Here’s an easy way to tell if your pumpkin pie is done and ready to come out of the oven. With this guide, you'll nail it every time. 

By Gina Hamadey

Pumpkin pie can be a bit of a challenge to cook perfectly. Underdone and you’ve got raw crust and gooey filling; overdone and you’ve got a cracked top and a rubbery texture. So how long should a pumpkin pie usually cook for? In our (delicious) recipe for Maple Pumpkin Pie, we suggest 60 to 70 minutes. But how can you tell if your pumpkin pie is done? The color of the pie, already dark, doesn’t help too much. And pumpkin pie doesn’t like to be poked and prodded too much. Luckily, we’ve developed a “pumpkin pie doneness test,” below.

How to Tell If Pumpkin Pie Is Done

1. Note the Color of the Pie
It’s true that pumpkin pie doesn’t darken as drastically as, say, a banana custard pie would. But there are subtle, yet definite color differences when the pie is done. After an hour in the oven, watch that pie through the oven’s glass window, looking for a darker, only slightly puffed filling and a starting-to-brown crust. (Tip: take a snapshot of your pie before it goes into the oven so you can compare the hue.)

2. Learn the Difference Between a Jiggle and a Wiggle
Funny, but true! There’s a famous old ditty that helps distinguish the difference: The center of the pumpkin pie should “jiggle like Jello, not wiggle like a wave.” Meaning, when you nudge your pumpkin pie, the filling should be firmer around the edges, but still jiggle in the center.

3. Try the Good Old Cake Test
A toothpick inserted halfway between the outer edge and the center of the pie should come out mostly clean. (It doesn’t have to be bone dry right out of the oven—remember, the custard continues to cook as it cools.) If you have an instant-read thermometer, use that instead. It should read about 175 degrees. Remember to cover up any holes with plenty of whipped cream.

What Does a Pumpkin Pie Look Like When It’s Done?

Let’s review our Maple Pumpkin Pie. Notice that the crust is starting to brown, and the filling has darkened a bit. The swirl in the center (swooped with a rubber spatula just before going into the oven) appears to have set. There are no cracks.

How Long Is Pumpkin Pie Good For?

For everything you’d ever want to know on the subject of how to store pumpkin pie, how long pumpkin pie is good for. Here’s the summary, though: Homemade pumpkin pie can sit on the counter for two hours at room temperature; it lasts for 3 to 4 days in the fridge; and pumpkin pie can be frozen for a month and still maintain its quality. Technically, pumpkin pie will last for a year or more in the freezer, but the taste starts to go downhill after about a month. See how to freeze and defrost a pumpkin pie.

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