There is always a lot to do for the Christmas festivities. If you plan to have a big family gathering you may feel stressed just thinking about preparing the food. Christmas cakes and Christmas puddings can be made well in advance and be kept in a cool dark larder.
However, what about mince pies? They don’t have a long shelf life at room temperature so is there anything you can do to extend their life? The answer is simple, freeze them. They freeze surprisingly well and in this article, we will be telling you how to freeze them, defrost them and bake or reheat them.
How To Freeze Mince Pies
You can choose to freeze mince pies either unbaked or baked.
How To Freeze Unbaked Mince Pies
Freezing mince pies unbaked gives great results. When you come to bake them, they will taste like freshly baked mince pies. This is the way to freeze them.
1. Make the mince pies.
You probably have your favorite recipe so use this and stop before putting them in the oven.
2. Flash freeze the mince pies.
To stop the mince pies from sticking, flash freeze them. Get a baking tray and place the mince pies on it, making sure that they aren’t touching each other. Cover the tray with a sheet of cling film to stop air from getting in. If air does get in, freezer burn can occur and the taste and texture of the mince pies will change. They will still be safe to eat but they won’t taste good. Put the tray in the freezer and freeze for a few hours until the mince pies are frozen solid.
3. Put the mince pies in an airtight container.
Alternatively, put them in a freezer bag, squeezing out all the air to prevent freezer burn. Put a label on the container or freezer bag with the date so that you know when you put it in the freezer. You don’t want to keep the mince pies in the freezer for longer than their use-by date.
4. Put the container or freezer bag in the freezer.
How To Freeze Cooked Mince Pies
1. Bake your mince pies.
2. Cool down the mince pies completely.
Transfer the mince pies to a cold plate so that they cool down quickly. You don’t want to keep them at room temperature for longer than two hours as, after this time, bacteria can start to form. You also don’t want to put the mince pies in the freezer while they are still warm as they will bring the temperature up. Other food in the freezer can start to defrost and may even spoil.
3. Flash freeze the mince pies.
Put the mince pies on a baking tray. Make sure that the mince pies aren’t touching each other. This will ensure that they won’t stick together, and you can then remove only as many mince pies as you need. Cover the tray tightly with cling film so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Put the tray in the freezer for a few hours.
4. Transfer the mince pies into an airtight container or freezer bag.
Put a label on the bag or container.
How To Freeze Iced Mince Pies
You can freeze cooked iced mince pies. Just follow the instructions above for freezing cooked mince pies. Unfortunately, however, you can’t reheat them as the top will go soggy. If you don’t mind cold mince pies, then go ahead and freeze iced mince pies.
If you have mince pies that are dusted with icing sugar, you can freeze them but the icing sugar will disappear. However, you can reheat them and add icing sugar when you defrost them.
Tips For Freezing Mince Pies
- It is a good idea to grease the baking tray which you use for flash freezing. Also, dust the tray with flour. This stops the mince pies from sticking to the bottom of the tray when you come to remove them and put them in a container or freezer bag.
- Ensure that you squeeze as much air out of the freezer bag as possible so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Freezer burn changes the flavor, texture, and color of the mince pies.
- If you have bought iced mince pies and you have some leftovers, you can freeze them. However, they can go soggy. If you make the mince pies yourself, it is best to add the icing after you have defrosted and baked them. Alternatively, sprinkle them with icing sugar.
- You get a better result if you freeze the mince pies unbaked. However, if you buy cooked mince pies in bulk, you can still freeze them, and they will still taste good.
For How Long Can You Freeze Mince Pies?
Both baked and unbaked mince pies can be kept in the freezer for up to three months although, of course, the sooner you eat them the better they will taste. However, it does mean that you can put the mince pies in the freezer at the end of September. Then they will be ready for defrosting in time for Christmas.
How Do You Defrost Mince Pies?
It isn’t difficult to defrost mince pies but you need to do this carefully otherwise they may go soggy.
The procedure is the same whether you have frozen the mince pies baked or unbaked. You have two choices. You can put them on a plate and leave them to defrost in the fridge overnight. Alternatively, you can put the mince pies on a wire rack and defrost them at room temperature for up to two hours. Make sure that you don’t leave them at room temperature for longer than this, otherwise bacteria may start to form, and you could become sick.
If you are baking the uncooked mince pies, preheat the oven to 425F, brush the pies with beaten egg, and then bake for twenty minutes. Baked mince pies will take around ten minutes to warm up.
Can You Refreeze Mince Pies?
The only time you can refreeze mince pies is if you have frozen them unbaked and then baked them. Then you can put any leftovers in the freezer again, However, it’s still better to just remove as many mince pies as you need. Freezing and refreezing can increase the chance of bacteria forming.
If you have frozen baked mince pies, we don’t recommend that you refreeze them. The chances are high that the texture will change, and the mince pies will turn out soggy.
Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Mince Pies?
Yes, it is a good idea to freeze mince pies. If you freeze them after they have been baked, there will be a slight change in texture but they will still be delicious to eat. If you freeze them unbaked, they will taste just as if they were fresh.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing mince pies, but in case you are still curious, we have answered a few questions here.
Can you freeze mince pies made with homemade mincemeat?
Yes, of course, you can. It is just the same as using shop-bought mincemeat.
Can you freeze filo pastry mince pies?
You can but you have to be more careful when handling the pastry as it is very delicate and can tear easily. You can freeze the filo pastry mince pies in the same way as mince pies made out of shortcrust pastry. However, they will only last for around one month in the freezer.
Can you freeze mince pies filled with frangipane?
Frangipane is an almond filling that is made with butter, sugar, eggs, and ground almonds. It has a creamy paste-like consistency and a sweet nutty flavor. Sometimes it is added to mince pies, but the question is, can you freeze these mince pies? The simple answer is yes, you can, and you can freeze them whether they are baked or unbaked. They can be kept in the freezer for up to three months.
If I make a large pie filled with mincemeat, can I freeze it?
Yes, you can, and you have the choice of either freezing it whole or cut in slices. If you think you are going to use the whole pie in one sitting, you might as well freeze it as it is. However, If you think that you are just going to use some of it, cut it into slices so you can remove just as many slices as you need.