How to Freeze Apples for Apple Pie

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Freezing apples to use for Apple Pie later is one of my favorite ways to preserve apples. I love apple pie but don’t always feel like making the mess it involves.

With this method I’m basically making the pie filling and freezing it so later all I have to do is pop it in a crust and bake. It is a pretty handy trick! I’ll also go over how to just freeze the apples without the pie plate.

You can dehydrate, can, make applesauce, you can freeze apples plain, but put it in a pie plate and have it oven ready… it’s a dream!

Learn how to freeze apples for pie to bake later. Homemade convenience food!

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This Page Includes:

Freezing Apples for Pie Filling

Can you freeze a whole unbaked pie in the crust?

How to bake the frozen pie.

Frequently Asked Questions

Recipe Card

Freezing apples for Making Pie. Step by step directions.

With this method I’m basically making the pie filling and freezing it so later all I have to do is pop it in a crust and bake. It is a pretty handy trick!

You will need:

  • aluminum foil
  • pie pan
  • fruit preserver or lemon juice
  • freezer bags, or wrap
  • apples
  • sugar – optional

If freezing apples for pie, you’ll also need the following ingredients per pie:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • Dash of salt
Using a vegetable peeler to peel green skin from an apple.

First, peel and slice your apples. Make apple pie-sized chunks. You could use an apple peeler corer slicer, but I prefer a bit chunkier apple in my pie so I just do it by hand.

Save the cores and peels for the mulch pile or bury them in the garden…the worms will love you!

Peeled and sliced apples.

As you peel each apple, slice them directly into a salt water soak. I used to use a lemon juice water, but since I tried the salt water I do prefer it. There are actually several ways to prevent the browning of your apples. If you look at my post on how to freeze apples I detail other methods there. Any will work… in my opinion salt water works best and is my preference.

How to Freeze Apples

A pie plate filled with peeled and sliced apples.

When you think you have enough apples for a pie, go ahead and place the apples in the pie plate just as if you were making a pie. I’d estimate about 5 cups. But your pie plate will vary.

Err on the side of too much! Go ahead and press them down and really pack them in. Pile them a bit so you will have lots of apples for you pie when you bake it.

Pouring sugar mixture into a bowl of peeled and sliced apples.

Take these apples and place them in a large bowl. Combine ½ cup sugar, ½ tsp. cinnamon, 3 Tbsp flour, dash of salt. (the salt makes it! don’t skip it.) Pour this over your apples. and mix well.

Stirring to coat prepared apple slices with the sugar mixture.

Place an oversized piece of foil into your pie pan. You want enough overlap to be able to fold the foil over the apples when you fill your pan again.

Lining a pie plate with aluminum foil.

Pour your apples and flour/sugar mixture into the foil-lined pie pan.

Apple mixture poured into foil lined pie plate.

Fold your foil over and cover thoroughly. Place the whole pan in the freezer.

Tomorrow, when the apples are frozen, remove the foil package and place it in a large freezer bag. You could also wrap it in freezer paper.

Apple slices wrapped in foil inside a glass pie plate.

Remove as much air as possible. Seal, label, and date. You’ll still have your pie pan available in the mean time and the apples will be just right to pop back into the same pan with the crust.

Can you freeze a whole unbaked apple pie including the crust?

If you want to freeze a whole pie with the crust you can do that too.

Make your pie up until the point of baking.

  • Make the crust, line the bottom of your pie plate with the bottom crust.
  • Make the filling (apples, sugar cinnamon mixture just like above) and add it to your bottom crust.
  • Include butter on top of apples
  • Cover with top crust – with slits cut into it.
  • Wrap the entire pie (pie plate included) in saran wrap, then foil or a large freezer bag.
  • Pop in the freezer and freeze.

Cook this whole frozen pie the same way I direct in the recipe below.

How to Bake the Frozen Pie

You now have pie-shaped apples to place in a crust and bake. When you are ready to make your pie, remove all the foil and place frozen apple pie filling in a crust-lined pie plate. Dot with 2 Tbsp. butter and cover with top crust. Cut some slits in your top crust.

