Fruit pies are a great dessert any time of the year, but they can be time-consuming to make, particularly if you are on a tight schedule. Fortunately, premade homemade apple pies are freeze well, which means you can assemble several when you have time and store them in the freezer for future baking.
Compared to some desserts that call for a long list of ingredients, apple pies are amazingly simple. Homemade piecrust calls for four simple ingredients: flour, salt, shortening and ice water. Using a piecrust mix saves time, but for freezing purposes, avoid using frozen premade piecrust. Its flavor and texture will be affected if the baked pie is refrozen. The apple filling itself can be as simple or as elaborate as your recipe dictates, but at its most basic, it is essentially composed of apples, sweetener, spice and a thickener, which is usually flour or cornstarch.
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Whether assembling one pie or many for freezing, each pie will need a bottom and a top crust. Once they are rolled out and cut to fit the pie plate, you can set them aside on a board or on waxed paper until the filling is ready. You can also line your pie plates with the bottom crusts and set those aside as you prepare the apples and other ingredients used to fill them. Once the pies are filled, arrange the top crusts on top and cut any excess off, leaving about 1/2 inch for sealing the pie and crimping the edges. Remember to use metal pie plates or disposable aluminum pans for pies intended for freezing, as baking a frozen pie pre-assembled in a glass plate may cause it to break once it is exposed to the oven's high heat. This is not a concern if you plan on thawing the pie before baking it.
Baking the Pies
Thawed raw apple pies should be baked in the same manner as freshly made unfrozen pies in an oven that has been preheated to the correct starting temperature. Some recipes call for one temperature during the whole baking time, which can range from 350 to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, while others call for a starting temperature of 450 F for the first 10 to 15 minutes, and then a lower temperature of 350 to 375 degrees F during the last 30 minutes or so. Both methods call for total baking time of roughly 45 minutes.
It is best to bake frozen apple pies by taking them directly from the freezer, and placing them immediately in an oven preheated to 450 F. You should bake the pies initially for about 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 F and bake for 20 to 30 more minutes, or until the crust is light brown. Do not allow a completely thawed raw apple pie to stay at room temperature for longer than a few minutes to minimize the growth of bacteria in the crust and filling. After baking, let the pie cool for about 15 minutes and refrigerate. Dispose of leftovers after two or three days, as pie that has been thawed from the frozen state cannot be refrozen. If you are baking a store-bought frozen raw apple pie that has thawed, follow package directions for best results.