Don’t Freeze Pumpkin Pie
Though some sources claim you can freeze a baked pumpkin pie, that was not our experience. The thawed custard filling was grainy and wet, and the extra moisture made the crust soggy. We had the same experience when we froze an unbaked pumpkin pie.
Here’s why freezing a custard pie, and particularly one with a pumpkin filling, is problematic: Pumpkin pie filling has a lot of added water (from dairy and the pumpkin itself). When egg proteins unravel (which they do as a result of either baking or freezing) they form a gel that can hold some water. When the filling is frozen solid, though, the linked proteins tighten, taking on a clumpy consistency, and ice crystals strain at the bonds of the gel, weakening them. When the filling is thawed, the damaged proteins can no longer contain the water as effectively, so some of it weeps out.
If you want to make pumpkin pie ahead, try this egg-free pumpkin pie from our sister publication, Cook’s Country, which replaces the eggs with gelatin, so the filling freezes beautifully.