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Storing pies in the refrigerator is done to prolong shelf life. But not all pies need to be placed in the fridge at once. Learn which pies you need to refrigerate and which ones you don’t!
So you made a pie, but you’re out of refrigerator space.
Of course, you can eat the whole pie, but that comes with health hazards, especially with extra sweet pies.
The good news is some pies don’t need immediate refrigeration. So which ones should be in the fridge, and which can take its sweet time at room temperature?
Which pies should be stored in the refrigerator?
As a rule of thumb, any pie that uses eggs or dairy products as an ingredient should be stored in the refrigerator as soon as they are no longer hot.
That means custard and cream pies and other variants, including pumpkin pie, mousse, chiffon, and quiches, should be stored in the refrigerator once completely cooled.
There are reasons why you should do this. First is to hold the ingredients together and make them firm before serving. The second is to prevent bacteria growth, prevalent with pies that use ingredients such as sour cream, cream cheese, and custard when placed at room temperature. These bacteria can cause food poisoning if pies are improperly stored.
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Which pies should be at room temperature?
Fruit pies, like a fresh apple pie or a triple berry pie, may be stored at room temperature, especially if you don’t have enough room in the refrigerator. They should last you up to two days at room temperature. Nut-based pies, such as pecan pies, are also best stored at room temperature.
The reason you want to keep them at room temperature is to preserve the flavor of the pie.
However, if you need to preserve them beyond two days, you can put them in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator. That means you’ll need to find room for it. In the fridge, they should last an additional two days.
Which pies can be stored frozen?
For the most part, you can store pies in the freezer to last longer. However, these have some caveats.
Any pie that uses dairy products should not be stored in the freezer. They’re bound to become watery and will separate during the freezing process. Meringue pies will also separate when frozen.
Baked fruit pies freeze well, provided that you cool them before freezing.
On the other hand, you can freeze most unbaked pies as long as you don’t cut any slits on the top crust, which provides a layer of protection for the filling. The same rules apply. to pies that use egg or dairy products, even when unbaked. However, an unbaked pecan pie and pumpkin pie freeze well when unbaked.
Pies stored in the freezer can last up to three months before they go bad.
How do you freeze pies?
The processes for freezing baked and unbaked pies are different.
For baked pies, make sure that they are cooled completely before freezing. Once cool, wrap the pie with plastic wrap, then add another layer of protection using aluminum foil. Don’t forget to label them with the type of pie and the freezing date. These frozen pies should last you two months.
To freeze an unbaked pie, use a ceramic or metal pie plate to handle sudden temperature increases when you go from the freezer to the oven.
Once you finish assembling your pie, freeze the pie without any cover. You may add the egg wash glaze on the top crust before freezing. Let the pie freeze for two hours or until mostly frozen.
When the pie is frozen, wrap it three times with foil, and label it with the date, the type of pie, and even the baking temperature and time, to help you prepare the pie later for baking.
How do you reheat cold pies?
The best way to reheat cold pies is through the oven. To reheat a cold pie, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While preheating, transfer your pie to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then cover lightly with foil.
The reheating time will vary on the oven and the pie size. The hotness of the pie when reheated will depend on your preference. To help you decide, get a thin knife or fork, poke the center and let it stay there for 15 seconds. Gently take out the knife and use your lips to gently touch the fork or knife to see if it’s hot enough for your preference.
You can follow the same steps to reheat frozen pies but thaw them overnight before reheating them in the oven. Likewise, you can use this reheating instruction to heat a leftover pie.
How to bake frozen pies?
The first thing you must remember about baking frozen pies is to thaw them until the dough is slightly sticky. While you prepare the pie, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Before putting the slightly thawed pie in the oven, add the eggwash if you haven’t. You may also sprinkle sugar if needed.
Put the pie on the middle-lower rack of the oven and bake it for 20 minutes. Lower the temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, then cover the outer edge of the pie and bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until the pie is bubbling and the crust has turned golden brown. The internal temperature should be around 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the top crust isn’t as brown as you prefer, but the filling is cooked, transfer the pie to the middle rack and bake for 10 minutes.