My family loves pumpkin pie, but we can never seem to agree on whether pumpkin pie is better warm or cold. I prefer mine with a slight chill and a lot of whipped cream, but my Grandmother always says that pumpkin pie is meant to be served hot out of the oven. So, which is it? Is pumpkin pie supposed to be hot or cold?
Some people prefer the taste of warm pumpkin pie, while others find that it tastes better when it is chilled. I’m not going to tell you one tastes better than the other. Still, I will offer some things to consider when deciding how to serve it for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Do You Serve Pumpkin Pie Hot Or Cold?
Pumpkin pie can be served hot or cold, but more often, it’s served warm at room temperature with whipped cream. Other toppings, such as crunchy nuts or a sprinkle of pumpkin spice, are added to enhance this holiday dessert in more formal settings or included with store-bought pumpkin pies.
Serving It Hot
Be careful when serving hot pumpkin pie. It can be dangerous because the piping-hot filling can easily burn the inside of someone’s mouth.
That’s no fun on Thanksgiving! So it’s important to let the pie cool a little before serving and add a scoop of ice cream to help offset the heat.
Serving It Warm
If you like your pie warm, you can carefully heat it up in the oven for a few minutes before serving. This will help to soften the crust if it has become hard in the refrigerator.
Another option is to microwave individual slices for about 20 seconds, depending on your microwave power. Be careful with reheating pumpkin pie in the microwave, as the filling may be scorching when it comes out. Give your pumpkin pie slices a few minutes to rest before serving.
Room temperature (68°F to 72°F) is much easier and safer. Take out your pie from the fridge as you start dinner or 30 minutes before you intend to serve it.
But don’t let your pie sit out too long. The FDA recommends egg-rich pies sit out no longer than 2 hours before bacteria starts to become an issue. Even less time if your kitchen is hot.
Serving It Cold
If you prefer cold pumpkin pie, keep it in the fridge and slice it as needed. Freshly baked pumpkin pie should be chilled on the counter for a couple of hours before it should be chilled in the fridge. This will help prevent your pumpkin pie from sweating or splitting.
Chilling your pie will help to firm up the filling and make it easier to slice, and it also gives a very smooth mouth feel when eating.
Some people believe that cold pumpkin pie has a better flavor than warm pumpkin pie. But that’s up to you to decide. I prefer my pumpkin pie slightly chilled overall.
The Best Way To Eat Pumpkin Pie
It doesn’t matter what temperature to serve pumpkin pie, hot or cold. The best way to eat pumpkin pie is served with lots of whipped cream. Whipped cream helps lighten and enhance the spice and pumpkin flavor into a tasty mouthful of pie.
A large dollop of whipped cream on each slice is the most common way to serve it, but if you want to get fancy, you can pipe it into interesting swirls or designs.
You could also add a sprinkle of pumpkin spice or a few chopped nuts for extra flavor and texture.
Can You Eat Pumpkin Pie Right Out Of The Oven?
No, you should not eat freshly baked pumpkin pie right out of the oven because the pie filling will not be set and be extremely hot, enough to burn your mouth. You should cool your pumpkin pie on a wire rack for at least an hour before serving it warm.
The high sugar content of the custard filling will become almost molten in the oven, similar to hot cheese. So to avoid injury during your festive gathering, please let your pies cool before serving them to your guests.
You can add ice cream to help with the heat, but it only takes one scorching bite to ruin someone’s dinner and potentially have to send them to the emergency room.
How Long Should Pumpkin Pie Cool Before Eating?
Ideally, you should let your pumpkin pie cool for three to four hours to allow the filling to set and make it safe to serve. Using a cooling rack both in and out of the refrigerator will help air circulate around the whole pie helping the center cool more quickly.
Can You Cool A Pumpkin Pie in the Fridge?
Yes, you should cool your pumpkin pie in the fridge, but it’s best to cool it on the counter for at least 30 minutes beforehand. Cooling your pumpkin pie in the fridge straight from the oven with a cover can cause it to sweat, condensate, crack, and ruin your crust. Once placed in the fridge, you should keep it there until ready to serve.