Pumpkin pie is a common sight at many Thanksgiving tables. But how do you store it, both before and after? Does pumpkin pie need to be refrigerated?
Whether you make your pumpkin pie or you buy one at the grocery store, how you store it is key to making sure it stays fresh. So can you simply leave it out on a kitchen counter or do you need to pop it in the fridge?
Do you need to refrigerate pumpkin pie?
According to the USDA, all pumpkin pie needs to be refrigerated. Why? The biggest reason is that most pumpkin pie fillings contain eggs and dairy. So in order to prevent the pie from spoiling, it needs to be kept cool in the fridge.
So, how long will it last in the fridge and can you freeze pumpkin pie? Here’s everything you need to know to store your pumpkin pies safely.
How do you store pumpkin pie?
For homemade pumpkin pies, you’ll want to let them cool completely before refrigerating. Simply let it rest on a cooling rack at room temperature for an hour or two.
Once it’s cooled down, cover it with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out, and place it in the fridge. Also, keep it away from other foods in the fridge with strong odors to prevent them from seeping into the pie.
If you have a store-bought pumpkin pie that was kept at room temperature on the grocery shelf, it contains preservatives that can maintain freshness. So you can keep it on a kitchen counter when you get it home. It should stay good until at least the best-by date. You can extend that a few days if you refrigerate it.
If you bought a pie that was made fresh at a bakery, you should refrigerate it as soon as you get home. You can store it in the fridge in its original packaging or remove it and cover it in plastic wrap.
How long does pumpkin pie last in the fridge?
Generally, pumpkin pie will last for 3-4 days in the fridge, especially if they’re homemade. Store-bought pumpkin pies may have preservatives that can extend the shelf life for a couple more days.
👉🏼 Related: How Long Does Cake Batter Last in the Fridge?
How long can pumpkin pie be kept at room temperature?
Because most pumpkin pie filling is made with dairy and eggs, it cannot be left at room temperature for very long. The FDA advises that it shouldn’t be left out for more than 2 hours. After that, harmful bacteria can grow which can cause foodborne illness.
Can you freeze pumpkin pie?
If you buy or bake your pumpkin pie more than a few days ahead of time, or you need to save leftovers long term, your best option is to freeze it.
For a freshly baked pie, let it cool completely, then cover it in a couple of layers of plastic wrap. For extra protection, add a layer of aluminum foil as well. This will help prevent freezer burn. Then store in the freezer, making sure not to place anything on top that could crush it.
⭐️ Tip: You can also cut the pie into smaller pieces and freeze them separately in plastic wrap and airtight containers. This lets you defrost only what you intend to eat later, rather than having to thaw the whole pie.
Pumpkin pie will stay good for up to 1 month in the freezer. After that, you may notice the taste and texture of the pie start to deteriorate.
To thaw out pumpkin pie, transfer it from the freezer to the fridge and let it defrost gradually overnight. Avoid thawing it at room temperature as the crust could become soggy. That can also increase the risk of bacterial growth.
Following a few pumpkin pie best practices can help you have a happy and healthy and healthy Thanksgiving — or any get-together with family and friends!
If you notice an off or sour smell, or if the texture of the pie has separated and sagged, your pie has likely spoiled. Any mold on the surface of the pie is another sign of spoilage. In any of these cases, it’s best to simply throw away the pie.