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Freezing Unbaked Fruit Pies - ???

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Hi!
I just made two cherry pies and froze them before baking them.
When reading up on this, I kept finding advice that said NOT to cut vent slits or brush with the egg wash before freezing because both of these things should be done right before baking.

Could somebody tell me why?
Will something happen to the filling or crust if I DO cut the slits and brush with egg wash before I freeze the pies?

Thank you very much for your help!

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  1. I don't think the egg washed crust will achieve the glaze after freezing that it will if brushed on just before baking. As for cutting the slits, I generally wait until I'm ready to bake it but I don't see what it would hurt if the crust was slit prior to baking. In fact, I'm sure I've seen some commercially frozen pies that come out of their package with slits in the top crust. The only precaution I try always to follow is to freeze the pie first, then wrap it up air tight and return it to the freezer to protect the integrity of the crust.

    1. Planning to make some cherry pies next weekend with the 10 lbs. of sour cherries we are picking up. This may sounds like a stupid question, do you use aluminum foil pie pans for the crust? Usually freeze the crust rolled out flat between wax paper and the filling in plastic bags, but am giving these pies to a couple of friends, so all they will need to do is bake them. If not alum foil pans, what else do you use? Can't give out my own pie pans. Does the alum foil hold up the integrity of the pie crust? Curious....

      1 Reply
      1. re: Diane in Bexley

        I use aluminum foil pans all the time for my pies and they turn out wonderful! I bake them on the bottom rack of the oven so they brown up and stay crisp and flaky.

      2. If you are making the pies to take advantage of seasonal fruit, one option is to make the filling exactly as if you were putting it in a pie and freeze it in the pie pan without the crust. (One way is to line the pan with a plastic bag before freezing.) Then when it's frozen, remove it from the pan, wrap it, and stow it in the freezer. When you want it next winter, make the crust and the ready-made filling will fit perfectly. This method also works for cobblers, keeping the pie pan or baking dish free in the meantime.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Querencia

          Thanks so much for this sensible yet elegant tip. Have never made anything more complicated than apple crisp, but we now have plum trees and I want to make pies for Thanksgiving. Web advice not to glaze piecrust before freezing was a dilemma, since I don't want a soggy crust. This solves the problem nicely!

          1. re: pammmm

            First, no problem cutting slits before freezing -- those minute openings aren't going to become a path for freezer burn of the fruit. A hole in the top is a hole in the top, doesn't matter when you put it there. Egg wash could be affected, because the proteins in egg might denature when frozen.

            With my pies, I do a milk wash followed by sugar (the coarse kinds, if you have it). This freezes well.

            Also, re soggy crusts, this is more a function of juice soaking into the bottom -- which happens during cooking (when the fruits start exuding juice), not during freezing. I either spread egg white or a very thin layer of melted chocolate (white or dark) on the entire bottom crust. It seals the crust very well, and my bottoms stay dry for days (if the pie lasts that long). Also a plus, you can do this step before freezing, so no need for separating crust and filling.

          2. re: Querencia

            This is such a fabulous idea. Do you let the filling thaw before using it? I would think putting the frozen fruit into the uncooked pie crust would lead to a soggy crust. Is this not the case?

            1. re: bflocat

              i would think just the opposite, because it give the crust a chance to cook before the juices from the filling liquify and make it soggy.

              In her pie and pastry bible, rose levy berenbaum recommends freezing fruit pies before baking them for a crisper bottom crust, because the crust starts baking before the filling unfreezes and makes it soggy. but that is for a whole frozen pie, not just frozen filling. however, i would think that unfrozen bottom crust would bake up even faster than frozen bottom crust.

              1. re: missmasala

                I think that Rose also suggest baking the frozen pie on a heated baking stone such as you might use to bake bread.