuppa after a morning of walking the hills. I have experimented and the following method works a bit better. I bake an apple pie and let it cool and then slice it. I then take my vacuum sealer bags and form 8 bags large enough for each slice. I place the slices on waxed paper and then on a cookie sheet and freeze solid. Then I vaccum seal the slices and back into the freezer (labelled and dated). This works fairly well. For camping, I pack the individual slices in my cooler and I don't have to worry about transporting a pie plate back and forth and the slices take less space. They stay fairly frozen until needed, but this does depend on time of the year. At home, if Leslie and I have a hankering for an apple pie and we don't want a whole pie to temp us, we take a couple slices out of the freezer. Dang, now I want an apple pie. I will have to check to see if the Johnathons are out yet--those are my favorite as I can't find pippens around here. Based on my experience, peach pies and cobblers don't do well frozen and thawed. I have not tried pumpkin pie. Cheers, Gary

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 10:58AM
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I have a question, that I didn't think of until now. All the recipes that I normally use, just call for flour, sugar & spices added to the apples. So when it cooks down you get the nice sauce filling. (I don't add any liquid)

So my question is, if I'm packing raw apple pie into the freezer (just the fillings) should I still track down some of the clear gel or freezer flow? Or is the flour still okay since it's not been cooked yet?

Thanks ya'll!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 10:41AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I'm not sure what you mean by OK? There's no safety issue. You can certainly use flour. But when I froze pies with it, it broke down in the filling and the texture wasn't as pleasing when the pie was baked. Others may have had a different experience.

I use ClearJel in all my pies now and prefer it, though I reduce the amount called for because I like a less gelatinous filling. I've not had any problems with breakdown from freezing.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 12:44PM
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A lot of good advice here . I am short of freezer space (after butchering) so I just slice my apples w/flower, sugar , cinnamon and put the amount for a pie into zip lock bags and freeze. Then when I want to bake a pie or crisp I put the frozen fruit into a pan w/crust or make it into a crisp. It works wonderful. Saves a lot of space too. I also do this with peaches and cherries. On the last two I like tapioca for the thickening. If you let it thaw or microwave it for a minute while you make the crust, you can easily put into your pan.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 3:42PM
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Would anyone be willing to share their apple pie (2 crust and crumb-topped) recipe w/me? I have some that I use, but am having all the girls over for a pie baking day and I've never frozen ahead. I read all the interesting things/advantages about this and I would love for my mom, who will be w/us, to be able to help us make these, put them in her freezer and be able to bring "apple pie", like she used to, to family Christmas. It will really make her feel great to be able to do something she hasn't been able to do. We help her now, when we have the time, and she shows up w/her "pies". The reason I want someone elses recipe is because I read that Clear Jel is best, but use less than usual because you don't like jelled pies. I agree - that jel/like pie is gross - so, I'd just like REAL AMOUNTS of things. thank you so much, in advance, for your help and the time that it takes to type your recipe. Responding here is fine and if it is easier (like you have your recipe on a card and you just want to scan it and attach to an email), my email is Happy Baking, new friends!!!!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 9:20AM
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