Pie Storage

Home Made Apple Pie

It’s summer time and a favorite summertime dessert is PIE!  We often get questions on how a pie should be stored—on the counter or in the refrigerator?  Here’s a look at the different kinds of pies and how to store them.

Fruit Pies made with Sugar.  According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), fruit pies are food-safe at room temperature for up to two days.  This recommendation is based upon fruit pies made with sugar as the combination of sugar and acid in the fruit is sufficient to retard bacterial growth.  If additional storage time is needed, the pie may be stored loosely wrapped in the refrigerator for two more days.   Fruit pies freeze quite well.  To freeze a fruit pie, place them uncovered in the freezer until frozen solid, then wrap in plastic wrap or foil and place back in the freezer for up to four months. Thaw at room temperature for one hour and if desired, reheat at 375°F until warm for about 30 minutes.

Custard, Cream, Mousse, Chiffon, and Fresh Fruit Pies.  These soft pies need to be refrigerated until ready to serve and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.  Soft pies do not freeze successfully so enjoy while fresh.

Pumpkin, Pecan and other Pies containing Eggs.  Pies containing eggs should be eaten as soon as possible after baking and cooling.  Otherwise, these pies should be refrigerated.  They keep well in the refrigerator for up to four days.  Both pumpkin and pecan pies can be frozen with some success for up to two months.  In freezing, they loose some of their integrity; the filling may separate a bit and the crust may get soggy.  To freeze these pies, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and foil or place in an air-tight freezer bag.  Thaw the pies in the refrigerator before using.

Pies made with a Sugar Substitute.  Sugar acts as a preservative, helps retain moisture, and keeps baked-goods fresher longer.  Therefore, it is best to consume pies made with Equal or SPLENDA® in 1-2 days.  These products are best stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.  If you want to keep pies made with sugar substitutes longer, they should be frozen by wrapping in plastic and foil or in an air-tight freezer bag.  These pies can be frozen successfully for for up to two months.

Marlene Geiger

I am a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a BS in Home Economics Education and Extension and from Colorado State University with a MS in Textiles and Clothing. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, gardening, quilting, cooking, sewing, and sharing knowledge and experience with others.

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16 thoughts on “Pie Storage

  1. Joyce, thanks for contacting AnswerLine. If both pies are fresh and properly cooled, storing in a styrofoam container short term is okay; however, unless there is a specific reason for storing the pies in styrofoam, I would encourage you to find another container for storing. Some reasons to consider other storage containers are these: styrofoam is not very strong, it does not seal tightly to prevent bacteria and drying out, and has the potential of leaching chemicals into the food. According to the USDA, fruit pies made with sugar can be stored at room temperature for up to two days. Keep it from drying out by stashing it in a pie carrier or loosely wrap the pie with plastic or foil. After that, you’ll want to pop it into the refrigerator so it doesn’t spoil. On the other hand, pie made with custard or cream—or ones with egg in the filling (including pecan and pumpkin pie)—do need to be refrigerated. Keeping the pie in the original pie pan is the easiest way to store pie, but you can also portion individual slices in an airtight container or wrapped in aluminum foil. Cover the pie with plastic wrap, foil or an overturned bowl to protect the refrigerated pie.

  2. Which is the best route to choose? Freezing pre-mixed sweet potato pie filling by the gallon or just freeze the sweet potato mash only and add ingredients when ready to bake.

  3. Hi Tracey, your best results are likely achieved by freezing the mash, thawing when ready to use, and mixing the pie filling fresh. Sounds yummy!

  4. I have a “Japanese Fruit Pie” with 2 eggs and fruits cooked. Does this have to go into the fridge as soon as cooled. Or does the 1 C of sugar in the pie keep it safe?

  5. Hi Linda, a Japanese Fruit Pie is considered an egg-rich pie by the USDA and like pumpkin and pecan pie, it should be refrigerated if not served within 2 hours of cooling. Any leftover pie should be covered in plastic wrap or in an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. The pie can be eaten cold or reheated quickly in the microwave, oven, or air fryer. These pies also freeze well (double wrap to avoid freezer burn) for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating as above if you like.

  6. Like the author of this article, AnswerLine recommends that fruit crisps be refrigerated after initial use.

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