Another Stupid Question
I would like to make a number of individual chicken pot pies to be frozen and heated up later. Should I cook them completely and then freeze or partially cook them and let the heating process complete the browning of the crust? (the chicken will, of course, already be fully cooked) Any advise on heat or time for thawing/heating? Has anyone tried this?
I've never frozen meat pies before, but I do freeze fruit pies regularly, and from the research I did (this was years ago now) the recommendation was/is to freeze the unbaked pie, then to bake it from frozen (adjusting cooking time upward by 30+ minutes depending on size of pie, volume of filling, individual oven variances, etc.). I do this w/apple pie at Thanksgiving w/great results. My apple filling is actually cooked (to prevent gaps between filling & crust). I don't know why the same rules wouldn't apply to pot pies . . . . just make sure you wrap 'em really well.
I think most read-made frozen pot pies are not fully cooked. I second the recommendation to freeze uncooked and bake from frozen.
Like gansu girl, I haven't frozen meat pies, but have done fruit pies and never bake them first. In fact, I used to do them as gifts sometimes. Give the frozen, unbaked pie to the person and attach instructions on how to bake it. They could return it to the freezer until they were ready for it or bake it immediately. It was very popular! :-)
I would probably prepare the meat filling however it would normally go into the shell before baking and then freeze it instead of baking it. Please report back how it worked. I am curious too!
Freeze before baking. If you bake it and then freeze you run the risk of having a too-browned crust after second baking.