Refrigerate pumpkin pie?

Discussion in 'The Mess Hall' started by Trench, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. My girlfriend and I are cooking our first Thanksgiving dinner and I took care of baking the pumpkin pies tonight. Once they were done, she asked if I was going to put them in the refrigerator and I said no. She said her family always has, though my family never has.

    I decided to see what the interwebs had to say. Seems most sites are saying refrigeration is an absolute must as bacteria will begin forming right away if it's not put in the fridge.

    In the 30 Thanksgivings I have lived through, my mother has always made four or more pies and never refrigerated them, even though some of them didn't get finished up for nearly a week. Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers make pies every year and never refrigerate them. Nobody has ever gotten sick from eating them.

    Are all these warnings about refrigerating pumpkin pies a result of an overly germ sensitive modern culture? Or has my family been avoiding certain doom all this time? I could see tempting fate once or twice and getting away with it, but nobody getting sick in over 70 years from eating non-refrigerated pies has to be more than just a fluke. Or maybe we all just have really great immune systems...
  2. We always put 'em on the back porch, but it wasn't heated.
  3. I do not think you need to refrigerate them. When you buy them in the store they are usually not refrigerated. That being said, I prefer my pumpkin pie cold.
  4. Sue

    Sue Merit Award Vendor Contributor

    Refridgerate, there are eggs and milk in the ingredients to spoil. Or just eat it all. It's not as filling if you ditch the crust. :001_rolle
  5. Baking is an Art not a Science. With that out of the way. If it has eggs or dairy in it you should put it into the fridge.

    However I have never put a Pumpkin pie in the fridge and it hasn't made me or my family sick. I use this basic recipe for my pie
  6. The pies should be left out to cool completely, but for no more than two hours. They should be put in the fridge at this time. The danger zone for cold foods is above 41 degrees Fahrenheit, for hot foods is anything below 140 degrees Fahrenheit. All leftovers should be put into the fridge within one hour after the meal.

    Cool the pies away from the hot kitchen-stove area, but as I mentioned let cool completely before putting in the fridge. If not the pies remain hot while trying to cool in the fridge, and effectively create the "danger zone" for bacterial growth. Above 41.F and below 140.F

    I know people as well who have never refrigerated their pumpkin pies either and never gotten sick, but it's better to be safe than sorry. The big box stores get away with keeping the Pumpkin pies out because they typically use pasteurized eggs and evaporated milk, which retards spoilage times.

    Have a great, and happy Thanksgiving. :chef:
  7. Sullybob

    Sullybob Contributor

    I like the way you think :lol:
  8. Pumpkin pie never lasts long enough to need refrigeration.....:blushing:
  9. +1 :001_smile It's like asking how you store freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
  10. So many great points made already. The only one I will suggest is..... Don't make this a potential source of argument between you and your girlfriend. I say make love not war (especially when everybody else passes out from eating too much turkey)
  11. I'd say in the fridge, not that I wouldn't eat a pie that accidentally got left out, but if it's going to be for any extended period of time you never know what kind of wild microbeasts might be lurking... Pumpkin pie surface is practically an agar plate waiting to happen...
  12. I did put them in the fridge as I didn't see any reason not to, and as one of you has pointed out it's best not to start an argument with the girlfriend on Thanksgiving (or any other time for that matter!) :biggrin1:

    The thing that gets me though is the argument that because the pies have dairy and eggs in them, they need to be refrigerated. Cookies and cakes have eggs and dairy in them, and I've never heard anyone suggest they need to be refrigerated after cooking.
  13. if it will make potential eaters more comfortable, refrigerate.

    that said i grew up with hanging meat and wild game to age without issues. pies sat maybe a day or two under a flyscreen on the kitchen counter before they were gone.

    (only time i ever got sick was at KFC....).
  14. Amen brother...Amen!

    BTW...the Food Network has an amazing pie topping to top off your pumpkin masterpiece...just combine cranberries, pecans and a few cookies (recipie calls for amaretti, but I used Delta Airlines Bischoff cookies) into a food processor for a quick chop.

    Makes for a crunchy and slightly tart topping which is an amazing compliment to any pumpkin pie.

    I'm sure many of you have had this before, but last night was my first time...I like the topping almost as much as the pie!
  15. I would refrigerate it but it does taste better at room temp so be sure to let it defrost before serving.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  16. You must live at my house, because this is exactly what happens every time I make cookies. Strange phenomenon. I think we'll have to do some "research" on this topic this weekend...
  17. If it was just a few hours I wouldn't bother refrigerating it but for something longer I would. There's a lot of moisture in a Pie as compare to cookies and most bacteria do better in a moist environment. But pie is best at room temp so just pull it 1-2 hrs before you want to eat it and everyone is happy.
  18. Your family has been *just* avoiding food poisoning - especially when considering pumpkin pie is made with eggs and dairy.
  19. That's the thing though. 70 years is a long time to merely be avoiding getting sick. Also, cakes and cookies are made with eggs and dairy and nobody suggests keeping them refrigerated.
  20. Cakes and cookies don't contain nearly as much moisture as pie so your argument is unfair.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009

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