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Dec 16, 2009 09:48 AM

Pumpkin Pie -- Needs to be refrigerated?

I'm gong to try to make pumpkin pie (going to try pie crust w/vodka). I think I've read that it must be kept refrigerated if making a day or 2 ahead. Is this correct?

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  1. I've never done so with my leftover pumpkin pie. Haven't gotten sick after eating a slice several days later either.

    1. Libby's pumpkin pie advisory notes at:


      "Pumpkin Pie may be left at room temperature for up to two hours after baking. Once cooled (cooling process normally takes about two hours), cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2-3 days. If warm pie is preferred it can be warmed in the microwave. Keep in mind that pumpkin pie is at its very best when served the day it’s baked. Remember, pumpkin pie is a custard-type pie, so freezing is not recommended."

      After bring my pumpkin pie to room temperature, I refrigerate the pie, uncovered, for about an hour and refrigerate the plastic cover for it alongside the pie until both reach refrigerator temperature before covering the pie. That prevents the formation of condensation between the pie and the plastic cover.

      1 Reply
      1. re: todao

        Their refrigeration note is, I'm sure, a CYA for Libby's. Mom made our T'giving Day pumpkin pie the day before; left it out overnight (covered).

        After T'giving dinner, we each had a slice and split the rest; she took her half home. My half remained in a pie plate covered with foil for, I think, 3 days on the back of the stove. Each slice over the next three days was just fine.

      2. I'm sure I was all grown up before I ever had a regular pie that came out of a refrigerator, ice cream or "icebox" pies excepted. They were kept in pantries, pie safes, whatever, even in restaurants. If we ever put a pie in the refrigerator it was for lack of anywhere else to leave it. Pudding pies, that is chocolate or butterscotch made from boxed Jell-O or Royal pudding mixes, were another exception.

        1. Only custard pies have to be refrigerated. Other ones actually lose their quality if refrigerated.

          4 Replies
          1. re: coll

            Which, by definition includes pumpkin pie, a custard based pie. Still yum and good served warm or cold. Somehowe I always end up eating it cold, out of the pie tin, standing in my jammies, at midnight, in front of the fridge. :)

            As an aside, has anyone been able to find proper pie tin? I can't seem to find any metal pie tins to replace some which have become dented through the abuse of my 7 year old.. All I can find is glass which doesn't have the heat transfer capabilities I want.

            1. re: aggiecat

              aggiecat, you can find tons of them in antique stores, often in excellent condition. Or on eBay.

              Otherwise, sites like Ultimate Baker have them:

              1. re: aggiecat

                You damn near have to look in antique malls for those. I've gotten two of mine from Marie Callender pies that people have brought to the house; there's a 50¢ deposit when you buy a pie there unless you bring in a clean tin. But you're right - glass, Corningware or disposable aluminum is just about all you can find these days.

                1. re: aggiecat

                  Ceramic works better than metal and it's easier to find.

              2. FWIW, I took a pie class at L'Academie de Cuisine and was told to leave it overnight at room temperature.

                2 Replies
                1. re: chowser

                  Right now, I'm leaning toward NOT refrigerating; just don't want to make my guests sick and/or kill them. Not good manners!!

                  1. re: walker

                    I agree making your guests sick is not good manners (I did that once many long years ago and still feel dreadful about it). OTOH, I think there is testimonial from thousands out there that refrigeration is unnecessary. Do you have a cool location in the house? Refrigerating custard is asking for trouble -- be certain it is absolutely cold before you do so. What about making the crust ahead of time, prebaking it, freezing the shell and then also the custard you can make ahead and refrigerate (put it all in a blender, the blender thingy just goes straight in the fridge) it, whoof it up, pour and bake: voila. hot, (luke-warm is better), fresh, no refrigeration. Also, agreed on the heat-distribution thing. I use an old, cracked pizza stone.