After making a beautiful, fresh, homemade pumpkin pie, you may indulge in a few slices right away but then be left with the remaining pie. You are definitely going to want more later!
So what is the best way to store pumpkin pie? Let’s find out! Take a look at this article to learn exactly how to store pumpkin pie to ensure that it stays fresh and delicious.
What Is a Custard Pie?
There are may different types of pies out there, from fruit pies to cookie pies to custard pies. Pumpkin pie is considered to be a custard pie which means that the filling is made with eggs, a liquid and sweeteners that are all mixed together and then baked until the filling is set.
Each kind of pie has different storage rules since the ingredients vary widely. Fruit pies, for example, are usually okay to store on the counter at room temperature.
A cookie pie (with a dense, cookie like baked filling) would also be okay for a few days at room temperature. However, a custard pie is a different story.
Keeping Pumpkin Pie in the Fridge
Pumpkin pie, along with all baked custard pies, are best stored in the fridge. This is especially true for homemade pumpkin pies which contain no preservatives.
While you may see pumpkin pies lining grocery store shelves, un-refrigerated, that is because they do have preservatives that will help them keep at room temperature. But a real, from scratch, homemade pumpkin pie, definitely needs the refrigeration to stay good.
Pumpkin pie contains cooked eggs in the custard filling which is one reason why it should definitely be refrigerated. Eggs are high in moisture and protein and, even after being coked, can attract harmful bacteria is left out.
If you were to make a big pan of scrambled eggs, you likely would not leave them out on the counter for days afterward. Think of your pumpkin pie in the same way- it has cooked eggs inside too! This is one reason why the fridge is the place for your pie.
Since the filling in a pumpkin pie is so moist and tender, it has a lot of potential to grow mold and bacteria, both of which thrive in wet, warm environments. When left on the counter at room temperature, your pie may even start to grow moldy after just one or two days! That is not nearly enough time!
However, when stored properly in the fridge, you can enjoy your homemade pumpkin pie for about 4-5 day, doubling its shelf life.
How to Wrap Pumpkin Pie
The first step to properly storing pumpkin pie is to let it cool completely after baking. You want the pie to be as cool as possible before moving it to the fridge to prevent moisture from seeping out of the filling later on.
If the pie is warm when it is wrapped, condensation will form on the surface of the pie and give you an undesirable wet film on the pumpkin pie. This can easily be avoided if your pie is simply cooled, wrapped and then placed in the fridge!
Once completely cooled, wrap the pumpkin pie in plastic wrap, placing the plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pie and then wrapping it loosely around the crust and pan. By putting the plastic wrap directly on the custard portion of the pie, pressing it flat against the top, it will prevent any air from touching the pie filling, which can cause the pie to dry out.
The direct plastic will also prevent condensation from getting to the pumpkin pie custard in case the pie was a little warm before going in the fridge.
You can store your pumpkin pie in a simple cardboard pie box or plastic container as well, however, it may reduce the shelf life of the pie, even if you do put the container in the fridge. The refrigerator can be a very drying place and even though the pie is in a box, it still will dry out faster when not directly wrapped.
Consider wrapping your pie in plastic wrap and then placing it in a storage container in the refrigerator for extra protection.
Can You Freeze Pumpkin Pie?
If you are thinking of baking pumpkin pie ahead of time, freezing it and then enjoying it later on, this is a possibility but may not be your best option. Pumpkin pie can be wrapped well in plastic wrap and then frozen for up to two months. However, when you go to defrost your pumpkin pie, do so carefully so that the custard filling does not separate.
Take the pumpkin pie out of the freezer and place it in the fridge at least one day before you would like to eat it. This will let the pie slowly defrost and help keep the filling from breaking apart.
If you were to place the pie directly from the freezer into the oven, for example, it would separate, causing the juices inside the pie to come out, cracking the pie surface and making a big pie mess! Slow is best when you thaw pumpkin pie!
Storing Decorated Pumpkin Pie
One thing that is fabulous about pumpkin pie is that it pairs perfectly with whipped cream. Not only does this taste great, but whipped cream can help hide any pie imperfections.
When possible, decorate your pumpkin pie after you store it and right before it is ready to be served. While the pumpkin pie may keep in the refrigerator for several days, fresh whipped cream will not.
Use the whipped cream to hide and blemishes on the pie surface that may have been caused by the plastic wrap on the pie. If you pie has begun to dry out, causing he crust and filling to pull away from each other, consider hiding this with whipped cream as well, giving the pie a pretty boarder. No one will ever know your pie was anything less than perfect when you use a few whipped cream fixes!
Next time you are ready to bake a pumpkin pie, don’t be afraid to make a little extra. You can definitely store pumpkin pie and enjoy it for days after it has come out of the oven.