You took your Thanksgiving duty of baking pumpkin pie seriously this year, from the cinnamon-roll crust to the homemade vanilla whipped cream. And you may have gone a tad overboard, because you have lots left over. Unless you plan on inhaling every slice in two days, you may be wondering: Can you freeze pumpkin pie? Here are the delicious facts.
Can You Freeze Pumpkin Pie? Because We’re Planning to Stock Up
Can You Freeze Pumpkin Pie?
In short, heck yeah. Pumpkin pie is traditionally made with an egg-based custard filling. Since they’re rich and high in fat, they freeze like a dream (sweet potato pie, too). And typically, the more classic the recipe (standard pie dough, no additional ingredients like chocolate, fruit or nuts), the better it’ll keep in the freezer. Homemade pies last three to four days in the fridge, while store-bought pies made with shelf-stabilizing preservatives can last a few days longer in the fridge or on the counter.
When properly frozen, either kind of pumpkin pie can last one to two months in the freezer. That means you can bake it a few days ahead of Thanksgiving to save yourself some stress come the big day. Here are step-by-step instructions for freezing pumpkin pie for future deliciousness.
How to Freeze Pumpkin Pie
- Bake the pie in an aluminum pie pan instead of a fancy dish.They’re thinner, so the pie will freeze quickly without too many annoying ice crystals that’ll turn the pie watery once thawed.
- Let the pie cool completely, about 2 to 3 hours. Putting a warm pie in the freezer will create more ice crystals, resulting in a weird texture once thawed.
- Once cool, wrap the pie in many tight layers of plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil, then slide it all into a resealable freezer-safe bag. Bye-bye, freezer burn.
- Place the wrapped pie on the floor of or a level shelf in the freezer. Be sure the pie is flat and that nothing is resting or leaning on top of it.
How to Thaw Frozen Pumpkin Pie
The most important factor in bringing your pumpkin pie back to life is defrosting it evenly. Just like you would with ground beef, transfer the frozen pie from the freezer to the refrigerator about 8 to 12 hours before you’d like to serve it. It should keep in the fridge for up to four days. Do not let the pie come to room temperature on the kitchen counter instead of the fridge; the excessive warmth will cause condensation, which will soak into the crust and turn it unpleasantly soggy.
If you serve pumpkin pie cold, it’s ready to eat once it’s thawed in the fridge. If room temperature if more your style, let the pie come to room temperature on the counter after fully thawing in the fridge. If you always take your pie warm, here’s how to heat it up.
How to Reheat Pumpkin Pie
The oven or toaster oven are the most foolproof tools to use. Preheat to 350°F, cover the room-temperature pie in foil (this protects the crust from burning) and warm it for about 10 minutes. To check that it’s warmed all the way through, slide a knife in the middle of the pie and see if it’s warm to the touch once removed. Let the pie stand for a couple of minutes before serving. Once the pie’s been reheated, don’t freeze it again. If you know you’ll only be eating a slice at a time in advance, cut the pie before freezing it in the first place for easy thawing instead.
If you’re pressed for time and go the route of the microwave, nuke it a few seconds at a time, checking the pie’s temperature after each round of heating. It could make the crust soggy and less crisp. Just be sure to remove the pie from the aluminum pan first, obvi. If you notice any bruises or blemishes on the pie from the plastic wrap, hide them with whipped cream and ice cream. We promise your guests won’t notice.
Does Pumpkin Pie Need to Be Refrigerated?
Here’s the short (and only) answer to this question: It does indeed. A standard (i.e., non-vegan) pumpkin pie filling reliably contains dairy and egg—two ingredients that, per the FDA, require cool, refrigerator temperatures of 40ºF or below to prevent the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria. Here's how long pumpkin pie lasts outside of the fridge.