Here’s whether or not freezing pumpkin pie filling works well, what to expect, and how to go about the freezing process. Plus, a couple of ideas on how to use any leftover pumpkin pie filling.
So you’re thinking about freezing pumpkin pie filling.
Maybe you have some leftover filling from the pumpkin pie that you just baked and no ideas on how to use it just now. Or perhaps you want to make the filling in advance, or even double your usual recipe, and you’re wondering if that will work.
The good news is, it will.
You can freeze pumpkin pie filling, and it freezes well for at least 3 months. To freeze it, pour the filling into an airtight container, seal it tightly, and place it in the freezer. Defrost the pie filling in the fridge overnight.
That’s the short version.
Want to learn a bit more and see some before and after pics? Read on.
How to Freeze Pumpkin Pie Filling
The process is as simple as it gets. Here’s how you freeze pumpkin pie filling:
- Portion the filling. Make a plan on how you’re going to use it after defrosting, and portion the filling accordingly. This way, you always defrost as much as you need, and there are no leftovers to discard. Pour each portion into an airtight container.
- Seal the containers. Add a label with name, volume, and date on each one if you find that helpful.
- Place the containers in the freezer.
That’s it. It shouldn’t take you more than a couple of minutes to complete.
Of course, you can use freezer bags instead of containers if you want. When doing so, consider freezing the filling flat so that you can stack the bags in the freezer.
Last, you can use the mentioned process to freeze both homemade and store-bought filling. For this article, I froze pumpkin pie filling made following the recipe from John from Preppy Kitchen.
How to Defrost Pumpkin Pie Filling
You defrost frozen pumpkin pie filling by placing it in the fridge the night before you need it. Depending on the volume, thawing will usually take 4 to 8 hours.
To make sure the filling is nice and liquid in the morning, place the container in a pot or bowl of cold water before placing it in the fridge. Something like this:
The water will help the frozen filling defrost faster.
Once your pumpkin pie filling is defrosted, it’s going to look like this:
As you can tell, it looks pretty much the same as fresh filling. And here’s a closeup:
Pumpkin pie freezes well, and the texture stays pretty much the same after defrosting. Now, it’s ready to use.
Using Defrosted Pumpkin Pie Filling
Since pumpkin pie filling freezes great, you can use it the same way you use it fresh.
That said, let’s say you only have a cup or two of the filling left, which isn’t nearly enough to bake another pumpkin pie.
If that’s the case, you have at least a couple of options:
- Make more filling so that it’s enough to bake another pie.
- Make mini pumpkin pies. Scale the recipe so that you make only as many mini pies as you have the filling for.
- Adjust a recipe that uses 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 pumpkin filling is made of. The move here is to skip the ingredients that are already in the filling and add the remaining ones. Of course, not every recipe will be good for this kind of adjustment, but many will.
To test using defrosted pumpkin pie filling, I baked a pumpkin bread following the recipe from Barry from Rock Recipes (photo above).
Since I used pie filling instead of puree (you can freeze pumpkin puree, in case you don’t know), I adjusted the following:
- reduced the sugar by half to 3/4 cup (the filling was already sweetened)
- halved all the spices besides salt (the filling was already spiced)
- reduced the amount of oil to about 3/4 of a cup (I run out)
And guess what? The bread came out great.
Of course, if you don’t want to experiment in the kitchen, stick to the first or second option. Or, if you’re looking for more ideas, here’s a good list of ways to use leftover pumpkin pie filling.