As one of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes, pecan pie is a cornerstone of the holidays. Whether you made it yourself or not, it wouldn’t be the same without some pecan pie.
What if you’ve made too much? Holidays centered around good food usually means that you end up with a surplus, but that doesn’t mean it has to end in food waste.
Many of the dishes that are traditionally made during this holiday can be frozen, and that includes pecan pie.
Before we get into freezing pecan pie, let’s talk about its shelf life.
The Shelf Life Of Pecan Pie
When it comes to homemade pecan pie, you’ll need to be quick.
If you are planning to use pecan pie on the same day you make it, the pie will keep in the fridge for around 4 to 6 hours, depending on the recipe and the ingredients.
You should always keep pecan pie in the fridge if you’re not planning on serving it within an hour or so of baking.
The pie (see also article titled ‘Can You Freeze Mince Pies?‘) contains a lot of ingredients which don’t do well with room temperature, such as eggs. Leaving it out for too long risks bacterial growth, and food poisoning.
When it comes to the store-bought stuff, always look at the label, as different brands will contain different ratios of ingredients.
If you’re not planning on using the pecan pie anytime soon, you should consider freezing it, as you can keep it up to 4 months in the freezer before it degrades.
Should You Freeze Pecan Pie?
While you can freeze it, it can be tricky to get the process right, because of the many perishable ingredients in the dessert.
If you can, avoid freezing it, especially for long periods of time, so it doesn’t go through any texture or flavor changes.
Freezing is not the best method of preserving it, but it does help that you can do so, and it means that you can make pecan pie ahead of time.
It won’t be the same as fresh pecan pie, but it’s still better than no pecan pie.
What Happens To Pecan Pie When You Freeze it?
Unfortunately, you will notice some changes. The texture might be affected to some extent, depending on how you froze it, and how long you froze it for.
If you prepped it properly, there’s no reason why the pie should turn soggy when you come to reheat and use it.
If you freeze it when the crust is still warm, or if the filling leaks through the crust before you freeze it, the crust will probably be soggy once you defrost it. Unfortunately, there’s no way to fix that.
It’s also worth noting that you can’t refreeze pecan pie. It will be noticeably worse in flavor and texture, and it could be dangerous to do so.
How Do You Freeze Pecan Pie?
Depending on if you made the pecan pie yourself, or you got it from a store, you’ll prepare it for the freezer a little differently.
The results may also be different depending on the brand or recipe you use, how fresh the pecan pie is to begin with, and whether you need to freeze a whole pie or just a few slices.
Preparing Homemade Pecan Pie For The Freezer
As homemade pecan pie contains no added preservatives, the shelf life is significantly shorter, so you will need to be quick.
With any pasty-based dish, you’ll need to be careful freezing and thawing it, otherwise it could turn soggy and ruin the whole dish.
Prepare and bake the pie as normal. Let it sit on the cooling rack until it’s completely cool.
Wrap the pie in either cling film or foil, making sure that the cover is airtight. This will help prevent freezer burn. Stick a label on the top and write the storage date, and then put it flat into the freezer.
How To Freeze Store-Bought Pecan Pie
As with the homemade version of pecan pie, it’s best to freeze it at its freshest for best results.
Wrap the pie in aluminum foil, making sure it’s fully airtight. Put the pie into a large freezer bag, and seal that too. The extra layer will help protect the pie from any freezer burn.
Label it, and freeze it.
Tips & Tricks To Freeze Pecan Pie Right The First Time
Freeze It As Soon As Possible
The minute the pie is cold, don’t hang around. Prepare it for the freezer, and get it in there, quickly.
Don’t forget that the filling of a pecan pie is egg-based, and this means that it’s dangerous to let it sit out at room temperature for too long.
It could lead to bacterial growth, contamination, and food poisoning if you leave it for too long.
Hold Off On The Cream Or Ice Cream
Just as you would with freezing roast potatoes with no seasoning, don’t put any toppings on the pecan pie as you’re trying to freeze it.
Most dairy products don’t freeze well, and when you consider you’re adding something with a high water content sitting on top of a crust, well, that’s going to end badly if you’re not eating it straight away.
Wait until the pecan pie is ready to serve, then add your toppings of choice.
Consider Freezing The Crust First
Another way of freezing pecan pie is to bake the crust, and freeze it on its own. The day before you want to serve the pie, make the filling, and store it in the fridge while the pie crust thaws.
Once the crust is completely defrosted, add the premade filling, and bake as normal.
This is the best way to preserve both the texture and flavor of the pie while saving it for a later date. It also means that you’ve done the hard work ahead of time.
How To Thaw Pecan Pie
To defrost pecan pie, put it straight into the fridge. Let it defrost completely on its own, and then reheat it as normal.
Once you thaw it, if it looks odd, or has a very mushy texture, or smells strange, bin it instead.
Pecan pie is a great dish, and even better when you can make it ahead of time. As long as you follow the tricks in this article, you should be able to freeze it without any problems.