If you’re the type to bake a pie for every season, then you may have a pie crust or two sitting in your fridge. But what happens if a crust has been sitting for longer than expected? How do you tell if it’s still OK to eat or if the pie crust has gone bad?
As a general rule, any signs of spoilage on a cooked crust or pie dough are clear indicators that it is not safe to consume. Though store-bought pie crust can have a shelf life of several weeks, poor storage or damaged packaging can cause the crust to spoil at a faster rate.
Whether you found a premade crust in your refrigerator or you stored a homemade pie dough for longer than expected, it’s helpful to know the signs of spoilage so you don’t consume crust that has gone bad. In this article, you will learn how to tell if your pie crust has gone bad or if it is still safe to eat.
How To Tell If Pie Crust Is Bad
Whether you use a premade crust, store-bought mix, or homemade dough, knowing the spoilage signs of pie crust can help you avoid eating rotten food.
Check the Date on the Pie Crust Packaging
If you purchased a roll of pre-made pie crust and weren’t able to use it as quickly as you intended, you may be wondering if it’s still good or has your money gone to waste?
As a general rule, checking the use by date printed on the package is a good indicator of whether or not the food can still be consumed.
However, many foods that are bought at the store have a sell by or best by date instead of a use by date. This is especially true for sweet and baked goods. Therefore, the store-bought pie crust sitting in your refrigerator may still be good to use even after the date printed on the package.
On the other hand, a pie crust could have a date that is farther out but has gone bad because of improper storage or damaged packaging. For example, Keebler graham cracker pie crusts have a best by date that is often a year out from the date of purchase. However, they need to be stored at a cool temperature or the quality of the crust could change.
For this reason, it’s best to look for signs of spoilage along with checking the date.
Look For Signs of Spoiling on the Pie Crust
Any sign of mold or discoloration is a clear indicator that the crust has gone bad. If your pie crust has been sitting in the fridge or freezer longer than recommended, make sure to give it a quick lookover before putting it to use.
For raw crust or dough, look for an overall gray coloration or flecks of gray. This either means that the dough has started to oxidize, or it can also be a sign of freezer burn.
On cooked pie crusts, look for fuzzy mold or discolored spots. If you come across any, the pie crust should be tossed out.
Use Your Senses
Believe it or not, your sense of smell and taste are also great tools for figuring out if something is safe to eat.
Unless you’ve created some sort of sourdough pie crust, your dough should not have a sour smell. If you give the crust a sniff and something about it smells “off,” then the safest choice is not to eat it.
Taste is another way to test for spoilage. Take a small piece and put it on your tongue. If the flavor isn’t what it should be, then the crust is no longer good.
Is It OK To Use Expired Pie Crust?
Using a pie crust that is past its best by date won’t cause you harm, so long that there is no mold present. However, it may not function in the way that you expect it to.
For example, you may experience cracking or shrinking while baking doughs that are past the printed packaging date. If you stored a premade pie crust for a long period of time, then you might have issues with a stale texture or taste.
If the pie crust has already been used to make a pie, the crust may become soggy from absorbing moisture from the filling. While these things are necessarily deal-breakers, they can alter the taste and texture of the crust.
How Long Does Uncooked Pie Crust Last in the Fridge?
How long your pie crust lasts is going to depend on how it was prepared.
Homemade pie crusts can last unbaked in the refrigerator for no more than three days on average. Store-bought dough lasts a bit longer, with some keeping in the fridge for up to three weeks.
However, storage is going to play a factor in how long the dough actually lasts. Uncooked pie crust should be stored in an airtight container, or be kept in the packaging that it was purchased in.
How Long Does Pie Crust Last in the Freezer?
Unbaked pie crust seems to fair better in the freezer than pre-baked crusts. Pie dough can be stored in the freezer for up to three months, whereas baked crusts should only be stored for up to a month.
To freeze, pie crust should be wrapped in plastic wrap and an airtight plastic bag. This will help deter freezer burn and keep the crust from absorbing flavors from other foods in the freezer.
It’s also a good idea to store the crust at the back of the freeze to keep it from developing ice crystals.
Having pie crust on hand can be useful for almost any type of meal you want to tackle. However, that’s only helpful if the crust is still good.
You should now be able to tell whether your pie crust has gone bad. Though many pie crusts can last a long time, the key is to make sure they are stored properly.