Like many foods, apple pie can be made ahead and frozen to save space in the refrigerator -perfect for the holidays and other times of the year when refrigerator space is in demand!
So, to answer the question, can you freeze apple pie? The answer is yes, you can freeze homemade single or double crust apple pie, store bought apple pie, homemade pie with canned pie filling or even store bought crust with homemade pie filling! As long as it is a regular apple pie and the filling does not contain any custard, cream or egg, then apple pie can be stored unbaked or baked and will keep at best quality for between two and six months – depending on the combination of crust and filling. Apple slices, homemade and open cans of pie filling can also be frozen and may keep for as long as 12 months.
Read on to learn more about how to freeze your apple pies, apple pie filling, or even just the sliced apples!
What Are the Different Ways to Store Apple Pie?
A regular filled apple pie, with apple, spice and sugar - either homemade or fresh from the bakery - can be safely left at room temperature for two days wrapped in aluminum foil or plastic wrap away from any direct sunlight or heat sources. If it will be around for any longer, then it will need to go in the refrigerator, where it will keep for an extra two days to three days – a total of four to five days.
If your pie contains a sugar substitute such as Splenda or does not contain any sugar, then it will always need to be refrigerated, as will a pie that contains any egg, cream or custard. These types of pies will keep for two days in the refrigerator.
You can place a pie in the refrigerator in its pan, or to take less room up, you can slice it and wrap the individual slices in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
Otherwise, you can freeze a regular apple pie baked or unbaked. The only thing to really be aware of is that some spices can decline in potency the longer they are left in the freezer.
Some prefer to freeze unbaked as they prefer how the crust turns out after baking, while others enjoy the convenience of freezing it ready baked as it needs less effort to reheat. If you have yet to freeze apple pie, then give both options a whirl to see which you prefer.
How Can I Freeze an Unbaked Apple Pie?
An unbaked apple pie will keep for two days in the refrigerator before you need to bake it or at best quality for up to four months in the freezer.
If you want to freeze an unbaked apple pie, then consider adding some ascorbic acid or lemon or lime juice to help prevent the apple from going brown. Also keep the filling to a sensible amount otherwise too much filling means the pie will end up cooked on the outer and still cool in the center.
For a regular 9" pan, use no more than 7 cups of diced or fine sliced apple and place the apple in carefully as the less air there is between the slices, the lower the risk of freezer burn and excess moisture when you bake the pie. A little cornstarch can also help take out any excess moisture.
In terms of pie pan, use a metal pan that you will not miss for a few weeks or months, otherwise, disposable metal pie plates can be used. Even though you may be tempted to use a ceramic or glass pie plate, the change in temperature from the freezer to the oven can increase the risk of the glass or ceramic cracking or exploding, so it is better to keep with metal for freezing and baking. It’s easy enough to transfer it onto ceramic once baked.
To freeze an uncooked pie, make it as usual, but do not cut the vent holes until you are ready to bake it, otherwise some of the filling may escape.
If your pie is a single crust pie freeze it uncovered for a few hours before you bag it or wrap it as this will help prevent the filling from sticking to the bag. You may also want to do this with a lattice pie to prevent damage to the lattice.
Otherwise, for double crust pies and after you have pre-frozen a single crust pie, carefully wrap the whole pie and its pan in a double layer of plastic wrap, aluminum foil or use a large Ziplock bag and carefully remove the excess air before sealing. The more layers it is wrapped in, the less damage from freezer burn.
Label up the pie with the contents and date you made it and place it flat in the freezer – a cookie sheet is always useful here – until fully frozen. Move it to a more permanent freezer spot away from anything that may crush it. Putting it in a plastic container or even placing a spare plate over the top of the pie can help protect it.
When you are ready to use your unbaked pie, take it from the freezer, add any glaze or sugar, cut the vent holes and place in the lower center of the oven at 450°F for 15 to 20 minutes with a tray or some parchment underneath to catch any spills. You can then turn down the heat to around 375°F and bake for a further 20 – 30 minutes or until the crust is brown.
