So, you’ve been thinking of making pumpkin pies for a dinner party this weekend. However, you don’t know if baking this Thanksgiving staple beforehand will work.
Hosting a gathering can be overwhelming. Not to mention, it isn’t easy to cook many dishes all at the same time.
That’s why it makes perfect sense to prepare a few things in advance.
Now the question is: can you make pumpkin pie ahead of time? Well, you can, as long as you follow some guidelines.
If you stick around, you’ll discover how long in advance you can make this dessert. Additionally, this post will show you a few tips on how to preserve its freshness and mouthwatering taste.
Just like other food, preparing pumpkin pies ahead of time isn’t an issue at all. If you’re thinking of baking this holiday treat before the dinner party, I suggest you do it a day or two in advance.
So, go ahead and make the usual baking preparations. Once you’re satisfied with the pie’s doneness, let it cool to room temperature for at least 3 to 4 hours before putting it in the fridge.
That said, others wonder if they could refrigerate the pumpkin pie without letting it cool down. They fear that doing that could spoil the food.
The notion of food turning bad if refrigerated while hot is a myth. After all, we let pumpkin pies cool down before storing them to fully develop the flavors.
Furthermore, putting pies in the fridge while sizzling hot reduces their crust’s firmness and the filling’s bouncy consistency.
The capacity of your fridge is another challenge in preparing for holiday dinner. Its limited space could sometimes force you to store other foods on countertops.
Indeed, other desserts don’t need refrigeration. Yet, it isn’t advisable to keep freshly-cooked pumpkin pies at room temperature for extended periods.
Doing that exposes the pie to microbial contamination.
Remember that pumpkins are 90% water. Their moisture content is quite high, making this baked goodie susceptible to bacterial growth.
In addition, pumpkins likewise have low acidity. Foods with this trait are bacteria’s favorite playground.
Keep this in mind when baking pumpkin pies in advance: microbes prosper in temperatures between 40 to 140°F. The hotter the surroundings, the faster the pie gets spoiled.
So, make room in your fridge to prevent contamination and food poisoning.
The only time to use a freezer is when you need to store the pumpkin pie for more than two days.
You should also use disposable aluminum foil when baking and keeping this holiday delight.
Thanks to the foil’s material, it freezes faster than other containers and prevents ice crystal formation. Moreover, it preserves the pie’s texture and prevents freezer burn as well.
Besides that, wrap the pie with three layers of plastic wrap. Likewise, consider adding a piece of foil to cover the food before putting it in the freezer.
You should be able to keep the pumpkin pie in the freezer for at least a month.
Maybe you’re asking: if what you’re saying is true, then why are commercial pumpkins not refrigerated?
Good observation! However, like many premade foods, pumpkin pies are packed with preservatives. These food additives enable consumables to remain fresh for a certain period.
On top of that, the maker’s food chemist knows how long the pie will last. You can see it on the product’s expiration tag.
Let’s face it, we don’t have that kind of expertise. So, it’s much safer to store the pumpkin pie in the fridge than to make wild guesses.
So, you baked the pumpkin pie in advance, cooled it down, and put it in the fridge for a couple of days.
It’s the day of the party now, and you’re in the dark about whether to preheat the pie or just serve it cold.
If you’re in that spot, there’s no need to worry. What I like about pumpkin pies is that you can serve them hot or cold.
I’m sure many will disagree with that.
True, it’s traditional to serve pumpkin pies warm instead of hot or cold. However, it’s all a matter of personal preference.
For example, if you wish the pie to be firmer and sweet, serve it below room temperature. On the other hand, it’s best to have the pie warm if you want it to be a bit spicy and savory.
If you don’t want the pumpkin pie fridge cold, let it sit somewhere at room temperature. Wait for 40 minutes before serving it.
Alternatively, you could reheat the pie by preheating the oven to 350°F. Bake it and then take it out after 10 to 15 minutes.
If you want to bake pumpkin pies on the day of the party but like to save time, do this: Prepare the filling ahead of time but store it in the coldest part of the fridge.
I also recommend you use a measuring cup as its container. That way, you could pour it quickly into the crust.
Additionally, taking the filling out of the fridge an hour before baking helps reduce its coldness.
Preparing the filling in advance helps improve the taste and softens the spiciness as well. That said, expect the pie to have a smooth and well-balanced flavor.
So, can you make pumpkin pie ahead of time?
We learned that if you’re to bake this dessert in advance, you can do it one to two days before consumption.
Furthermore, you saw that putting it in the fridge preserves its freshness. Keeping it in other storage could lead to contamination.
We also discovered that preparing pumpkin pies more than two days ahead requires you to keep them in the freezer. That way, the food could last for a month.
In the end, one thing’s for sure: pumpkin pies remain a mouthwatering treat, regardless of when you made them.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.