After spending hours in the kitchen preparing a Thanksgiving feast, the last thing you want to do is wait around for your pumpkin pie to cool. But if you want your pie to be properly set and have that classic, smooth texture, you’ll need to give it some time to cool. How long should you wait?
You can cool your pumpkin pie on a cooling rack for up to 2 hours before storing it in the refrigerator uncovered. After cooling an additional one to two hours, cover your pumpkin pie completely until ready to serve. This will help prevent it from becoming wet on top and a soggy crust.
Where To Cool Your Pumpkin Pie
It’s important to use a cooling rack when cooling your pumpkin pie. This will allow for air circulation and prevent the bottom of the pie from getting soggy.
If you don’t have a cooling rack, place the pie on a few wooden spoons spread out or on top of an inverted cupcake pan.
The refrigerator is where I like to finish the cooling process.
Some bakers will cool their pumpkin pies for hours and hours outside of refrigeration, but homemade pumpkin pie needs to be refrigerated within 2 hours, according to the USDA.
While I don’t advise placing piping hot pumpkin pies directly in the fridge, it can be done. Keep in mind that handling a hot pie is very dangerous and could lead to injury.
You will need to make sure that your pie is not touching plastic or glass or placed near other items.
Use a cold baking pan lined with a few folded kitchen towels. Place the pie on the kitchen towels and jiggle it a little bit to make sure it’s not going to slide around easily. Carefully place it in the fridge on an empty shelf. This should help protect your shelves from the heat and make the pie easy to handle.
In The Oven?
According to Claire Saffitz in her video “THE BEST PUMPKIN PIE RECIPE WITH CLAIRE SAFFITZ”, the best place to cool a pumpkin pie is in the oven with the door open. The biggest advantage of this is to prevent cracking on top.
You can catch her cooling technique at the 19-minute mark here:
This is a really cool tip if you’re looking for a perfect presentation. But if your house is anything like ours, more cracks means serving your pumpkin pie with more whipped cream!
Should You Cover Your Pumpkin Pie While Cooling?
No, you should never cover a pumpkin pie while it’s cooling. Covering your pie will trap heat and moisture. Trapping heat can keep your pie from cooling and not allow it to set properly. And even worse, the trapped moisture can make your pumpkin pie sweat and ruin your crust.
Is It Better To Make Pumpkin Pie The Day Before?
I believe it’s better to make your pumpkin pie the day before serving. This gives the pie time to properly set, flavors meld, and cool so it will slice beautifully. If you’re short on time, you can make your pumpkin pie the morning of, but I recommend cooling it for a minimum of 4 hours in total before serving.