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Selling Pumpkin Pies


jlwquilter
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I do some on request baking. Thanksgiving is coming and I am starting to get requests. However, this year, I will be on vacation all of Thanksgiving week so anything I sell has to be made and delivered the Friday before and somehow be storable by my customers until they want to eat/serve it... mostly on Turkey Day.

My main current concern is pumpkin pie. Can I do this?? Can I make a pie the week ahead, using all sorts of anti soggy bottom crust tricks, tell my customers to leave it wrapped in the fridge all that time and be confident that the served product will do me (and them!) proud??

I am thinking "no"but would love to hear "yes, and this is how:"!

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Golly. I'd like to hear from somebody how to do that too, if it's possible. What comes to mind immediately is to only partially bake the crust and then give the crust and the filling to folks separately and have them finish it off themselves.

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I don't make pumpkin pie, but i do make sweet potato. I personally wouldn't want to deliver my pies a week early, although if it was absolutely necessary, I would give explicit instructions to refrigerate or freeze) (but we know how well people follow directions right?)

When I make my pie, I can taste a difference in the "freshness" after a few days-if it lasts that long- even after I have friged. Of course, the pie isn't "bad" per se, but not up to my standards..

In regards to giving the crust and the filling to have the customer bake, the reason that people order "home style" cakes and pies is either becasue they can't or don't want to take the time, so they are purchasing from me. I wouldn't ask them to prepare the product.

Edited by lilthorner (log)
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I think this is one instance where you can't have it both ways. The only way you're going to have anything approaching 'fresh' pie is to deliver the pies frozen, and for the customers to immediately transfer the pies into the freezer. I know it's possible to purchase frozen pumpkin pies from the grocery, but I've never tried to freeze one that's homemade. You still have time to try it. Remember to include thawing instructions; seems like a no-brainer, but if you don't, somebody will do something weird and blame you for the outcome.

A pumpkin pie simply will not keep for a week in the refrigerator. I suppose there are some people who might eat a week-old pie, but I'm not one of them.

I think you've got to find a Plan B here. If I were purchasing a pumpkin pie from a source other than the freezer case at the grocery, I would expect that it would have been made no earlier than Tuesday, and preferably on Wednesday. I would not even consider a pie made the week before. I'm not sure what your answer is, but something's gotta give.

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There was *just* an article about this in the NYTimes Dining & Wine section: Clicky. Basically, they claimed it doesn't work for pumpkin pie, because it'll weep too much. Frozen store pies use blast freezers to freeze theirs.

Joanna G. Hurley

"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

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What about freezing them raw and sending bake-off instructions with them? It's been a long time since I'm made a pumpkin pie, but it should freeze OK -- I think I've seen commercial un-baked frozen pies . .

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I appreciate the comments here! Unfortunately I'm not seeing anything that is really going to solve my particular problem :sad:

I have indeed frozen baked pumpkin pies - for my own use. I think the filling tastes just fine when defrosted but the crust and filling do part ways and the crust is only passable at best (soggy and not just on the bottom). I would not sell the pies like this under any circumstances. I also don't think my customers would be happy with anything less than a fnished, slap it on the table dessert either.

I did wonder how the frozen pie makers did it... a blast freezer, eh? Makes sense I guess.

I guess Plan B is it. Another type of pie or pumpkin something else. I do make a pumpkin cheesecake that is pretty tasty and will try to talk the customers into that :rolleyes: But some just want that traditional pie... and I can't say I blame them either!

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It does seem best that you should tell your customers that pumpkin pie is just not available because it has a short shelf life. Then offer them plan B.

I guess it's just a question of whether you want money now at the risk of losing business later or you want to not get the money and build a relationship for the future. It's a question of how you want to represent yourself and your business.

I personally have turned away many a dessert order if there were parameters that would hurt the quality of the dessert I was making. For me, it's just not worth it.

Stephanie Crocker

Sugar Bakery + Cafe

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