Apple pie is without a doubt one of the most popular pies in the world and it makes sense. The combination of the sharp bitterness of cooking apples cooked into a sweet filling wrapped in a shortcrust pastry makes for a great pie. It pairs so well with fresh cream, whipped cream, custard and ice cream. Apple pie is best enjoyed hot and it offers good contrast with the likes of ice cream and whipped cream which are cold. Reheating apple pie is not a simple affair; a perfect apple pie has a crumbly crust while all the moisture of the filling is trapped inside without affecting the integrity of the crust. So how do we reheat apple pie without compromising on the crust?
Apple pie is a pie in which the main filling ingredient is apples. You will often find double-crusted apple pies (top and bottom crust) though you may come across deep-dish (top crust only) and bottom crust only versions like tarte Tatin, which is baked with the crust on the bottom but served with the crust on top. It is most commonly made using granny smith apples but other varieties of apples used include Northern Spy, Pink Pearl, Golden Delicious, Gala, Bramley and Ginger Gold. The apple filling is cooked with butter, cinnamon, lemon juice, nutmeg, sugar and/or honey. The combination depends on the recipe being followed. It’s customary to bake the bottom blind, before baking the rest of the pie, to ensure a crispy crust. Apple pie is most often served with fresh cream, whipped cream, a la mode (with ice cream) and with cheddar cheese. Before we can get into reheating apple pie we have to discuss how to store apple pie properly.
How you store the apple pie is important to how easy a time you will have to reheat it. There are a few things you have to be wary of when storing apple pie. You can safely store baked apple pie in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. If you choose to do this it’s advisable to cover the pie with aluminium foil. This will seal in freshness. If you want to store your apple pie for longer than 5 days you are welcome to place it in the freezer. When freezing apple pie there are a few guidelines to follow. Firstly, unless you are certain you will reheat and eat the pie in one sitting you’re better of cutting up the pie into slices. Individually cling wrap the slices to get best results. Then place the wrapped slices in a freezer bag. When freezing you are protecting against freezer burn and oxidation so a heavy duty freezer bag is best. Label the freezer bag with the date you put the pie in the freezer. You can expect the pie to keep the best quality in the freezer for 3 months. When thawing frozen apple pie it’s best to thaw overnight in the fridge. This is easier with single slices but will take longer if you froze your pie whole.
Reheating Apple Pie in the Oven
When reheating apple pie the goal is a crispy crust. Because the ingredients inside are moist you run the risk of getting a soggy crust. Fortunately reheating the pie in the oven does the best job at achieving this goal. You want to have your pie wrapped in foil, whether it’s a single slice or a whole pie have it wrapped right around. Preheat your oven to 100 degrees Celsius. Place the pie in the oven and wait for around 15 to 30 minutes depending on the thickness and makeup of the pie. A single slice will heat this way in around 10 minutes. If for some reason you could not thaw your frozen pie the night before you can still reheat it effectively in the oven. You will have to unwrap your apple pie or pie slice and wrap it in foil just as you would with a thawed pie. In this case, you preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place the apple pie or slice in the oven. You will wait for around 20 to 30 minutes for the pie to heat through. A slice will heat much faster. Two important things to note. Firstly the purpose of the foil is to prevent the crust from burning before the pie has heated all the way through. Secondly, always put a cold pie into a hot oven. If the pie is warm it will make the crust soggy. If the oven is warm it will also make the crust soggy because the pie filling will warm up and seep into the crust.
Reheating Apple Pie in the Microwave
The microwave doesn’t do as good a job at heating the apple pie as the oven. To its credit, the microwave is much faster. However, in the microwave, you are likely to get a soggy crust and there is very little that you can about that. You can easily heat your apple pie in a microwave-safe plate. Take a single slice and place it in the microwave. To get the best out of microwave cooking you should split the process into two steps. Heat the slice for 30 seconds then let it sit for 30 seconds. Place it back in the microwave for 30 seconds and your pie should be hot and ready. The reason we let the pie sit for 30 seconds is to allow the heat to spread throughout the pie slice. If you’re heating a whole pie simply multiply the number of slices you get out of the pie by 30 seconds. So a 6 slice pie will give you 3 minutes. Then split the heating process into 3 2 minute periods with rest of 30 seconds in between. Check the temperature. If you don’t have a thermometer to make sure your food has heated to 70 degrees Celsius it’s better to heat the food until it’s very hot then allow it cool.
Whichever way you choose to heat your apple pie it’s safe to have with your favourite accompaniment. The oven does give you the best texture but it takes so much longer than the microwave.