A traditional British dish, fish pie (also known as fisherman’s pizza), is usually made with smoked whitefish and prawns, potatoes or cream sauce, and sometimes hard-boiled eggs.
It’s a hearty, delicious, and filling meal that can be made in individual or family-sized portions.
Is it possible to freeze fish pie? The answer is yes.
It is possible to freeze fish pie before or after it has been prepared, but each situation will require a unique procedure.
Learn how to freeze, defrost, and heat fish pie.
A few common questions you might have about making and eating fish pie will be answered.
What exactly is Fish Pie?
We briefly described fish pie in the previous paragraphs.
But let’s get into more detail about this British favorite.
While it is a popular food in the United Kingdom, many believe it was born in Scotland.
Fish pie is not a true pie. Instead, it is actually a casserole.
The fish and filling are covered in potatoes and pastry instead of dough.
It always includes fish. The fish pie usually includes smoked whitefish like cod or haddock.
Sometimes, prawns are also included. It can also contain potatoes, onions, butter, milk, flour, and other ingredients.
It can also include cheese, corn, and peas. Sometimes it contains hard-boiled eggs.
However, these should not be used if you plan to freeze fish pie.
Why Consider Freezing Fish Pie?
Freezing fish pie is a great idea if you need to save money.
It can also help get creative with leftovers and meals that are fast and easy to serve when unexpected company drops by or if the weather turns bad or causes delays on the way back from work.
There are a lot of reasons why you may want to freeze fish pie. Find out how you can do it.
Does Freezing Affect Fish Pie’s Quality?
It may be tempting to freeze fish pie immediately after you have prepared it.
However, freezing the dish right away can affect its taste and texture.
The quality of frozen fish pie may begin to suffer if it is not stored correctly.
Fish pie should be placed in a freezer below 0 degrees Fahrenheit or in a deep freezer that operates at -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fish pie should also be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.
Freezer burn can ruin the texture of fish pie and its filling.
It can cause ice crystals to form on the surface, making the food taste bad.
Freezer burn is not safe for consumption. Use a baking dish when freezing fish pie to ensure that the food freezes quickly and retains its shape.
How Long Can Fish Pie Be Frozen for?
The maximum length of time you can expect the frozen fish pie to retain good quality is nine months or less.
After this period, if you still have frozen fish pie, it may not taste as good as it once did.
This is because the flavors and textures of fish pie will deteriorate over time.
How to Freeze Fish Pie?
There are two ways to freeze fish pie.
You can choose whichever way suits you and your family.
Method 1: Freezing Fish Pie After Preparation
This is the best (and easiest) method to freeze fish pie if you want to eat it as soon as possible.
It also requires less preparation before freezing.
However, this requires some planning ahead.
This is because you will need to prepare the dish in smaller portions.
Here’s how Method 1 works:
- Freeze the fish pie in a baking dish.
- When it has frozen solid, place it inside a freezer bag or seal it tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
- Remove as much air from the bag as possible.
- Store the fish pie in a deep freezer, if possible.
Some home freezers may not be able to get that cold enough to prevent nutrient loss for this dish.
Method 1 allows you to consume frozen fish pie while it is still fresh and delicious.
It also gives you more flexibility when deciding how much you can prepare at one time.
Method 2: Freezing Uncooked Fish Pie
Freeze uncooked fish pie for longer storage.
This is a good method to use if you plan to eat the frozen fish pie later on.
Also, you can use this method if you are planning to serve the food to guests.
Some people may not like Method 2 since it requires more preparation work.
However, it is the best (and most convenient) method to serve the food later on.
Here’s how Method 2 works:
- Prepare the filling and dough for fish pie but do not assemble it.
- Allow it to cool completely to room temperature before freezing.
- Place the filling in a baking dish with high sides or a container with no holes or cracks.
- Freeze the container until solid.
- You can also freeze the food in portions.
Please place them in freezer bags or containers to freeze them individually.
You can prepare, cook and freeze the fish pie right away if you plan to use frozen uncooked fish pie for leftovers.
How to Thaw Frozen Fish Pie?
It is generally safe to thaw frozen fish pie in the refrigerator.
If you have time, you should place the dish in the refrigerator at least 24 hours before cooking and serving it.
This will give the filling enough time to cook properly and allow flavors and other textures of the food to blend well with each other.
However, you can thaw the dish in cold water only if time is of the essence.
This requires more finesse to avoid soggy fish pie and its filling.
Thawing a frozen uncooked fish pie takes longer than already cooked since it needs to be cooked before serving.
It usually takes at least 24 hours to thaw uncooked fish pie.
Take note that if you are planning to freeze the dish again, make sure it is completely thawed first.
How to Reheat Fish Pie?
You may reheat frozen fish pie in different ways.
It depends on how you froze the dish and if it was previously cooked or uncooked when it was frozen.
Just follow these basic steps to reheat fish pie:
Transfer thawed frozen fish pie to a baking dish with high sides.
Make sure that the filling is well-covered.
Place the dish in a preheated oven and heat it to 350 degrees F.
This will thaw the filling while warming it simultaneously.
Allow about 30 minutes for this reheating method.
You can also place foil (or baking sheets) over the fish pie if you plan to serve it later than an hour after cooking.
This will allow the dish to warm up faster.
You can reheat an uncooked frozen fish pie using the baking method.
Transfer it to a baking dish with high sides or cover it tightly if you froze it in smaller portions.
Place the fish pie in a preheated 350F oven and heat it for at least 45 minutes.
The fish pie should be warmed throughout when it is ready.
This reheating process will allow the filling to cook all the way through.
How to Tell if Fish Pie is Bad?
A bad fish pie will have a foul odor.
It also has an unpleasant smell that can be detected even at the coldest storage temperature.
However, it is better to be safe than sorry when handling food, especially frozen foods.
Do not consume fish pie if you notice any changes in its color, texture, or consistency.
If you are unsure, it’s best to discard the food to avoid any illnesses.
Another sure sign that the food is bad is when it has a bloated appearance.
A foul smell may also be present when you open the package or container containing frozen fish pie.
Frozen uncooked fish pie may get freezer burn, but this is only true if they are not properly wrapped.
Freezer burns appear as cloudy spots with an off-white color.
In conclusion, fish pie is a versatile dish that is easy to prepare and freeze.
It also has many variations in recipes depending on what type of fish, vegetables, or spices are used.
It is best to thaw frozen uncooked fish pies completely before cooking so the filling can cook thoroughly without overcooking the pastry topping.
Just reheat them before serving for better results and to avoid soggy fish pie.