Some prefer to cover the pie with foil for the first 30 minutes or so of cooking and then remove it to allow the crust to brown. If you bake it this way, it will need to stay in the oven for longer. Otherwise, once the pie is ready, leave it for a few hours before slicing into it.
There is no need to thaw an unbaked pie before putting it in the oven, in fact, thawing it first will increase the moisture content of the pie and potentially leave it soggy after baking.
If you do not want to tie up the oven for too long, say for Thanksgiving, then bake it the day before. You can put it back in the oven and rewarm it 15 to 20 minutes before you want to serve it.
How Do You Freeze Ready Baked Apple Pie?
To freeze a whole baked pie, allow a homemade pie to first fully cool to room temperature as this stops it from becoming too soggy in the middle. Once fully cool, wrap the pie in a double layer of plastic wrap or aluminum foil. You can leave it in the pie pan or take it out. If you will want to reheat, it can be easier to leave it in the pan.
After labelling the packaging, place at the stop of the freezer to allow it to dully freeze before moving it. This can take as long as 24 hours, depending on the size of pie. A whole baked apple pie, homemade or store bought, will keep at best quality for between four and six months in the freezer.
If you just want to freeze a few slices of leftover pie, then once the slices are cooled to room temperature, place them onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and place the tray in the freezer for a couple of hours. Freezing it in this way helps the filling to stay inside the pie. Once frozen, take out the cookie sheet and double wrap each slice of pie in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
You can then place the wrapped pieces in an airtight container as this can also help reduce freezer burn, but more importantly, it means there is less chance of the slices getting squashed in the freezer.
You can thaw out a whole baked pie in the refrigerator overnight or leave it on the countertop for a few hours. It will then take around 15 minutes to reheat at 425°F or 30 minutes at 350°F. You can quickly reheat single slices in the oven or even the microwave oven, rather than needing to thaw them first.
Can I Just Freeze the Apple Pie Filling?
Yes, you can freeze apple pie filling, either homemade or canned.
The perfect way to store up apples during apple season, you can make basic apple pie filling for the freezer. Use a mix of the best apples for apple pie which need slicing to about a quarter of an inch thick, along with the required amount of sugar, flour and spices.
You may also want to add a little lemon juice or ascorbic acid to stop the apples from browning too much. Once you have mixed these ingredients thoroughly, place the mix into Ziplock bags, remove the excess air and seal. Place in the freezer and when you want to use some, thaw a bag in the refrigerator overnight and add it to your homemade or store bought crust and bake.
If you have cooked apple pie filling, once cooled, it can be placed into a Ziplock bag, sealed and frozen. Likewise, if you have an open can of apple pie filling, then you can freeze this in a Ziplock bag or airtight container for use later. Cooked apple pie filling will keep for as long as 12 months in the freezer.
You can also freeze fresh apple slices and use them for pies and other baked goods. Apples should first be peeled, sliced and cored, which you can do by hand with a knife, or invest in a good quality apple corer to save some time and effort.
Once your apple slices are prepared, you can either blanch them in boiling water for a minute or so or dip them in lemon juice or ascorbic acid to minimize apple browning.
Dry off the slices and lay them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet covered with a piece of parchment. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer and once frozen – a couple of hours – you can transfer the apple slices to an airtight container or bag. Once your crust is prepared you can add the frozen slices, sugar and spice to the pie and bake. You may need a few minutes extra baking.
Can I Freeze Apple Custard Pie or Apple Meringue Pie?
Unfortunately, apple custard pie, apple cream pie or apple meringue pie cannot be frozen as they become too soggy during the freezing and thawing process.
If I Make Some Apple Pie Moonshine, Can I Freeze It?
Because of the alcohol content in apple pie moonshine it will not freeze, however, if you make a large batch, you can store apple pie moonshine in the freezer for 12 months or more to help preserve the other ingredients.
As we have seen in this post, yes, you can freeze homemade or store bought baked or unbaked apple pie. You can also freeze cooked or uncooked apple pie filling and apple pie slices. Depending on your combination of crust and filling, you will be able to store apple pie in the freezer for between two to six months.