Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Move Over Marie Callender!

I live in Washington State, land of the apple. So every August I have a TON of free apples to can from the four apple trees in my backyard. We make applesauce, pies, apple fritters, and apple juice. We also have a few pitiful pear, plum and cherry trees that I have to fight over with the birds, some random dear, and a huge herd of elk. But I can usually get a few jars out of each of them before I give in and let the wildlife have the rest.

By the way, I don’t live in the country. I’m 7 minutes to the nearest Wal-mart and 3 minutes to the nearest gas station. And we don’t own acreage. We just happen to live by a small landlocked forest that holds all kinds of varmints. So any of you that were thinking, “Well I know I can’t be thrifty now, because she’s a farm girl and has an orchard and a giant garden and probably butchers her own meat,” you just get that thought outta your head. We just work with what we’ve got and you can do it to!

So this year when a friend brought me two boxes of early apples I was glad to get a few extra batches of a different type of apple. But the thought of peeling all those sweet green things with only my itty bitty paring knife brought back memories of the previous years sore fingers and I decided I needed one of these.

Behold, God is good!

If I could cuddle with it I would.
(if you want one, see my sidebar for a link. It's cheaper than what I paid for it.)

So today we made applesauce and pies. And I got to thinking, “I wonder if the people who read my blog know that you can freeze pies?” We call it the pie-a-month club at our house because I try to stick 12 pre-made pies in the freezer every year so we can have a homemade pie once a month until next apple season.

So for any of you who want to try it, here you go…

How To Freeze A Pie

Make your pie crust (I
use this recipe) Put a layer of plastic wrap in the bottom of your glass pan and put your bottom crust on top of the plastic wrap. (If you are using flexible tins you can skip this step because your pie will pop right out.)

Mix up your filling. It’s best to use a recipe that uses Tapioca as the thickener. Flour thickening recipes don’t hold up well in the freezer. I hear Clear-Jel works well too.

Place pie filling into the pie plate. Top with the crust, flute edges and place in the freezer until frozen. Don’t cut slits in the top of the pie.

As soon as it’s frozen, pop your pie disk out of the pie plate and either store it in a gallon freezer bag or wrap it in plastic wrap and then tin foil.

When you want to reheat it put it back into your pie plate, cut slits in the top and cook it in an oven preheated to 375. No need to thaw. Just pop it in while it's frozen.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, watching for browning and then lower the heat to 325. Continue to bake for another hour to hour and a half until its golden brown and bubbly.

Sometimes I use cheap metal pie tins and just freeze them and cook them without even removing the frozen disk but I like my glass pie plates better. Do what’s best for you.

This method works great for any fruit pie you make. We’ve done blueberry, cherry, apple and strawberry-rhubarb.

I've put this recipe up at Recipezaar with the filling directions also. If you want to print it out, it's easier to print from there.


Donna(mom24boyz) said...

Do you like apple butter? We love it and I always look forward to making a ton of it every fall. I mostly eat it as a sandwich with peanut butter.

Miriam said...

That's awesome that you got so many apples! I never thought to freeze pies out of the pie plate, but it does make sense! I love the idea of "pie-a-month":)

km said...

I have sort of wondered, but just last Friday my husband lost his job. I did my shopping for this week and only spent $45. We still have a well stocked pantry though. I thought it best to cut back as quick as possible and maybe we won't have to experience real lean days. My biggest expense is milk though. I've noticed you buy Silk. Do you not drink milk? My little ones wouldn't go for that sudden change. And I'm sure that different locals have different prices too. We life in Orange County (So. Cal)...prices are steep. I have 2 great recipes for you...but somehow haven't gotten to post them yet. Maybe I'll just email them.

Cindy-Still His Girl said...

I think a frozen apple pie would travel well on an airplane, don't you?

ispeakbeanish said...

I love when I can pull a pie out of the freezer. It's such a treat and so much tastier than a grocery store pie. Y'all should have lots of pies for the coming year with all those apples.

Suzan said...

I have been baking for about 40 years. I had no idea how to freeze a pie until now. What a great way to always have a homemade dessert on hand!

Terri said...

How cool is that! I LOVE apples!!! If I ever visit Washinton I'll join you for apple pie. Now here in Texas it's way too warm to grow apples. I have a lime tree in my backyard - I'll soon be able to make lime squares. And we have a banana tree too!

Emily said...

you're clever girl....clever.

Lorie said...

That's a lot of apples. Here's what I did when I got a bunch of fall apples. It is super yummy!

Freezer Apple Pie
4 cups sliced apples
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 (9 inch) pie shell
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter
Toss the apples, 1/2 cup sugar, and cinnamon together in a bowl. Place in frozen pie shell. Mix the flour, 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl. Cut in 1/3 cup butter until crumbly. (I used a pastry blender and it made this so easy!) Cut 2 tablespoons of butterinto pats and place on top of the crumbly mixture. place in a 1-gallon freezer bag. Freeze until ready to bake. Remove from freezer bag. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake for 40 minutes longer. Yeild 6 servings

Sharon-Momn4boys said...

Very cool! I've never frozen pie before. I usually make up some filling and can it but to have the whole pie ready to go! Well that is just cool.

Now I just need to get the whole crust making thing down.

Stephanie said...

I love this idea! Are you sure you don't own acreage?! I love your blog too with all of your great suggestions. Thank you! ...I'm off to plant an apple tree! :) I'm originally from Michigan (also an apple state), so I grew up with a lot of apple pies. YUM!!!

Anonymous said...

Can I ask where in WA you live? I am in WA too.

Kari Wright said...

Hubby brought me a bucket of apricots this morning. I had promised him a pie. Instead, I took your advice. I baked one for him today, and made another for the freezer. I feel so "prepared" now! I knew pies could be frozen but wasn't sure of the right order, I didn't want to end up with a squishy pie! thanks!

Anonymous said...

we just freeze the filling in the pie plate. after its frozen, pop it out and bag it. then, to cook, fit it into the crust and bake!

Miriam said...

*clears throat, looks sheepish*

I made SEVEN apple pies today to freeze - influenced by your great, frugal influence. So it's been awhile since I read this post, but hey, you freeze the pie in the pie plate, pop it out later and wrap it up. Bingo. I feel a brain niggle (is that a word??)going "you should re-read the post". Nah, I'm a pro at pies, I don't need to re-read the post just to freeze some.

YOU GUESSED IT!! No PLASTIC WRAP in the bottoms of my glass pie plates, and I used FLOUR thickener.

Thank you for keeping me humble. Now I'm *just hoping* that I don't have to bake and eat all 7 pies in order to get my pie plates back.

(is it mere coincedence that the word verfication has "duh" in it??)

HDMac said...

Great tips... We live in Washington state also!

momofgandj said...

I think that you are wonderful!