One of the best ways to satisfy your sweet cravings during the fall is by making a pumpkin pie.
But can pumpkin pie sit out at room temperature? And if so, can you leave it on your counter overnight or should you keep it in the fridge?
Read on to find the answer to these questions and more.
Can pumpkin pie stay out at room temperature?
Pumpkin pie, just as custard, pecan and meringue pies, is made with a lot of eggs and heavy cream.
These ingredients create a suitable environment for harmful bacteria to grow and multiply. As a result, homemade pumpkin pie can sit out at room temperature for no more than 2 hours.
If you leave it unrefrigerated for a longer period of time, bacteria starts to grow more rapidly and can cause a foodborne illness.
So if you’ve accidentally forgotten your homemade pumpkin pie at the counter overnight, it’s better to toss it out.
Otherwise, you put yourself at a risk of bacterial infection.
Why are store-bought pumpkin pies not refrigerated?
If you’ve ever bought a pumpkin pie from the store you may have noticed that it was not refrigerated.
This is because some store-bought pumpkin pies are made with preservatives that extend their shelf life.
These types of pies usually come with a sell-by date which serves as a guideline for their freshness.
So if your pumpkin pie was stored unrefrigerated you can keep it at room temperature until it’s sell-by date.
You can also stash it in the fridge and keep it there for 2 – 4 days after the printed date expires.
In case your pie was refrigerated when you bought it, it’s best to keep it in the fridge as well.
How should you store a homemade pumpkin pie?
The best way to store pumpkin pie is to wrap in plastic or aluminum foil and keep it in the fridge.
If you’ve bought your pie from the store you can simply place the box in the refrigerator without wrapping.
You can also freeze the pie whole or in pieces if you’re not going to consume it right away or have leftovers.
Anyways, here’s how to properly store a homemade pumpkin pie:
- Place the pumpkin pie on a cooling rack after taking it out from the oven.
- Leave the pie to cool for 2 hours before refrigerating.
- Wrap the pie in plastic wrap once it’s cool enough to touch.
- Store the pie in the refrigerator and keep for up to 4 days.
It’s worth noting that you should wait for the pie to completely cool down before wrapping. If you wrap it while it’s still warm, the condensation will make the crust soggy.
You can also leave the pie uncovered in the fridge and wrap it later if you want to prevent this.
Is pumpkin pie better cold or at room temperature?
Even though you can eat pumpkin pie warm, it won’t have the most appealing texture. This is because the crust and custard won’t have firmed up sufficiently.
I personally prefer to leave my pumpkin pie in the fridge overnight and eat it cold. However, I usually leave it for half an hour at the counter after I take it out so it’s not ice-cold.
You can also eat pumpkin pie at room temperature, but in my experience it has a softer texture that I don’t really like.
In any case, you shouldn’t forget that pumpkin pie can last for only 2 hours when it’s unrefrigerated.
My short recap
Whether you’ve bought your pumpkin pie from the store or made it from scratch it’s crucially important to store it properly so it doesn’t spoil.
For homemade pumpkin pie this means keeping it in the fridge for up to 4 days or 2 hours at room temperature.
If the pie was bought from a grocery store and contains preservatives you can leave it on your counter until its sell-by date expires.
Anyways, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions down in the comments. I’d love to hear how your pies have turned out.