Can the pumpkin pie filling be frozen?
Here’s whether or not freezing pumpkin pie filling works well, what to expect, and how to go about freezing it. Also, a couple of ideas on how to use leftover pumpkin pie filling.
So you’re thinking of freezing your pumpkin pie filling.
Maybe you have some leftover pumpkin pie filling you just baked and have no ideas on how to use it right now. Or maybe you want to make the filling ahead of time, or even double your usual recipe, and wonder if that will work.
The good news is that it will.
THE SHORT ANSWER
You can freeze the pumpkin pie filling, and it freezes well for at least 3 months. To freeze it, pour the filling into an airtight container, close it tightly and put it in the freezer. Thaw the pie filling in the fridge overnight.
This is the shortened version.
Do you want to know a little more and see some before and after photos? Keep reading.
Although pumpkin pie only lasts a couple of days, it also freezes very well. So if you have enough pumpkin pie filling to bake another pie, you can do that instead.
How to Freeze Pumpkin Pie Filling
The process is the simplest. This is how the pumpkin pie filling is frozen:
- Portion the filling. Plan how you are going to use it after thawing it and divide the filling into portions. This way, you always defrost the amount you need and there are no leftovers to throw away. Pour each serving into an airtight container.
- close the containers. Add a label with the name, volume, and date on each one, if you find it useful.
- Place the containers in the freezer.
That’s all. It shouldn’t take you more than a couple of minutes.
Of course, if you want you can use freezer bags instead of containers. When doing so, consider freezing the filling flat so that you can stack the bags in the freezer.
Finally, you can use the above process to freeze both homemade and store-bought stuffing. For this article, I’ve frozen pumpkin pie filling made following John’s recipe from Preppy Kitchen.
How to thaw pumpkin pie filling
To thaw frozen pumpkin pie filling, place it in the fridge the night before you need it. Depending on the volume, thawing usually takes 4 to 8 hours.
To make sure the filling is runny in the morning, place the container in a pot or bowl of cold water before putting it in the fridge. Something like that:
The water will help the frozen filling thaw faster.
Once the pumpkin pie filling is thawed, it will look like this:
As you can see, it looks very similar to fresh fill. And here’s a close-up:
Pumpkin pie freezes well, and the texture stays much the same after thawing. Now it is ready to use.
How to use thawed pumpkin pie filling
Since pumpkin pie filling freezes very well, you can use it the same way you would use it fresh.
With that said, let’s say you only have a cup or two of filling left, which isn’t enough to make another pumpkin pie.
If that’s the case, you have at least a couple of options.
- Make more filling so that it is enough to bake another cake.
- Make mini pumpkin pies. Scale the recipe to make only as many mini tarts as you have filling.
- Adjust a recipe that calls for pumpkin puree. Many pumpkin recipes that use puree also call for eggs, milk, cream, and popular pumpkin spices like ginger, nutmeg, or cinnamon. And that’s what the pumpkin filling is made of. The move consists of omitting the ingredients that are already in the filling and adding the rest. Of course, not all recipes work for this type of adjustment, but many do.
To test the use of thawed pumpkin pie filling, I baked a pumpkin loaf following Barry’s recipe from Rock Recipes (pictured above).
Since I used pie filling instead of puree (you can freeze pumpkin puree, in case you don’t know), I adjusted the following
- I reduced the sugar in half, to 3/4 cup (the filling was already sweetened)
- I halved all the spices, plus the salt (the filling was already spiced)
- I reduced the amount of oil to about 3/4 cup (I ran out)
And you know what? The bread came out very well.
Of course, if you don’t want to experiment in the kitchen, stick with the first or second option. Or, if you’re looking for more ideas, here’s a great list of ways to use up leftover pumpkin pie filling.