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Nov 13, 2008 11:01 AM

thanksgiving pie question

I am planning on making 2 pies for thanksgiving: pumpkin, and chocolate chess pie.

In trying to be efficient with my oven use, I was wondering if it would be a good idea to make both pies the night before, and if so, whether they need to be refrigerated overnight.

I've made pumpkin pie many times and know they are ok if made the night before. But I have never made a chocolate chess pie, so I am unsure how well this would hold up if made ahead of time.

And..not sure with both whether they need to be refrigerated or not.


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  1. For one night I think you'll be ok leaving them out.

    1. I wouldn't think that either would "need" to be refrigerated. I typically maintain them at room temperature (covered) overnight and have had no problems. Of course, it's going to depend on what ingredients you use in the mix.
      Refrigerating a pie overnight means it will have to be covered to avoid picking up nasty flavors from other foods in the fridge. Because air will be trapped between the cover and the pie, there will be condensation causing the crust to become a bit soggy. If I were going to refrigerate the pies I might want to cool them to room temp after baking and then put them, uncovered, in the fridge for about an hour before covering them and putting them back in the fridge to hold. Chocolate chess pie, which appears to me to be a pecan pie with chocolate, should work the same way as your pumpkin pie.
      That said, I think I'd prefer to have all the ingredients ready to go, bake them fresh and serve warm from the oven on Thanksgiving day.

      1. Technically, I think they are supposed to be refrigerated, but if your home is cool, I wouldn't worry about it one night. I've done it many many times.

        1 Reply
        1. re: anni

          cant speak to the chess pie but we leave all our pies out at cool room temperature. Pies like pumpkin and sweet potato will keep for several days in this manner. I dont like what the refrig does to crust, either. We have the same problem with baking on the day as you - I prefer to get at least a couple pies done the day before, to avoid stressing about oven timing on the craziest cooking day of the year. Yeah, they wont be quite as wonderful, but they are still darn good..

        2. Thanks for all the good advice. My kitchen is fairly cool at this time of year, so they may be ok overnight. But it's true, would be nice to have them fresh baked the day of.

          1. I would not dream of leaving pumpkin pie out. It's basically a custard - eggs, milk, not really that much sugar. High moisture and low acid seems like a fantastic microbial breeding ground. Do you leave cheesecake out overnight?

            I would leave fruit pies or pecan pie out, though. I guess it's the custardy aspect of pumpkin pie that worries me.

            2 Replies
            1. re: babette feasts

              Since there are eggs and butter and milk in the chocolate chess pie too, I would refrigerate both.

              Better to have them warm to room temperature before serving than risk the possibility of sick guests.

              1. re: babette feasts

                I concur totally. any baked good with custard, meringue, cream, etc needs to be refrigerated. pathogens grow quickly between 41-135 degrees at fastest at 70-120. The pumpkin needs to be chilled most definately. The pecan/chocolate pie may be okay but why risk it.

                Do you live in a cold place? Do you have an unheated garage? If the temparture outside is below 40 consistently, I have used the unheated sunporch, the garage, even the gang way to the basement as secondary storage. As long as the food is covered and the area is free of pests.

                One Question? why not have a guest bring the pies. let them bake them that day and have fresh pie.