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Can You Freeze Cherry Pie?

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If you’re a fan of the popular TV show Supernatural, chances are you enjoy pies with as much gusto as Dean Winchester.

While apple pie and pizza might rank high in the popularity polls, cherry pies are also highly popular not only in North America but in many other parts of the globe.

When something is this good, it’s nice to have one on hand for special occasions. Now, the million-dollar question is:

Can you freeze a cherry pie? Yes, you can freeze a cherry pie, baked or unbaked; you can also freeze the filling separately. If stored properly, frozen baked pies will last up to 6 months, unbaked will last up to 4, and the filling alone will usually last 3 to 4 months.

If cherry pies are your favorite, then the good news is you can stock them for extended periods of time by freezing them.

Like so many types of pies that offer you the luxury of preservation, you can freeze baked cherry pies and thaw them, or freeze the pie raw and bake it fresh.

This article will detail everything that you need to know to about baking and freezing pies – not just cherry pie but any kind of pie you fancy. Without further delay, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about freezing cherry pies!

Why To Freeze Cherry Pies

Freezing cherry pie simply makes your life easier. Most people don’t have the time to go through the trouble of making freshly baked pies every day, or every day they want one, even if they are pie lovers.

Plus, freezing pies is an excellent way to prepared ahead for the big and busy holidays.

If you typically have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen during the holiday season to feed that big family, just think of how much time you could spend with your family members instead of toiling in the kitchen if you have the pies made and frozen months beforehand.

Fortunately, freezing cherry pie is an easy option, and there are two ways to do it.

To save time, you can prepare cherry pie ahead of time by:

  1. Baking large batches of pies and putting them in the deep freezer, or
  2. Freezing the filling and crust separately, unbaked.

Fortunately, both methods are quite simple. We’ll go into the details below so you can get a perfect freeze for your precious pies!

How to Freeze Cherry Pie

Freezing cherry pies is very easy, provided you know what you’re doing. We’ll get into the details here. We’ll explain how to freeze baked and unbaked whole cherry pie, step-by-step.

We’ll also explain how to best freeze and preserve the filling separately if you like your pie crusts fresh.    

How to Freeze a Baked Cherry Pie

Freezing a baked cherry pie is the easiest of the three pie freezing processes. All you have to do is make a cherry pie as usual and freeze it in a careful and secure manner to prevent smells and burns.

Here’s how to freeze a baked pie (cherry or otherwise):

  1. First, ensure that your pie has properly cooled.
  2. Keeping the pie in a pan or similarly protective container, wrap the cherry pie in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Don’t stretch it too tightly across the pie, but don’t leave too much slack either.
  3. Once you have them wrapped, place each in a freezer bag to be sure that the pie is wrapped in an airtight environment.
  4. Stack the pies if you can do so without ruining the tops. This will help protect them from getting squished in the freezer.

Ideally, you should wrap the pie in a sturdy pie pan, to help protect the bottom and sides while it’s in the freezer. If you are going to freeze the pie for more than a few days, it may be best to use a pie pan with a lid to protect the top of the pie.

While a lidded pie container may trap in a little extra air, it may be preferable to accidentally jostling or ruining your precious treat when you rummage in the freezer later!

You can freeze a baked cherry pie for up to 6 months.

How to Freeze an UnBaked Cherry Pie

The process for freezing unbaked cherry pies is the same as the above steps, only your pie will not need to cool as it hasn’t been baked yet.

After your unbaked pie is assembled, wrap it carefully in plastic wrap or foil and then place it in a freezer bag for extra protection.

The main thing to note when you freeze an unbaked cherry pie is that you will have to make adjustments when you bake the pie when preparing it:

  1. Add an extra ½ tablespoon of cornstarch to the filling. Alternatively, you can use 1 tablespoon of flour.
  2. Add more cornstarch or flour at the bottom of the pie shell before you add the cherry filling to the crust.

After adjusting your pie, place it in a pan, wrap it, place it in a freezer bag and freeze it for up to 4 months.

How to Freeze Cherry Pie Filling

If you don’t want to freeze a cherry pie baked or assembled, you can always opt for freezing the filling alone – or for freezing the crust and filling separately.

Freezing only the fruit pie filling to use later on in a freshly baked crust is the most optimal way to enjoy cherry pies all year round. This not only makes for a fresher pie crust, it also eliminates the worry of accidentally squashing your pie in the freezer.

The process is a bit different from storing fully made baked and unbaked cherry pies and only requires a few additional preservatives.

Here’s how to freeze cherry pie filling:

  1. When preparing the filling for your cherry pie, add ½ tablespoon of cornstarch to it. Alternatively, you can also add 1-2 tablespoons of flour instead. This helps to preserve it.
  2. After you’ve finished cooking the filling, let cool completely to room temperature.
  3. Transfer the cooled filling to an airtight, freezer-safe container. Try to choose a container that will fit the filling with only a little bit of extra space.
  4. Label and place in the freezer for up to 3 to 4 months.

