Why You Should Never Store Pumpkin Pie In The Pantry

When pumpkin season rolls around, the orange gourd is everywhere and it seems like we are eating it at every meal. From pumpkin spice lattes to homemade pumpkin breads and cookies for breakfast, and even pumpkin cocktails, the squash surely steals the spotlight. It makes a lot of sense that Americans have an affinity for pumpkin. Per the Library of Congress, pumpkins are indigenous to our beautiful country. The cultural institution explains those first classic pumpkin pie recipes featured "sliced (sometimes fried) pumpkin, combined with sugar, spices and apple slices and baked between two crusts." As people began experimenting, the pumpkin pie changed to look like the ones we eat today.

Pumpkin is also one of the favored pies to grace our tables at Thanksgiving. According to WYFF4, pumpkin pie is holding strong in Google searches, claiming the number two spot in pie popularity. In fact, if you take a gander at the best pie in every state, you will find pumpkin definitely holds a special place in our hearts and our cravings. And as Southern Living points out, pumpkin pie can be made up to two days ahead of the big festivities. But when it comes to storing your pumpkin pie, whether that's the whole pie or the sliver that might be leftover, you should never keep it in your pantry and here's why. 

Store it in the fridge

The Library of Congress reveals an early recorded recipe for pumpkin pie as we know it today that included "stewed and strained pumpkin, eggs, sugar, cream or milk, and sometimes the addition of molasses." And of course, as trade kicked up, spices became more readily available and nutmeg and allspice found their way into the mix. Believe it or not, a few of those simple ingredients actually dictate this pie's storage. 

According to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, pumpkin pie needs to be stored in the refrigerator because it is made with milk and eggs. The academic institution goes on to say that two hours is the maximum amount of time a pumpkin pie should be sitting out at room temperature. The FDA concurs, noting that if you store your pumpkin pie on the counter or in the pantry, you are leaving it susceptible to harmful bacteria growth. 

Southern Living calls this a "controversial" topic because some restaurants and grocery stores do not refrigerate the pies they are selling you. The magazine's recommendation is that if you are not going to eat the pie within two days, keep it in the fridge.