Should I thaw the pie first before baking?

Cook from frozen! Do not let the apples thaw first. I’ve been told that if you let the apples thaw, they release more liquid and will make a soggy crust.

Be warned: Don’t forget pie baking rule #1:

Place some foil, a baking sheet, or something under your pie to catch the drippings. I like to reuse the foil I just removed from the pie. I put it on the rack below the rack the pie is on. It doesn’t have to be laid out all pretty. Just enough to catch the overflow that is likely to happen.

So you’ll have a pie on the rack in the oven, with a piece of foil covering it loosely. Then you’ll have foil (or other pan) on the rack underneath to catch the juicy overflow.

You’ll find specific baking instructions below in the recipe card. You want to start very hot… then lower the heat a bit to finish cooking. Doing it this way the crust does not get soggy.

I found this pie to get very bubbly! Watch the bubbly juices. They will be very runny at first and will probably overflow (thus pie baking rule #1). As it cooks, the juices will get thicker.

Remove the top foil about 10 minutes or so before you will take the pie out. Don’t take the dripping catching foil away until you are done cooking or you’ll have to clean your oven.

When juice is getting bubbly and thick through the slits and the crust is lightly browned, the pie is done!

Cooking Pie from the Freezer Video

This video is for cooking a pie that you’ve frozen in the crust. (opens in you tube) I was baking a pie I had in the freezer and decided to do a quick video. You’ll see my most important point… Don’t thaw first!

Tricks for cooking pies from the freezer:

  1. Do NOT thaw the pie before baking. It must go into the oven frozen. Otherwise, it will end up soggy.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Pull the pie directly from the freezer. IF you’ve used anything but foil to wrap your pie… remove it first! We don’t want melted plastic wrap.
  3. I do cover the top of the pie with foil to prevent over browning.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Turn temp down to 375 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes.
  6. Remove foil and finish baking (45-50 minutes, depending on your pie).
  7. When the pie is bubbly and the crust is brown, it’s done. Watch your crusts, because the crust will sometimes brown too much before the middle is done. If you have a pie ring (you can substitute foil), put it on the pie for the last 10 minutes to protect the edge pieces of crust.

Freezing Apples FAQ

What Kind of Apples Can Be Frozen for pie?

Any type of apples can be frozen, but a good pie apple will be a crisp variety and somewhat tart.

My personal favorite for pie is Granny Smith, since they are tart and crispy. Jona-Gold is a cross between the Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples. The Jonathan is crispy and the Golden Delicious gives it that good, sweet flavor.

Since I’m thrifty, I always look for seconds. I live where there are a lot of orchards and it seems like every year these orchards will have seconds (meaning less-than-perfect apples that are still good) that they sell inexpensively.

Sometimes, I luck out and get free boxes from people who simply have too much and would rather give it away than see it go to waste. 🙂

How Long Can You Freeze Apples?

Frozen apples will last about a year in the freezer when properly packaged. The better the packaging, the longer it will resist freezer burn.
I’ve never kept them that long though, as we always eat them up over the winter. This is a quality issue, because after that first year, the apples may get soft or freezer burned.

What Do You Do with Frozen Apples?

In addition to making apple pie, you can use the same method I used above to freeze just the apples then use those for making cobbler. In that case you don’t need to put them in a pie plate to keep the form. Just prepare your apples and put them in a freezer bag.
You can also just sprinkle on some sugar and cinnamon and heat it up in the oven for a nice, simple dessert.

