Pre-Make or Freeze a Fruit Pie
Did you know that you can pre-make or freeze a fruit pie? Yup, I do this with apple pie, berry, sour cherry, and such all the time. Completely make the pie, cover with plastic wrap, place it in the fridge, and bake it off the next day. In fact, when you give dough a long chill like this, the gluten strands that inevitably happen when you work the dough, now have a chance to relax or “chill out” one could say. Your fridge will need to be good and cold. Oh, and keep that pie on the bottom shelf or as close to it as you can. Remember that heat rises.
What about freezing a pie? Here’s how to do that. If you want to make your pie(s) a week or two ahead of time, double wrap them and place in the freezer. Do not defrost the fruit pie or you will have a lot of extra juice slopping around in the pie pan before it bakes and also after, because that frozen fruit will be letting loose its juice. When ready to bake, place the frozen pie on the counter while you pre-heat the oven for about 15-20 minutes, set it in the hot oven and bake, adding 10-20 minutes at the end as needed.
Both these methods can be real time savers when company is coming. I’ve got a sour cherry pie all made and ready to bake in my freezer right now. Here’s the recipe, too! When fresh sour cherries are not available, use frozen ones just as if they were fresh. Don’t defrost them either when you are making that filling.
And one last thought, I don’t do either of these tricks for my custard pies. I make those fillings and bake them up earlier on the day I’m serving, leaving plenty of time for the pie to cool and set up.