If you only eat pumpkin pie in the fall, it’s easy to forget the rules of safely storing them. You may wonder if pumpkin and other custard-style pies can be left on the counter overnight or if you need to clear space in your fridge. And now that we’re on the topic, can pumpkin pie be frozen? Here are the answers to all your pumpkin pie problems:

How to store pumpkin pie from a store

This time of year you’re likely to see pumpkin pies at the grocery store sitting out on a table, rather than stacked in the fridge or freezer sections. Store-bought pumpkin pies are loaded with enough shelf-stable preservatives that they can sit out. Rule of thumb: if you purchased a pie that’s been sitting out, it can continue to sit out on your kitchen counter for a few days (or until its expiration date, if it has one). If you picked up a pie from the freezer or chilled aisle, you’ll need to store leftovers in the refrigerator.

How to store homemade pumpkin pie

If you’re baking a pumpkin pie, or if you’re lucky enough to be gifted a homemade one, you’ll need to store it in the fridge. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, egg-and milk-based pies (including foods like quiches and cheesecakes) need to be chilled within two hours to prevent bacteria growth.

Pies hot from the oven should be cooled to room temperature. After that point, you can leave them out for about two hours. ย To store in the fridge, loosely cover with a paper towel or light lint-free towel. Pumpkin pie will stay good in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

can you freeze pumpkin pie?

Refrigerating pumpkin pie is the best way to store it, but if you need to make it now for later, like say, Thanksgiving, you can freeze it for a month or two without sacrificing flavor. Texture might change just a bit, but there are a few precautions you can take to increase your chances of a tasty turn out.

steps to freeze pumpkin pie

Step 1: bake in a disposable pan

Bake pie as you normally would, but use a disposable aluminum pie pan. The thin pan allows pie to freezer faster and avoid developing ice crystals that can ruin the texture and ultimately the flavor of a pie.

Step 2: cool completely

Make sure your pie is cooled completely before placing it in the fridge. If you pie is too warm, the pie will release steam that can affect the freezing process.

Step 3: seal tightly

Wrap your pie in several layers of plastic wrap. You want to create a tight seal, so moisture and other flavors from the freeze can’t creep in. Then, add a layer of aluminum foil or two to further protect against freezer burn. Place on a level surface in the freezer. Pie will stay good for 1 to 2 months.

Step 4: when ready to serve

Remove your pie from the freezer at least 12-24 hours before you want to serve it. Unwrap the layers of foil and plastic wrap, and leave to thaw in the refrigerator. Tip: Don’t thaw on countertop. At room temperature, pie will develop condensation that will cause the crust to become soggy.

And remember, if any cracks or blemishes happen to the top your pie during the baking or freezing process, decorate with a fluffy pile of whipped cream and no one will know the difference.

Also see, Layered pumpkin delight dessert recipe.

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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. Sheโ€™s thrown away just as many meals as sheโ€™s proud of.