Don't let your Thanksgiving pumpkin pie go to waste! Learn the proper way to store leftover pumpkin pie by freezing or refrigerating it.
Advertisement

If you're hosting Thanksgiving, you know that making and freezing dishes ahead of time is the key to a successful, low-stress holiday—more time for sharing Thanksgiving wishes is never a bad thing.

You know you can freeze pie crusts (that's where the store-bought ones live, after all), but you might wonder whether you can freeze pumpkin pie. The short, happy answer: Yes—as long as you follow our tips. (We can go over whether pumpkin is a fruit later.)

How to Freeze Pumpkin Pie

can you freeze pumpkin pie - freezing pumpkin pie guide
Credit: Getty Images

Getty Images

The high fat content of the crust makes pumpkin pie perfect for freezing, and custards like pumpkin pie filling freeze well. Whether you are freezing store-bought or homemade, a whole pie or just a slice, follow these suggestions to ensure success.

First, remember to bake the pie in a disposable aluminum pie pan. These thinner pie pans ensure that the pie will freeze faster and therefore avoid developing texture-ruining ice crystals.

Second, cool the pie completely before you freeze it. If you don't, steam will get trapped below the plastic wrap, and that extra moisture will affect the texture of your crust.

Third, wrap the pie tightly in layers of plastic wrap until it's tightly sealed. Then, add a layer of aluminum foil for extra protection against freezer burn and funky smells. Place on a level freezer shelf, where pumpkin pie will stay good for a month. (Learn more about how long pumpkin pie lasts.)

The day before Thanksgiving, remove your pumpkin pie from the freezer, strip off the coverings, and defrost in the refrigerator. You'll want to give the pie at least 12 hours to thaw. Remember: thawing faster at room temperature causes condensation on the pie, and that moisture will absorb into the pie crust, making it soggy.

If your pie has any dips or blemishes, whipped cream makes for a perfect (and delicious) cover-up.

Does Pumpkin Pie Need to Be Refrigerated?

Does pumpkin pie need to be refrigerated? - freezing vs. refrigerating pumpkin pie
Credit: bhofack2/Getty Images

Getty Images

If you'd prefer to bake your pumpkin pie prior to Thanksgiving Day, you might be wondering whether it should be refrigerated. Absolutely. (It should also be stored properly) It's a custard, and you need to refrigerate pies with egg-based fillings within two hours of baking. (Luckily, pumpkin pies taste delicious cold!) It's okay to throw the pie in the fridge while it's still warm—just cover it loosely with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Homemade pumpkin pie will keep for three to four days in the refrigerator.

Commercially produced pumpkin pies often have shelf-stable preservatives, so read the instructions for how long it will stay good at room temperature and in the refrigerator. Just to be safe,however, do stash a store-bought pumpkin pie in the refrigerator after you cut into it.