Last year, while interviewing an intriguing woman named Valerie Wilson, I discovered how easy it is to turn today’s peaches into tomorrow’s pie. By tomorrow’s, I mean December’s or January’s or February’s, when there are no local peaches to be had.
Wilson told me how she makes peach pie filling and freezes it inside the pie pan, so when she’s ready for a pie in the middle of winter, all she has to do is pop it in a crust and bake it. Sounds weird, I know. But really, it’s no different from eating a frozen Mrs. Smith’s pie. Except that the pie is homemade, organic and local!
All you have to do is make a peach pie according to your favorite recipe, or follow my recipe for Homemade Peach Pie. But instead of putting the filling in a crust and into the oven, line a pie pan with parchment and pour in the filling. Place it, covered, in the freezer (but don’t let the covering touch the filling). When the pie is frozen, remove the disc of frozen filling from the pan, peel off the parchment and put the filling into a double Ziploc.
Whenever you want peach pie for dessert — or whenever you need a dessert and don’t have time to make one from scratch — just make or buy a crust and put it inside the same pie pan you froze the filling in. Pop in the frozen filling and add your top crust, then bake as usual.
In my experience, the pie will “weep” a bit, that is, it will let off moisture, so spoon the extra liquid off the top to prevent the crust from getting soggy. I find that I have to add 10-15 minutes to the baking time, but I suggest checking for doneness at the time recommended by your recipe as all ovens (and freezers) are different.