Freezing

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Bread, coffeecake and rolls (unbaked) Use only recipes developed especially for freezing unbaked dough. Follow recipe directions. Length of freezer storage: up to 1 month.

Cakes (baked):Layer, loaf, cupcakes, angel, chiffon, sponge and fruit Prepare as usual, bake and cool. Freeze whole cakes, meal-sized portions or slices. Place a double layer of freezer paper between slices for easy removal. To prevent crushing, freeze whole cakes in boxes. For best results, freeze cake and frosting separately; frosted cakes should be quick frozen on a tray before packaging. Best frostings for freezing include fudge frosting or confectioner's sugar icing. Do not freeze seven minute frosting, or frosting made with egg whites. Frosted or filled cakes should be thawed in the refrigerator. Unfrosted cakes can be thawed in their wrapping at room temperature. Length of freezer storage: about 3 months.

Cookies:Baked cookies Prepare as usual. Cool, package with freezer paper between layers, and freeze. Thaw in wrapping at room temperature.

Unbaked cookies For refrigerator cookies: Prepare as usual, form into roll, package, seal and freeze. Slice and bake refrigerator cookies without thawing according to recipe. For bulk cookie dough: Prepare dough as usual, package, seal and freeze. Thaw dough in the refrigerator until soft enough to drop by teaspoons. Bake according to recipe.

Length of freezer storage for unbaked and baked cookies is about 3 months.

Cream puffs and eclair shells:Prepare as usual. Cool. Slit and remove moist inside parts. Do not fill before freezing. Tray freeze, package and return to freezer immediately. Thaw in wrapping at room temperature. Fill and keep refrigerated until served. Length of freezer storage: 1 to 2 months.

Pastry and pies:Unbaked pastry Prepare regular pastry or crumb crust. Fit into pie pans. Generously prick pastry that will be baked unfilled. Stack pie pans with a double layer of freezer paper between them. Or, store flat rounds of pastry on foil-covered cardboard separated by two layers of freezer paper. Overwrap with freezer bags or heavy-duty aluminum foil, seal and freeze. Bake when pie shell is still frozen at 475°F until light brown. Or, fill and bake as per recipe. Length of freezer storage: 6 to 8 weeks.

Baked pastry Prepare and bake pastry as usual. Cool, package and freeze. Thaw in wrapping at room temperature. Length of freezer storage: 2 to 3 months.

Chiffon pies Prepare with a gelatin base. Tray freeze before packaging to keep top from sticking to freezer wrap. Package and return to freezer immediately. Thaw in the refrigerator. Length of freezer storage: 2 weeks.

Note: Meringue toppings toughen during freezer storage and stick to wrapping. Add just before serving.

Fruit, mince, and nut pies (unbaked) Frozen unbaked pies have a better fresh fruit flavor than frozen baked pies, but bottom crust tends to get soggy. Thicken fruit fillings with instant tapioca (see also "mochiko" in "Soups and Sauces" section) and cool before pouring into crust. The filling for frozen pies should be slightly thicker than usual. Do not cut vents in top crust. Tray freeze, package and return to freezer immediately. Cut vent holes in upper crust and bake without thawing on baking sheet at 450°F for 15 to 20 minutes. Then, reduce heat to 375°F for 20 to 30 minutes or until top crust is brown. Length of freezer storage: 8 months for fruit pies, 6 to 8 months for mince pies and 3 to 4 months for nut pies.

Fruit pie fillings Freeze separately in rigid containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Thaw in refrigerator just until it can easily be spread in pastry. Length of freezer storage: 6 to 8 months.

Fruit, mince and nut pies (baked) Prepare as usual. Cool rapidly, tray freeze, package and return to freezer immediately. Thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes. Then bake in 350°F oven about 30 minutes, until warm. Length of freezer storage: 3 to 4 months.

Pumpkin pie Prepare pie shell and filling as usual. Add cold filling to unbaked cold pie shell. Tray freeze, package and return to freezer immediately. Bake without thawing at 400°F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees F to finish baking until set. Length of freezer storage: 4 to 5 weeks.

Note: Custard and cream pies soak into the crust when frozen and do not produce a quality product.

Main dishes and combination foods :

Casseroles:Casseroles containing meat (stews, spaghetti sauce, etc.) Prepare as usual, keeping fat to a minimum. Omit potatoes from stews and slightly undercook other stew vegetables. Cool rapidly, package, leave headspace and freeze. Be sure meat is covered with sauce or broth. Thaw partially in refrigerator to prevent overcooking. Reheat in top of double boiler or replace in casserole dish and heat uncovered in oven. Length of freezer storage: 3 months.

Non-meat casseroles (macaroni and cheese) Prepare as usual. Pasta should be slightly undercooked. Cool rapidly, package, leave headspace and freeze. Thaw partially in refrigerator to prevent overcooking. Reheat in top of double boiler or replace in casserole dish and heat uncovered in oven. Length of freezer storage: 3 months.

Creamed meat, fish and poultry Use a recipe with a small amount of fat. Prepare as usual, cool rapidly, package and freeze. Reheat frozen product in top of double boiler. Stir occasionally for a smooth product. Length of freezer storage: 2 to 4 months.

Dressing Prepare as usual, cool rapidly, package and freeze. Partially thaw dressing in refrigerator. Add a small amount of water and reheat in a double boiler or place in a greased casserole and reheat in a 350°F oven until hot. Length of freezer storage: 1 month.

Fish loaves Prepare as usual, but do not bake or put bacon strips on top. Pack into loaf pan, seal and freeze. Thaw in refrigerator for one to two hours. Unwrap and bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F and finish baking. Length of freezer storage: 1 to 2 months.

Fried meat and poultry Fry as usual until almost done. Drain well and cool rapidly. Tray freeze, package and return to freezer immediately. Thaw in refrigerator. Place in shallow pan and heat without a cover at 350°F for 30 to 45 minutes. Frozen fried meat and poultry may lose some fresh flavor and crispness. Length of freezer storage: 1 to 3 months.

Meals (TV dinners) Use foods recommended for freezing in this Quality for Keeps freezer series. Prepare as usual. Leftovers may be used. Package in individual servings or in sectioned foil trays. Individual servings are the preferred packaging method. Cover with aluminum foil and overwrap with freezer paper or a freezer bag and freeze.

To reheat, take off overwrap. Do not remove foil covering. Heat in a 400° F oven for 20 to 30 minutes. For crisp foods, uncover the last 10 to 15 minutes of baking time. Length of freezer storage: 1 month.

Meat loaf Prepare as usual. Do not put bacon strips on top. Can be frozen baked or unbaked. Package and freeze.

To prepare unbaked: Do not thaw. Unwrap and bake at 350°F for approximately 1-1/2 hours.

To prepare baked: To serve cold, thaw in wrapping in the refrigerator. To serve hot, do not thaw. Unwrap and bake at 350 degrees F about one hour, or until all meat is hot. Length of freezer storage: 3 to 4 months.


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