Pumpkin pie is a tricky beast. Follow these easy tips to make portions of your pumpkin pie ahead of time -- so you can easily put it all together the day of.


Since we see frozen pumpkin pies in our grocery stores' freezer cases, it seems like we should be able to freeze our homemade pumpkin pies, too. But, unfortunately -- because our home freezers do their work more slowly than commercial bakery freezers do -- freezing fully baked pumpkin pie often results in weepy custard and soggy crust. We do not recommend it. When you need to work ahead, there are other options. Freezing the oven-ready crust (in its pan) will save some time -- just fill and bake. Also consider making and freezing pies or cheesecakes that have crumb crusts, such as Born Again Pumpkin Pie. Both freeze and thaw beautifully. BORN AGAIN PUMPKIN PIE 1/4 cup crushed gingersnaps 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon flour 3 tablespoons margarine, melted 1 16-ounce can pumpkin 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 3/4 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed 1 cup evaporated skim milk 1. In a 9-inch pie plate, combine gingersnap and graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and flour; drizzle with melted margarine and mix with a fork. Using your fingers, pat crumbs to cover the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Chill about 1 hour or until firm. 2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add egg product, blending with a rotary beater or fork until combined. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into prepared pie shell. Cover edge of pie with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer or until center appears set when shaken. Cool on a wire rack; cover and chill to store. Makes 8 servings. Nutrition Facts: Servings per Recipe (8 servings): Calories 222, Total Fat (g) 7, Saturated Fat (g) 1, Cholesterol (mg) 1, Sodium (mg) 233, Carbohydrate (g) 34, Fiber (g) 2, Protein (g) 7, Vitamin C (DV%) 4, Calcium (DV%) 12, Iron (DV%) 17. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

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