You can also freeze the filling by pouring it over a foil-lined pan, freezing it for a few hours until it is solid, and then removing the frozen filling block and wrapping it more securely in foil.

It’s important to note that the cherry pie filling by itself will have a shorter frozen shelf life compared to a baked cherry pie.

How to Thaw a Cherry Pie

That lovingly frozen cherry pie needs to be thawed before you can heat, bake, or enjoy it!

Here’s how to thaw and bake that frozen cherry pie (whole, baked, or in pieces):  

  1. Let the pie thaw overnight or up to about 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Once thawed, remove the aluminum foil/plastic wrap.
  3. Put the pie on a steel tray and bake the cherry pie at 350°F in an oven. For a pre-baked pie, check after a few minutes; you just want the filling to get warm and bubbly. For a pie that was not pre-baked, follow the recipe’s indicated baking time.
  4. Allow the pie to cool for a few minutes. Serve and enjoy.

An alternative way to thaw frozen, pre-baked cherry pies is to do so in the oven on a low setting. In this process, instead of letting the pie thaw in a fridge, you simply unwrap the pie and put it straight into the oven to bake at 300°F for an hour.

To thaw and bake cherry filling, let it thaw in the fridge overnight or longer. Then assemble your pie and bake as instructed.

It is not ideal to put the pie straight in the oven if you have frozen the filling separately, especially if the crust is at room temperature (freshly made), as the filling may still be half-frozen by the time the crust is cooked!

We also have a full guide to thawing and defrosting pie if you want more helpful tips for enjoying any frozen pie delicacy.

Tips For Freezing Cherry Pies

Right off the bat, there are a couple of things that you need to keep in mind when freezing cherry pies for the first time.

Pies are a delicate dish to work with when it comes to preservation, and many rookie baking aficionados start off without knowing these ‘do’s and ‘don’t’s of freezing cherry pies.

Typically, any kind of pie that is fully baked can be frozen. So, these dos and don’ts are equally applicable for chess pies, sweet potato pie, nut pies like pecan, custard pies, and fruit pies like apple, peach, mixed berry, strawberry rhubarb.

Do: Use high-quality wrappers.

To freeze all those yummy cherry pies you made, you should use high-quality wrappers to ensure the pies retain maximum frozen shelf life.

Aluminum foil is the first recommendation that comes to mind, but you can also easily use a plastic freezer wrap and a heavy-duty freezer bag as well.  

Do: Throw away bad or spoiled pies.

Despite your best efforts, chances are one or two pies in the batch might end up getting moldy or spoiled due to not being wrapped properly or getting squashed.

Unfortunately, they’re no longer fit for consumption and you should throw them away if you notice a bad smell or the aforementioned mold.

Do: Store the pie in the deep freezer if you can.

Some regular refrigerators come with their own deep fridge or deep freezer unit. While they are often not in the same league as dedicated deep freezers capable of generating very low temperatures, this is still a good idea if you have it.

Ideally, you should be preserving your precious cherry pies in a deep freezer at 10-15°F, which guarantees a preservation time of 6-8 months (or even longer) depending on the temperature.

However, if you only have a normal freezer, don’t fret. Your pies will last just fine for up to 6 months.

Don’t: Freeze pre-baked pies with cornstarch in the filling.

While unbaked cherry pies are best frozen with a little extra cornstarch or flour, pies that will be frozen after being baked should not have this addition!

This usually helpful ingredient has thick molecules that have the nasty habit of leaking the pie when heated after being frozen. The starch breaks down when heated, resulting in pie filling getting ruined.

This is not a problem if the pie was not baked already, but when it is pre-baked, frozen, and then reheated, it causes some unfortunate issues.

Keep in mind that this not only applies to cherry pies but any kind of fruit and custard pies as well.

Instead of cornstarch in the baking process, you should instead opt for alternative thickeners such as flour, tapioca, or arrowroot starch if you are going to pre-bake.  

Don’t: Freeze pies that contain gelatin. 

Cherry pies are best served warm to get the most out its flavor. If you’re not planning to eat frozen cherry pies, then it’s best to avoid the use of gelatin when making it.

Just like cornstarch, gelatin also has the tendency to leak inside the filling, making it runny and ruining the taste. Only a few types of pies such as lime pies are enjoyably frozen, so keep it in consideration when using gelatin to bake.   

Don’t: Keep it out too long.

Cherry pies don’t last that long at room temperature unless stored under the best conditions in a dry and cool area. The pie will become inedible in two days unless wrapped loosely with some aluminum foil.

Once thawed, even storing it in a fridge won’t hold up the expiration date any longer than four to five days, even if covered with aluminum foil. 

You can expect the same refrigeration date limit for freshly baked cherry pies if they’re put in a regular fridge instead of a deep fridge.  

Cherry Pies for Every Season – Freezing Review

If you ever get the craving for some warm cherry pie in the middle of December, now you know exactly how to satisfy that itch.

Freezing pies saves you a lot of time and effort for the rest of the year if you’re willing to invest a lazy weekend to bake a lot of pies.

So give it a go and enjoy those sumptuous cherry pies all year round!

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