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Can I freeze my pie dough?

I'm taking over hosting duties for my family's Thanksgiving meals. SInce I have to work the day before, I'm trying to get as much done in advance as possible. I enjoy making most of my dishes from scratch. I'm already thinking of desserts, and there will be a couple of pies, probably mince and apple crumb. I've never really made my own crusts before, so I'm going with the Cooks Illustrated recipe that uses the food processor and vodka.

My question to you...have you successfully made the pie crust in advance, then frozen it until needed? Or should I make it the day before, refrigerate and then make my pies?

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  1. I freeze the CI vodka dough all the time. Make sure you flatten it into a disk (instead of a ball) or it takes forever to thaw. When I'm feeling particularly motivated, I make a double recipe of the dough (4 crusts) and roll them all out and trim them to size for my pie plates. Then I put a crust between two sheets of parchment and loosely roll the crust and throw the rolled crusts in the freezer. Once they're frozen solid, they get wrapped in plastic wrap and then into a zip-top bag. They keep quite well that way and whenever I want a pie, I just thaw a rolled crust in the fridge overnight or on the countertop for an hour or so and slap it in the pieplate. Instant pie crust!

    1 Reply
    1. re: chococat

      Yes, I do too. And I like the vodka crust. I've seen haters, but for me it comes out very flakey and tender. I aso use leaf lard. If you have room in freezer for a pie pan (this is for temporary freezer storage, obviously), I'd roll the crust out, shape in pan and then freeze. This aso helps the crust hold its shape in the oven.

    2. I have frozen pie crust dough, a long time ago, and it worked just fine.

      I divided it into single-crust sized balls, then flattened them a bit before wrapping and freezing. That way, once they thawed, I just needed to start rolling them out.

      1. Ok, a little update. Last night I made two batches of pie dough. The first turned out fine, and it's chilling in the fridge. I'm going to use that Saturday morning.

        I made a second batch, since it seemed so quick! I THOUGHT I did the same thing, but I think I doubled the amount of water in the recipe. The dough was very wet. I just smooshed it all together, I didn't overwork it, and I've tossed those into the freezer. My question, when I use my frozen ones, can I just use copious amounts of flour to stop it from sticking, or did i ruin the dough?

        4 Replies
          1. re: Heidi cooks and bakes

            "copious amounts of flour to stop it from sticking" Yes, as long as you don't overwork the dough. I assume you mean when rolling out? Yes.

            1. re: Heidi cooks and bakes

              I'm with the others on yes. It might help to roll w/ a lot of extra flour, either between parchment paper or silicone sheets so it'll be easier to transfer onto the pie pan. The pie crust recipe I use calls for more water than most, although not twice as much(!), but it's nice and flaky.

              1. re: chowser

                hey, parchment paper. that's a good idea too! i might include that in my bag of tricks.

            2. I find that too much water makes for tough crust as much as overworking. If you think you put in double the water, I think I'd start over.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Plano Rose

                i used 1/4 c. vodka, and instead of 1/4 c. water, i think i put in 1/2 c. water. that's why i didn't try to incorporate all the water.

                i'm going to use these crusts just for family, though. i'm not going to use them for company, that's for sure!! :)

              2. I actually prefer to freeze my pie/crostata dough. Freezing helps the gluten to relax.
                As for your dough with too much water, it's probably useable, but I agree it may be a little tougher.
                I would probably try to use it too though, as you said, for something less-important.

                1. I freeze pie dough all the time. As soon as the dough comes together, I split it into a portion for the top & one for the bottom, quickly pat each into a disk about an inch thick, wrap well in plastic wrap, label & date top & bottom (with blue painters tape), put the two disks together in a freezer bag. Defrost in refrigerator. Freezing for up to a couple of months is completely fine.