Make-Ahead Pumpkin Pie with Maple-Cinnamon Whipped Cream
What we wanted: a pumpkin pie we could freeze whole. What we got: an excellent pie, frozen or not.
Why This Recipe Works
When we set out to develop a recipe for a make-ahead pumpkin pie—one that we could fully bake and then freeze for up to two weeks with no negative effects—we knew a steep challenge lay ahead of us. Custard pies typically don't survive freezing because the eggs in the custard contain a lot of water and tend to split into weepy mush once frozen. During the course of testing, we discovered that substituting gelatin for the eggs was the answer. The gelatin suspended excess water in a flexible network, so the filling remained smooth and retained its structure after being frozen and thawed. Cream replaced the richness that we lost when we ditched the eggs. Since gelatin sets up in a cool environment, it also made the luscious stir-together filling no-cook. The fully baked version of our Three-in-One All-Butter Pie Dough remained crisp and flaky even after being filled, frozen, and thawed. A festive whipped cream sweetened with maple syrup and spiced with cinnamon was the crowning touch on this game-changing holiday pie.