Can You Freeze Cream Pies?

Cream pies are the classics when it comes to desserts. They’re easy to make and are suitable for practically any occasion. But what to do if you’re left with tons of leftover cream pies?

You’re probably wondering if you can freeze cream pies? And while that’s possible, you can’t expect a final result to be perfect. In this article though, we’ll show you how to get a pretty decent result. 

There’s a very simple reason why freezing cream pies isn’t recommended. The cream filling is soft and wobbly because it’s made of different liquid ingredients. So as it reaches freezing temperatures, it turns into ice. But that’s not when it becomes problematic. The mess happens once you take it out to thaw it. As the ice starts melting, it soaks the crust, which becomes soggy. 

So if you’re really set on freezing cream pies, keep in mind that the texture of both cream and crust once defrosted. And there’s really nothing you can do to prevent that. 

If you’re making cream pies from scratch, the best moment to freeze would actually be mid process. In other words, you want to make both crust and cream, but freeze them both individually. So next time you’re craving cream pies, you’re one step from eating them. After defrosting, simply pour cream onto the crust and bake or refrigerate it, depending on the recipe.  

How to Freeze Cream Pies?

Now let’s see how to prepare both crust and cream for freezing. First, you need to bake the crust. Then, put it on the wire rack and let it cool down completely. Once cold to the touch, take tin foil and wrap it around the pie crust. Be gentle so that you don’t damage it. Then, put the pie crust into a ziploc bag, and squeeze all the air out. Label the bag and write a storage date before putting it into the freezer. 

As for the cream, whip the filling in the desired amount, then separate it into several portions. For storing, using a releasable bag would be ideal. Use a spoon to fill up the bag, but make sure to leave about an inch of free space left. Liquids expand when frozen, so this extra room allows that to happen without the bag popping. Then, gently squeeze out all the air and secure the bag. Add the label as well as the storage date then store in the coolest part of the freezer. 

But what if you already have some leftover pie that you don’t want to throw out? If it’s been sitting on your counter for a while already, chances are the crust is already somewhat mushy. In this case, it’s not recommended to transfer it to another container for freezing.

The sole process of transferring can cause the already soft crust to break apart and turn into a not-so-sweet mess. If possible, use the same container cream pie came in to store it in the freezer. Or if you don’t mind the casserole-style cream pie, then go ahead and store it into whatever container you’d like.

In any case, you should cover the pie with aluminum foil. Make sure to cover every inch of the pie, as this is a protective layer that keeps your cream pie safe from freezer burns. This is especially true for the cream, as freezing temperatures can affect both the texture and flavor. Once your cream pie is completely covered with foil, you can place the wrap into the freezer directly. Or if you want to add another layer of protection, you can place the whole thing into a releasable bag. 

How to Defrost Frozen Cream Pies?

If you’ve frozen each part separately, defrosting will be a piece of cake. You just have to take them out of the freezer, remove aluminum foil and leave it in the fridge. You should let it thaw for at least 3-4 hours before serving. 

The cream filling can take a long time to defrost, but you can speed that up by simply placing the bag filled with cream into a bowl of tap water. It should be smooth and fluffy within a few hours. 

The main thing to keep in mind is that you should never thaw cream pie ingredients too ahead of time. In other words, don’t do it in the morning if you don’t plan on baking them until later in the day. The more you wait, the less flavorful your cream pie will be.

Don’t trouble yourself with spooning the cream out of the bag. Grab the scissors and snip off one of the bag’s corners and use it as the cream applicator. Just squeeze the bag and fill the crust with the cream. Then either bake the cake or refrigerate it, depending on the type of cream pie you’re making.

If you’ve frozen a leftover cream pie, you don’t even have to defrost it. If you like ice cream, you’ll like this pie for sure. But if you want it to be a bit softer and creamier, let it sit in the fridge for about 2 hours. 

Summary

Pastry chefs would tell you that freezing a cream pie is blasphemy. But if you end up with too many leftovers, freezing is the only way you can preserve before eating them. And if you follow this guide, you can enjoy a pretty decent defrosted cream pie. 

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