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How to store pies for a week - apple and sweet potato?

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We are not the biggest dessert eaters in my house but at the holidays we indulge happily to get our annual fix. I am planning to make and serve an apple pie and a sweet potato pie on Christmas Day, but our fulfillment generally extends into New Year's Eve and Day when we dig in again. I am usually at home with my parents and so there are plenty of people around baking for the week and so there have always been a steady flow of fresh pies, but this year it's just us. There are only a few of us who enjoy a slice or two at the holidays but are not daily sweets cravers and so they will likely last for the week from Christmas to New Year's Eve when we will likely want to dig in again. Is it possible to store the pies over the week without affecting the quality too much or suffering serious risk of food poisoning (my SO has suggested just leaving them on the counter for the week) or should I just prepare to make another batch for New Year's (I'd like to avoid this as not only do we then need to find a home for the leftover pies from Christmas but didn't really want to add any additional prep)?

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  1. Only two of us so same problem with pies. Hard to freeze pies well-wrapped without some crushage. I'm actually considering this half pie pan:

    http://www.target.com/p/chicago-metal...

    Edited to add: Sorry, that didn't quite answer your how-to question. I get antsy about pies on the counter for too many days, so it is fridge for me. But I think the flavor gets "tired" after 4 days total. Would you consider getting small pie pans and making minis?

    2 Replies
    1. re: DuchessNukem

      This idea might actually work. Do you just halve the recipe? How do you adjust baking time?

      1. re: fldhkybnva

        I don't have the pan yet; still thinking on it. But review comments suggest that halving recipe gives just a little too much (so can make a small flat tart on the side lol). Different pie types would need different handling and could make for unequal baking.

        The more I think on it, my choice would be the little 6" pie pans. Make a few for Christmas; if any leftover, could freeze in pan, pop out and overwrap; then make fresh batch prior to NY. I'd make top-crustless if possible, to re-balance the crust-to-filling ratio.

    2. Just freeze them. I cut mine into slices and wrap individually. If you're worried about crumbling, place the slices on a tray in the freezer unwrapped for a couple of hours to firm them up, then wrap and freeze fully.

      1 Reply
      1. re: biondanonima

        What would you recommend for thawing? You find quality is pretty much the same? How long do you think you could freeze for? This might be a great idea for making larger batches or discontinuous work events.

      2. From the responses so far, it's not ok to leave it on the counter?

        3 Replies
        1. re: fldhkybnva

          I wouldn't leave them for a week. In the fridge, maybe, but not on the counter.

          1. re: biondanonima

            As mentioned in my original post we are not big usual pie eaters so I don't have much experience, but would the crust turn into a soggy mess?

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              Yes, the crust definitely gets softer, especially with custardy or juicy pies. Some people don't mind it - I prefer to freeze and thaw, though, than to eat a pie that's been in the fridge a week.

              As for thawing, you can stick the wrapped pieces in the fridge overnight and thaw them that way, then warm in a low oven to crisp the crust if it's a type of pie that you like served warm (pumpkin no, apple yes). You can easily keep pies 6 months+ in the freezer.

        2. They would be nasty and stale left on the counter for a week. Maybe moldy too, depending on the general climate, so, no.

          I freeze the pie and once it's solidly frozen, I wrap it well.

          1. If I were in this situation, I would make a pumpkin pie and keep it in the frig for a couple days, and deal with the inevitable sog that will result. Alternatively, make it as a custard and avoid the soggy crust. You can make it in custard cups, and that makes it a more appealing leftover than chiseling something out of the crusty leftover pie pan. A few days in the frig should be okay, but probably not a week.

            So I would then make an apple pie later in the week and serve it then. Alternatively, make several small pies (even in a muffin tin?) and bake as many as you need as desired. If you want to get all your pie making done at once and reduce the prep time, I would make the apple pie and freeze it while UNbaked, bringing it out five or whatever days later. I prefer baked frozen pies to thawed baked pies. I have had success leaving cooked fruit pies WITHOUT dairy (definitely not pumpkin) on the counter in reasonable weather, but not for a week. That doesn't sound like a good idea, for either taste or food safety.

            If you can find any sort of smaller container, I would make smaller pies and then get them out of the freezer. Once they are frozen solid, keep them on the top of the pile in there and they won't get squashed.

            1 Reply
            1. re: willownt

              The sweet potato pie (not making a pumpkin pie) recipe that I use includes eggs which I think makes it a custard. Also, there is evaporated milk in the recipe as well. I think I will just make big pies, eat on Christmas, freeze the rest, defrost for New Year's?

            2. What about making individual hand pies? You can make the pumpkin ones in muffin tins and you can do the apple ones as turnovers. You can freeze and wrap them individually and heat as you need. You just need to reheat them at a 300 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes.

              1. Thanks so much for all the responses, just to clarify it's a sweet potato pie not a pumpkin pie if that changes your recommendations.

                1 Reply
                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  Doesn't make a difference at all. In fact sweet potato is drier so it would probably freeze better than pumpkin.

                2. OK CHOWs, here is the plan which I think would result in the least change in pie quality and let us fully enjoy our likely last pie indulgence for the year:

                  Christmas Eve - bake full pies - apple and sweet potato on

                  Leave at room temperature (overnight, we do this at Thanksgiving at it's been fine every time)

                  Christmas Day - eat and cut into slices and freeze

                  New Year's Eve Eve - remove slices from the freezer and thaw at room temperature to avoid refrigeration crust sog while thawing (not sure if this is OK, but if I plan to freeze to prevent sog then I should probably not then cause sog in the thawing process?

                  Would this be OK?

                  What would you recommend to wrap the pieces in for freezing? With meat, I usually do plastic wrap, freezer paper and foil which I assume would work here as well.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    I think you're on track, but you should put the sweet potato in the fridge -- milk and eggs don't do well at room temperature once cooked.

                    I'd go with plastic wrap and foil -- just because I've never used freezer paper.

                    There's a poster here (can't remember the name) who bought a 6" pie pan and found it works great for a half-recipe of all his/her favorite pies.

                    Me? I'd probably make mini-pies in my muffin tins...then I could freeze the extras (maybe even make them in little aluminum pot-pie tins and freeze before baking-- then you have the option of fresh-baked pie)