Pecan pie is a popular dessert, and for good reason, who doesn’t love the sweet, nutty taste, finished off with a dollop of ice cream?
If you are making pecan pie at home, you will want to ensure that it stays fresh for as long as possible, allowing you and your family to enjoy each and every slice.
Once you have baked your pecan pie, should you refrigerate it? The answer is yes. Pecan pie contains egg, which is an ingredient that should remain in a cooler environment, such as in the fridge. The same goes for all egg-based pies. If kept in the fridge, the pecan pie will stay fresher for longer.
Keep reading to find out how to refrigerate, freeze, and thaw pecan pie.
Why Pecan Pie Should Be Refrigerated
Store-bought pecan pies contain preservatives and other ingredients that allow them to be shelf-stable, but if you are making pecan pie at home, you will more than likely be using an egg-base.
If you are not planning on eating the pecan pie within 2 hours of baking, you will need to place it in the fridge, and it is fine to place the pecan pie in the fridge if it is still warm.
The reason for needing to refrigerate pecan pie is that bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
The growth of bacteria on food can lead to foodborne illness and food poisoning. Placing the pecan pie in the refrigerator, below 40 degrees Fahrenheit will inhibit the rapid growth of bacteria, and will allow your pie to keep for a longer period of time.
You can still heat up the pie when you want to eat it, but only heat up what you will be needing, as the pie should not be reheated more than once.
How Long Can Pecan Pie Be Refrigerated?
Pecan pie is hardier than many other pies. Meringue or chiffon pies cannot last longer than a day or two in the fridge.
Pecan pie, on the other hand, can last for up to four days in the fridge if stored properly. However, if you wish to keep the pecan pie for longer than this, you will need to freeze it.
One of the easiest ways to refrigerate or freeze a pie, is to use a sealing pie plate, like this one from Amazon.
How To Refrigerate Pecan Pie
Knowing how to properly refrigerate and store pecan pie will allow it to stay fresher for longer, and gives you more time to enjoy the pecan pie.
Once the pecan pie has baked, you should refrigerate it if you are not going to eat it within 2 hours.
- Leave the pecan pie to cool on a safe surface, and wait until it has cooled to room temperature. You should not leave it to cool for longer than two hours before refrigerating it.
- Keeping it in the pie dish, cover the pecan pie loosely with a layer of aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Be careful not to wrap the pie too tightly or to apply to much pressure, as this can ruin the shape and texture of the pie.
- If you do not have any plastic wrap or aluminum foil, you can place a plate upside down on top of the pie. However, this does not work well in smaller fridges, as it does take up more space than just simply wrapping the pie.
- The pecan pie can stay fresh, wrapped in the fridge for up to 4 days.
You can either eat the pecan pie directly from the fridge or reheat it for up to 15 minutes in an oven preheated to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can You Freeze Pecan Pie?
If you are not going to eat the pecan pie within 4 days, you are able to freeze it. You can either freeze the whole pie, a portion of the pie, or individual slices.
When freezing a pecan pie, you should ensure it is cooked through completely. You do not need to alter or shorten the cooking time to allow for freezing.
Not cooking the pecan pie through before freezing can lead to it having an unpleasant consistency.
Here is how to prepare the pecan pie for freezing:
- Allow the pie to cool completely, sitting on a cooling rack at room temperature until it is totally cool. If the pie has not cooled completely, it could cause moisture to build upon the surface of the pie, which could then lead to freezer burn, or a soggy crust when the pie is eventually reheated.
- Wrap the pie in foil or plastic wrap (or a sealing pie container like this one) before placing it into the freezer. You will need to keep the surface of the pie away from contact with air. Wrap the entire pie up to ensure that there are no gaps in the wrapping which will allow air in.
- As the pie will be exposed to very low temperatures in the freezer, it is a good idea to double wrap it. You can either use aluminum foil or plastic wrap for the second layer or place the pie in a freezer-safe storage bag.
- If properly frozen, a pecan pie can last in the freezer for up to 2 months. It will be fine to eat after this, but there is a higher chance of freezer burn, or ice crystals forming which will deteriorate the quality of the pecan pie.
To reheat the pie, you can leave it to thaw overnight in the fridge. Then you can warm it in an oven preheated to 275 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 20 minutes.
Here are some additional storage tips on how to keep your pie as fresh as possible for a longer period of time:
- Placing the pecan pie in the refrigerator does run the risk of the crust becoming soggy. To try and avoid this, you should keep it tightly covered and at a steady temperature. Tightly covering the pie and not allowing extra air or moisture into the pie should prevent the crust from becoming too soggy.
- If you are able to keep the pecan pie frozen in a deep freeze, you should opt to do that. A traditional freezer attached to the fridge tends to have more fluctuation of temperature when the door is opened and closed.
- If you plan on eating smaller portions of the pie, it might be a good idea to freeze individual slices. To do this, you should slice the pie up and allow the slices to cool. Wrap each slice in plastic wrap and place all the slices into a freezer bag. This way, you will not have to defrost the whole pie just to enjoy a slice.
- You cannot prepare the pie and freeze it or refrigerate it to be baked later on. Pecan pie contains egg, and when refrigerated or frozen and thawed, the egg will curdle and will not result in a well-textured pie when baked. For this reason, it is better to bake the pie first and then freeze or refrigerate.
How long is pecan pie good for when kept at room temperature?
Pecan pie should only be left at room temperature for up to 2 hours. You will need to eat the pecan pie within this time or allow it to cool to room temperature before placing it in the freezer or fridge for longer storage.
As pecan pie contains eggs, it cannot be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Store-bought pecan pies can last outside the fridge for slightly longer, as they are made with preservatives and other ingredients that help the pie to have a longer shelf life.
Which pies need to be refrigerated?
As a rule of thumb, pies that contain eggs need to be refrigerated. This includes cream, custard, pumpkin, chiffon, mousse, pecan, or any other pies containing eggs or dairy. These pies should be left to cool and then placed directly in the fridge or freezer for longer storage.
How do you know if a pecan pie has gone bad?
To tell if a pecan pie has gone bad, you will need to smell and look at the pie. Throw away any pie that has an odd appearance or an off smell. Look out for mold, as that is a sure sign that the pie is well past its use-by-date.
Should pecan pie be served warm?
Many people prefer to have their pecan pie served warm, but pecan pie sets when it cools, and it is much better enjoyed when it is completely set. However, this is totally up to personal preference.
Refrigerating Pecan Pie
If you would like your pecan pie to last longer than a day, you will need to place it in the fridge within 2 hours of baking. Be sure to cover the pecan pie completely with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to ensure no extra moisture or air gets into the pie, which could cause the crust to turn soggy.
Should you wish to keep your pecan pie fresher for longer, you can also choose to freeze it, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in a freezer bag.
Freezing the pie in smaller portions means you do not have to thaw the whole pecan pie just to enjoy a slice!