Make the most of your pumpkin pie by knowing when to refrigerate, thaw, or freeze it.
Whether you’ve baked a homemade pumpkin pie or purchased one at the store, you may be wondering if you need to store your pie in the fridge and how long it will last.
Does Pumpkin Pie Need to Be Refrigerated?
Some baked goods are perfectly fine left out, covered, on the countertop or table after preparation.
However, pumpkin pie does need to be stored in the fridge.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture advises that “egg-rich pies” be kept refrigerated after baking and cooling. Pumpkin, custard, meringue, and pecan pie are all considered egg-rich.
(Note: This does not apply to vegan pumpkin pie!)
Whether or not you’ve made the pie yourself or purchased it at a store, all pumpkin pies must be kept in the fridge after baking and cooling.
How Long Can Pumpkin Pie Be Left Out?
Pumpkin pie can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 hours before you run the risk of dangerous bacterial growth.
But bottom line, your best option to maximize food safety is to let your fresh pumpkin pie cool and then immediately put it in the fridge, or place store-bought pumpkin pie immediately in the fridge.
How Long Does Pumpkin Pie Last In the Fridge?
Refrigerated pumpkin pie will keep for 3-4 days.
Store-bought pumpkin pies that were frozen or left out as “fresh” bakery pies may have preservatives that make them last longer. (Be sure to check the sell-by date before leaving the store!)
But most pumpkin pies that are homemade or prepared fresh at a local bakery or grocery stores follow this general rule.
Before consuming leftover pie of any kind, check them for signs of mold, slime, or a bad/off smell that indicates that it’s no longer safe to eat.
If you have any doubts, the best way to stay safe is to to throw it away.
Food that is compromised by harmful bacteria can make you very sick from serious infections and illnesses.
Properly storing your pie will keep it fresh for as long as possible.
How Do You Store a Pumpkin Pie?
To properly store pumpkin pie that you have purchased at a store or bakery, you can keep it in the box or packaging that it came in and place it in the fridge.
Homemade pie should be stored in the fridge after cooling as well.
Once cooled, loosely cover the pie with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
You do not want to cover pumpkin pie that is still warm from the oven as it will create condensation.
This will make the crust soggy and increase the chances of bacterial growth.
To store a homemade pumpkin pie after baking:
- Remove the pie from the oven and place it on a cooling rack.
- Let the pumpkin pie cool at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
- Once the pie is cool to the touch, loosely wrap it in plastic wrap.
- Place the pumpkin pie in the refrigerator and store it for up to 4 days.
If you don’t plan to consume the pie within that time frame, your best bet is to freeze all or some of your leftover dessert.
Pie can be frozen in individual pieces to make it more convenient to eat in smaller servings over time.
This is great for single people or couples who do not want to eat large quantities of pie at a time and a great way to preserve the best quality and best flavor of your baked pumpkin pie.
If you bake more than one pie with the intent to freeze it or gift it to someone who may freeze it, it is best to bake it in a disposable aluminum pie pan.
This thin pan allows the pie to freeze and thaw more quickly and discourages the formation of ice crystals.
You also don’t have to worry about asking anyone to return your favorite pie pan!
Wrap the pie carefully and tightly with plastic wrap several times until fully sealed, and then aluminum foil.
This will prevent freezer burn and the absorption of strange smells.
Store your pie on a level freezer shelf for up to a month without compromising flavor and texture.
Use painter’s tape and a Sharpie to label the kind of pie and the “best by” date.
How to Thaw Frozen Pumpkin Pie
To thaw your frozen pie, remove it from the freezer and take off the aluminum foil and plastic wrap.
Allow the pie to thaw in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours so it thaws thoroughly through.
This allows for even cooking.
Thawing your pie at room temperature will create a soggy crust, so it is never recommended to do this.
How to Freeze Pumpkin Pie Filling
Many people prefer making pumpkin pie filling ahead of time to save it for future use or other recipes.
This comes in handy when you are looking to prepare your homemade items ahead of time for Thanksgiving dinner or another holiday meal.
Place the filling into zip-top freezer safe storage bags.
Push out excess air and label the bags before placing them in the freezer. Pumpkin pie filling lasts for about three months in the freezer.
To thaw pumpkin pie filling from frozen, transfer it to the refrigerator a few hours before you plan to use it.
It generally takes 4-8 hours to defrost, and this process can be made easier by placing the container in a bowl of cold water before placing it in the fridge.
How Long Does Pumpkin Puree Last?
There are so many things you can make with pumpkin puree!
Homemade pumpkin puree lasts 3-4 days in the fridge when properly stored at the correct temperature of 40°F or less, and placed in an airtight container.
Transfer the puree to a jar or another storage container for best results.
Frozen pumpkin puree lasts around 5 days before the flavor is compromised, but is safe to use for three months or so. If you are using pumpkin puree from a can, it also lasts 3-4 days in the fridge once opened.
Is It Safe to Eat Expired Canned Pumpkin Puree?
There are many reasons that people have expired canned food items, from storing them from previous sales to forgetting they were even there to just not checking the date when purchasing or accepting items.
Whatever the cause, you may be wondering if your expired canned pumpkin puree is safe to use.
The USDA reports that if canned food is stored in a cool, dry place and the can is in good condition (no dents, swelling, or rust), it will be fine to eat.
Unopened pumpkin puree in a can that looks new should be safe to eat for at least a couple of years past the expiration date printed on the can.
Generally, it is considered safe for at least 5 years in most cases.
Some people do notice a change in taste or texture over time in canned items, even if they are safe to eat.
These qualities decline over time, even with proper storage, under any conditions.
If you open the can and it doesn’t smell or look right, regardless of the date, do not consume it!
Bacteria may have entered the can and the contents are likely spoiled. If you open it and all appears well, taste a small amount to see if it is still fresh for your recipe.
Nicole is a self-published author of fiction novels, and a lover of food and spending time in the kitchen with her six children. She lives in coastal Maine where she loves exploring new recipes especially those that can save time, money and wow a crowd.Tags: Pumpkin, Pumpkin Week, Pies, Desserts