Food and Recipes Desserts Pies Pies You Should Be Refrigerating—And Those That Don't Need To Be We're discussing cream pies, fruit pies, pumpkin pie, and more. By Tamara Gane Tamara Gane Tamara Gane is a travel, food, and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in more than 30 prominent publications, including Travel and Leisure, TripSavvy, The Washington Post, The Independent, NPR, Taste of Home, Wine Enthusiast, and more. Southern Living's editorial guidelines Updated on May 12, 2023 Medically reviewed by Brierley Horton, MS, RD Medically reviewed by Brierley Horton, MS, RD Brierley Horton is a registered dietitian nutritionist with 15 years of experience as a writer and editor for national media outlets such as Cooking Light, EatingWell, Livestrong.com, and All Recipes. She has been the editor of articles that won journalism awards from the James Beard Foundation and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. She's appeared on the TODAY Show, MSNBC's Thomas Roberts, and more. Brierley holds a master’s degree in Nutrition Communications from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. learn more Fact checked by Jennifer Hawk Fact checked by Jennifer Hawk Jennifer Hawk is a former English professor with 24 years of experience guiding even the most reluctant through the labyrinths of writing, rhetoric, and research. brand's fact checking process Share Tweet Pin Email In This Article View All In This Article Do Refrigerate Pies With Egg and Dairy Do Not Refrigerate Fruit or Nut Pies Do You Need to Refrigerate Pumpkin Pie? Do Refrigerate Anything Topped With Cream Which Pies Can Be Frozen? How Long Does Pie Last Unrefrigerated? Our Favorite Pie Recipes Frequently Asked Questions During the holidays, refrigerator space is as valuable as Nashville real estate. This means if you're baking your holiday pies in advance, there might not be enough room to store them next to all your other groceries. Luckily, not all pies have to be refrigerated. In fact, some varieties will taste better if you store them at room temperature. So, how do you know the difference? You went through a great deal of trouble to bake those fabulous pies, and you want to make sure you're presenting them at their very best. Don't worry: There are some basic rules of thumb to follow when it comes to storing pies. To find out which pies do and don't need to be refrigerated, we went to Teresa Stephens, owner/baker, and Ashilee Wickenden, baker, of Cast Iron Grill in Lubbock, Texas, where the pie sells out so fast you have to order it at breakfast to guarantee yourself a slice. Getty Images Do Refrigerate Pies With Egg and Dairy Pies with dairy and egg that fall in the cream pie category, such as our Coconut Cream Pie or a chocolate mousse pie, should always be refrigerated, according to Stephens and Wickenden. If they're fresh baked, the pair also says you should make sure you give them a chance to set in the refrigerator for at least three to four hours before slicing. Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist Christine Keely Get the Recipe: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Icebox Pie Do Not Refrigerate Fruit Pies According to Stephens and Wickenden, a counter pie is any form of fruit pie like cherry, peach, or apple. The pair say these types of pies can be stored in the refrigerator if you want them to last a day or two longer, but that there's a tradeoff. They explain that if you put them in the refrigerator, they can lose their flavor. They often taste better at room temperature. Do You Need to Refrigerate Pumpkin Pie? Whether or not you should refrigerate pumpkin pie is a little controversial. According to the Food and Drug Administration, homemade pies containing eggs should be refrigerated. However, you've probably noticed that a lot of grocery stores and restaurants serve and store them at room temperature. This is because, quite simply, they taste better that way. So, if you're not going to serve your pumpkin pie for a day or two, your best bet is to store it in the refrigerator. Then, place it on the counter so it warms to room temperature before serving. Jennifer Causey; Food Stylist: Rishon Hanners; Prop Stylist: Audrey Davis Do Refrigerate Anything Topped With Cream You should refrigerate any kind of pie with whipped toppings. "If it's not refrigerated, it will begin to wilt, sweat, and spoil," explained Stephens and Wickenden. For the best results, you should wait and top fruit and pecan pies right before serving. This will allow you to store them at room temperature so they'll taste their very best. Which Pies Can Be Frozen? If you've got leftovers after your holiday meal or you're baking your pies in advance, you may be wondering which pies can be frozen. In general, custard and cream pies do not freeze well. They tend to get soggy and unappealing when you defrost them. On the other hand, Stephens and Wickenden say fruit pies freeze quite beautifully. First, let the pie cool to room temperature. Next, wrap it in two or three layers of plastic wrap and place it in the freezer. Be sure to enjoy it within about four months. How Long Does Pie Last Unrefrigerated? According to the University of Illinois Extension, pies with eggs and dairy will only last about two hours without refrigeration, and up to four days in the refrigerator. Pies with eggs and dairy products should always be stored in the refrigerator until served. Pies without eggs or dairy, according to FDA, can last for up to two days without refrigeration. Our Favorite Pie Recipes Southern Pumpkin Pie South Carolina Coconut Cream Pie Banana Cream Pie Strawberry Cream Pie Pecan Pie Strawberry Pretzel Icebox Pie Apple Pie Key Lime Pie Peach Crumble Pie Old-Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie Frequently Asked Questions How long can I leave apple pie unrefrigerated? According to the USDA, fruit pies in an airtight container can stay unrefrigerated at room temperature for up to two days. When refrigerated, apple pie can remain for up to one week. How should you store pie overnight? After a fruit pie reaches room temperature, store it in the refrigerator double-wrapped in a plastic seal. Keep the edges secure so air does not contact the pie—helping it remain fresh. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Southern Living is committed to using high-quality, reputable sources to support the facts in our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact check our content for accuracy. Davis CA. Consumer Guidelines for Food Safety - USDA. U.S. Department of Agriculture. What is safe storage for pecan pie? University of Illinois Extension. Do I need to refrigerate the pie?