The 2 Pie Types You Should Never Store In The Freezer

Pie lovers, rejoice: The make-ahead freezer pie is a treat both to the tastebuds and to the busy home bakers' schedule! An exercise in proactive preparation and ease, freezing a pie can be a fix-it-and-forget-it dessert dream. (Admittedly, as The Spruce Eats notes, an entire pan takes up quite a lot of space in the freezer. Plus, it ties up its use in the meantime, so consider whether you'll need it next week before entering a frozen pie residency).

Cook's Illustrated conducted an experiment in which it froze different types of pies to see how they held up. Per the study, apple, peach, pecan, and blueberry pie all remained sturdy enough to withstand the freezer largely unscathed. Michigan State University pumpkin pies also hold up well in the freezer and can keep for around six months. Although, per Simply Recipes, while those desserts might remain safe to eat for that long, yours are only safe from the wrath of freezer burn for roughly around the two-month mark, so it's still a good idea to check on them once in a while.

However, don't let the illusion of convenience fool you; there are two types of pie you should never store in the freezer.

Keep meringue pies and custard pies at room temp

No matter how alluring the idea of the make-ahead dessert might seem, you should never store meringue pies and custard pies in the freezer. According to chef Palak Patel of the Institute of Culinary Education via Martha Stewart, homemade meringue becomes rubbery and unpalatable when frozen and defrosted. The same is true of custards because the main ingredient in the cream is eggs, which famously don't freeze well. Defrosted, they become watery and chunky, effectively ruining your custard.

Better Homes & Gardens agrees, adding that the already-wet custard and meringue fillings often become soggy during defrosting. According to Cook's Illustrated, the freezing process introduces a significant amount of added moisture, which is further increased during thawing. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the result is a wet pie crust. In addition, Michigan State University says that once thawed, meringue and custard pies also tend to separate. (Does that sound appetizing?)

Instead, store those meringue and custard pies in the refrigerator for up to two days. Or, PennState University suggests freezing an empty pie crust sans filling and simply making the meringue or custard later on when you're ready to enjoy it. But, ultimately, if you have to put together a make-ahead pastry, opt for a sturdier recipe like a fruit pie instead.