Has your Thanksgiving pumpkin pie gone bad? Learn how to tell—and find out how long store-bought or homemade pumpkin pie lasts.
For many Americans, Thanksgiving is not complete until pumpkin pie is served. In the hustle and bustle of the day, you might be tempted to bake the pie early in the morning and then leave it sitting on the counter while you focus on the turkey and all those side dishes. But you might wonder—because the last thing you want is to make your guests sick!—how long is pumpkin pie good for? Should pumpkin pie be refrigerated or frozen, or is it okay to let it sit out? Below, we share how long pumpkin pie is good for in the fridge, freezer, and on the counter; how to tell if pumpkin pie is bad; and how these rules change when you’re talking about store-bought pie.
How Long Does Homemade Pumpkin Pie Last?
Whether you’ve baked your pumpkin pie using filling from a can or from the actual gourd (kudos to you for tackling that intimidating pumpkin!), the rules are the same. Because it’s made of custard—which include milk and eggs—pumpkin pie is less forgiving than fruit-filled pies and, therefore, cannot be left on the counter for too long. So how long does pumpkin pie last at room temperature? Because bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F, pumpkin pie is only good for two hours sitting out at room temperature. After that, be sure to refrigerate your pie.
How long does pumpkin pie last in the fridge? Freshly baked pumpkin pie will keep for about 3 to 4 days in the fridge; cover loosely with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Because pumpkin pie is delicious cold, you can serve it straight from the fridge (with plenty of whipped cream, if you please). If you prefer, you could take it out of the fridge a couple hours beforehand so it comes to room temperature safely. (See how to freeze and defrost pumpkin pie.)
How Long Is Store-Bought Pumpkin Pie Good For?
In general, store-bought pumpkin pie is more forgiving. Why? In a word: preservatives. How long is store-bought pumpkin pie good for? Look to the date on the package. If the pumpkin pie was sitting at room temperature in the store, it can continue to be stored on your counter until the sell-by date. In general, store-bought pies last about 2 to 4 days after their printed date in the refrigerator and about 6 to 9 months in the freezer. Pumpkin pies purchased from bakeries likely do not contain preservatives and, therefore, should be treated like a homemade pie (see above).
Remember that once cut, all types of pies should be wrapped and refrigerated. If you want your pumpkin pie to last for longer than a few days after the sell-by date, freeze it.
If you’re at all concerned about the freshness of your dessert, here’s how to tell if your pumpkin pie is bad or spoiled: Look for any “off” smell or appearance. It should go without saying—if mold appears, toss that pumpkin pie.