Recipe Card

Freezing Apples for Apple Pie

Freezing apples for pie makes pie making later super easy. Prepare ahead desserts for the busy holidays or spur of the moment cravings.
Print Recipe
A big container of cored and quartered yellow apples.
Prep Time:1 hour
Total Time:1 hour

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 5 cups Apples   peeled & sliced apples (amount may vary)
  • 1 quart Water to prevent browning apples
  • 2 teaspoon salt to prevent browning apples
  • ½ cup Sugar for pie filling
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon for pie filling
  • 3 Tablespoons flour for pie filling
  • 1 pinch salt for pie filling

Instructions

Freezing Apples for Pie Filling

  • Peel, core and slice apples into a salt water soak. About 2 teaspoon salt dissolved in 1 quart water. This will prevent browning apples.
  • When all apples are sliced let them soak about 5 minutes and drain well.
  • Place apples in your pie plate to be sure you have the right amount. Pack them in and mound them up. I like lots of apples in my apple pie!
  • Remove these apples to a bowl, add sugar cinnamon mixture and mix to coat. ½ cup sugar, ½ tsp. cinnamon, 3 Tbsp flour, Dash of salt
  • Lay an oversized piece of foil in your pie plate. You want enough to wrap around all of the apple filling.
  • Put the apples back into your foil lined pie plate. Include all the sugar mixture. Wrap the foil sides up and around the pie filling. If needed add another layer of foil to be sure it is all covered.
  • Place the pie plate and contents in the freezer and allow to freeze.
  • When it is frozen take the foil wrapped pie filling out of the pie plate and place in freezer bag or wrap in freezer paper.
  • Remove air, seal, and label. Put back in the freezer for later baking.

Baking the Pie

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (Do this before you take your pie out of the freezer. You are cooking the pie filling from frozen.)
  • Make your crust. Unwrap your frozen pie filling and place it in the bottom crust, add 2T butter spread across the top. (just scatter some pieces)
  • Add top crust, pinch down edges to seal and cut some slits in the top.
  • Cover just the the top of the pie with foil to prevent over browning.
  • Bake for 15 minutes at 450. Turn temperature down to 375 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes.
  • Remove foil and finish baking (45-50 minutes)
  • When the pie is bubbly and the crust is brown, it’s done.

Notes

Tips for making the frozen apple pie filling.
When you are mixing the pie filling ingredients, it is mostly to taste. You can use more or less of the sugar mixture, add more cinnamon or less, you might like nutmeg instead or in addition.
I don’t suggest changing the flour content, this amount thickens the pie as it bakes. Don’t skip the salt! It really adds nice flavor.
Tips for Baking
The same baking instructions can be used if you are baking a whole frozen pie or just adding frozen filling to a fresh pie crust.  
While it is baking, watch the edges of your crust, if it looks like it might get too browned, you can cover the edges of the crust with a pie ring or some foil.

Related Pages

How to Freeze Apples

Learn how to freeze apples. Freezing is a great option for an overabundance, or just when we want to prepare ahead for all the apple desserts you love.
Learn more here…
Whole apples sitting on a white cutting board, one of the apples is peeled with the paring knife.

Freezing Cherries

My husband is a big fan of freezing cherries. He and my sons eat them like popsicles. I like them too, and the plus is…they are much better for you than popsicles. Learn how to freeze cherries here (hint: super easy).
Learn more here…
A freezer paper lined tray with pitted red cherries spread over it.

Freezing Bananas

Freezing bananas is great for making smoothies, banana bread, and more later! Yummy.
Learn more here…
Two bunches of bright yellow bananas with bags of apples in the background.

Pin This to Find Later:

Freezing apples can be done in many ways. SimplyCanning.com shares tips and tricks for 3 different ways that you can preserve your apples in the freezer for easy use later. #SimplyCanning #FreezingApples #Apples

Page last updated: 6/3/2021

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Whitney
Whitney
1 year ago

Can a crumble top be used rather than a pie dough top?

Karen Sprague
Karen Sprague
1 year ago

Please do not call aluminum foil tin foil. Two distinct products.

Carolyn
Carolyn
6 months ago

5 stars
I’ve always called aluminum foil, “foil” & l say call it whatever you’d like. Thanks for a great recipe, a neighbor gifted us with a bag of granny smith apples 😁

Maynard Freemole
Maynard Freemole
2 years ago

5 stars
This information is very succinct and helpful.

JOHNNIE MESSER
JOHNNIE MESSER
2 years ago

Thank you, I thought putting my first crop of apples would be hard. As I picked them, I thought do you really want to do all this work for an apple pie.