Can You Freeze Custard Pies?
Custard pies are very unique. Whether you enjoy traditional custard or you make a pie like coconut crème and use a custard topping, they still have that same soft topping with the same ingredients.
Because of the nature of custard, it can be hard to store for extended lengths of time.
There are always tricks for preserving food but those tricks don’t always promise that your food will remain unchanged.
You might end up with changes in texture or even flavor at times. Custard is one of those things that can be questionable to freeze or try to preserve.
Can you freeze custard pies? The good news is that you can freeze some custard pies. It depends on how it was made and what the ingredients are. Certain types of custard pie will freeze better than others, such as baked pies.
In this guide, we will share with you tips and tricks to help you freeze custard pies. We will let you know just what you can freeze and how to do it.
We’ve also got some helpful hints up our sleeves to help you out when you decide to pull your custard pie out of the freezer.
Keep reading to learn more about freezing custard pies!
Can You Freeze Custard Pies?
When it comes to freezing a custard pie of any kind, the best rule of thumb is that you should only freeze custard pies that have been baked. While that is not necessarily an unbreakable rule, it’s a good philosophy to stick to.
Most bakers will recommend that you only freeze custard pies that are baked. They also recommend not freezing custard pies that use meringue or whipped cream for a topping.
You can technically freeze all custard pies. These details are primarily because those are the types of custard pies that react the best when you remove them from the freezer so just keep that in mind!
There are a couple of other tips that work on this same thread. For example, if your custard pie calls for cornstarch, it might be better not to freeze it. When cornstarch is mixed in for baking, it thickens up your filling.
Unfortunately, when you freeze it, something happens to the scientific makeup and some pies will get soggy because they leak liquid from the cornstarch.
However, if you’re working ahead and plan to freeze pies like that, you can use an alternative ingredient like tapioca, Clear Jel, or even flour to thicken instead and those will freeze just fine.
The other tip is to avoid freezing a custard pie made with gelatin in it. Now, gelatin is fine for pies intended to be served from a mostly frozen state.
Otherwise, you run into a similar problem as with cornstarch where the ingredients might get runny, making your custard pie a soggy, water mess instead.
With that in mind, baked custard pies still freeze the best. The pies in the following list will freeze ok but your struggle will come when you thaw them.
- Anything with fresh fruit in the mixture
- Custard pies that call for cornstarch (unless you substitute)
- Any type of chiffon pie
- Any type of meringue pie
These types of pies will freeze but when they thaw you are likely to get frustrated with sogginess, mushiness, or separation of ingredients.
If you decide to freeze these types of pies, you will need some very careful steps when you pull them from the freezer to avoid disappointment.
How To Freeze Custard Pies
Now, if you want to freeze custard pies, there are definitely some best practices for doing so. It’s actually pretty easy if you know the little steps.
Just as with most frozen items, you really just have to be careful how you handle them when you remove them from the freezer.
However, there are steps in the freezing process that are designed to help there as well.
You can follow these steps to freeze a custard pie.
- Start with a short pre-freezing process to set the custard.
- Once the pie is cooled to room temperature, place it uncovered in the freezer for a few hours. Even overnight would be fine. Just don’t forget about it!
- After the pre-freeze process, remove the pie from the freezer and wrap it up tightly in a couple of layers of plastic wrap. Be sure to use plastic wrap suitable for the freezer.
- Place the wrapped pie into a freezer storage bag for an extra layer of protection.
- Label and date your packaging
- Seal it up nice and tight. You can freeze it in this manner for up to 3 months.
That part is pretty easy. Even if you skip the pre-freeze process, your pie will freeze up ok. You just need to be careful to place it on a solid foundation so you don’t risk the custard getting messed up before it’s frozen.
We definitely recommend the pre-freeze whether you baked the custard pie or it’s a cold-served custard pie. This just really ensures that your custard ingredients get the opportunity to fully set and freeze. It helps get you the best results later.
Now, the real trick happens when you take that pie out of the freezer. But then again, it’s really just more of a treat.
Handling Custard Pies After Freezing
Our question is do you want your custard pie heated prior to serving it? This is totally your preference. Most custard pies that are made to be sweet are designed to be eaten cold.
If you are using a frozen pie that perhaps had meringue topping, you might need to re-whip your frosting. Otherwise, it simply might not look great when it thaws out. You can also eat it half-frozen to avoid other negative side effects.
Otherwise, follow these simple steps to enjoy custard pie after freezing.
- Remove pie from the freezer.
- Place it in the fridge for about 24 hours to let it thaw completely.
- Remove all of the layers and wrapping from the pie.
- Serve it nice and chilled.
Yep, pretty simple if we do say so ourselves! Keep in mind this is primarily referring to a custard pie that has been baked.
However, you can use a similar philosophy with other options. Just remember that your toppings or fillings might be slightly affected by the freezing and thawing steps.
The other thing we want to mention here is that you can also re-bake the pie if you want to. Some people feel like baking it again after freezing helps to refresh it a bit. It’s totally up to you in this case.