How do you store pies before Thanksgiving?

Quick Answers

Here are some quick answers to common questions about storing pies before Thanksgiving:

What is the best way to store fruit pies before Thanksgiving?

Store fruit pies in the refrigerator. This will help keep the filling firm and the crust crisp.

How long can you store a pie before Thanksgiving?

Most homemade pies will last 2-3 days in the fridge before Thanksgiving. Store-bought pies can usually last 4-5 days.

Should you store pies in the refrigerator or freezer?

Refrigerator for short term storage (2-5 days). Freezer for longer term storage (1-2 months).

What’s the best way to thaw a frozen pie?

Thaw frozen pies slowly in the refrigerator overnight. Do not thaw at room temperature.

Storing Different Types of Pie

The proper storage method depends on the type of pie you are storing before Thanksgiving. Here are some guidelines for storing common Thanksgiving pie varieties:

Fruit Pies

Fruit pies like apple, cherry, blueberry, etc. should always be stored in the refrigerator. The cold environment will help maintain the texture of the fruit filling and keep the crust crisp. Leave the pie in the original tin or pan while refrigerating. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or foil.

Most fruit pies will last 2-3 days in the fridge before quality starts to decline. If you need to store a fruit pie longer, freeze it up to 1-2 months.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie also does best when refrigerated. The fridge prevents the custard-like filling from weeping and becoming watery. As with fruit pies, store pumpkin pie in the original pan, loosely cover with plastic wrap or foil, and refrigerate up to 3 days.

You can freeze pumpkin pie for longer storage. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.

Pecan Pie

Pecan pies can be stored at room temperature or refrigerated. The high sugar content allows the pie to be shelf-stable for several days. Refrigeration can extend the shelf life to 5-6 days.

If refrigerating, store pecan pie covered in its original pan to retain texture and moisture. Let come to room temperature before serving for best flavor.

Custard Pies

Custard pies like buttermilk pie require refrigeration. The egg-based filling can quickly spoil at room temp. Once baked, immediately refrigerate custard pies loosely covered in plastic wrap or foil.

Consume custard pies within 2-3 days. Do not attempt to freeze, as the delicate custard texture will break down.

Meringue Pies

Meringue topped pies like lemon meringue store best when refrigerated. The high-volume egg white meringue can weep moisture without refrigeration, causing it to deflate. Refrigerate meringue pies in their original tin loosely covered for up to 2 days.

Do not freeze meringue topped pies. The meringue will become soggy when thawed.

Storing Pie Crust

For those who plan to bake their own pies before Thanksgiving, proper storage of pie dough is also important. Here are some tips:

  • Well wrapped pie dough can be refrigerated for 2-3 days before use.
  • For longer storage, freeze dough for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before rolling out.
  • Keep dough covered in plastic wrap while refrigerating to retain moisture.
  • Avoid overworking dough when rolling to prevent tough crust.

Freezing Unbaked Fruit Pies

As an alternative to baking fruit pies ahead of time, you can freeze them unbaked:

  1. Prepare pie dough and fillings, but do not bake.
  2. Freeze the unbaked pie on a parchment lined baking sheet until firm.
  3. Wrap the frozen pie tightly in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil.
  4. Label pie and freeze for 1-2 months.
  5. When ready to bake, do not thaw. Add 15-20 mins to baking time.

This allows you to have freshly baked pies for Thanksgiving without having to bake them early and store them.

Storing Pies with Refrigeration

For those who have access to refrigeration, follow these tips for storing pies:

Pie Type Storage Tips Refrigerate Shelf Life
Fruit (apple, cherry, blueberry, etc) – Store in original pan
– Loosely cover with plastic wrap or foil
2-3 days
Pumpkin – Store in original pan
– Loosely cover with plastic wrap or foil
3 days
Pecan – Can store at room temp or refrigerated
– If refrigerating, cover pan loosely
5-6 days
Custard (buttermilk, etc) – Refrigerate immediately after baking
– Cover pie loosely
2-3 days
Meringue – Refrigerate immediately after baking
– Store in original tin
1-2 days

Storing Pies without Refrigeration

If you do not have access to refrigeration, you can still store pies for Thanksgiving:

  • Pecan Pie – Has high sugar content so can store at room temp for up to 5 days.
  • Fruit Pies – Best if eaten within 12-24 hours after baking without refrigeration.
  • Custard/Meringue Pies – Do not recommended. Custard fillings and meringue toppings require refrigeration.

Some tips for room temperature pie storage:

  • Keep pies covered loosely to retain moisture.
  • Store pies away from direct sunlight, which can cause sweating.
  • Allow pies to cool completely before covering to prevent condensation.
  • Consuming within 12-24 hours is best for quality and food safety.

Thawing Frozen Pies

For pies that have been frozen, follow these thawing methods:

  • Fruit and Pumpkin Pies – Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Do not thaw on the counter.
  • Pecan Pie – Can be thawed overnight in the fridge or at room temperature for 4-6 hours.
  • Unbaked Frozen Fruit Pies – Do not thaw before baking. Just increase baking time by 15-20 mins.

Tips for thawing frozen pies:

  • Place pies on a baking sheet or pan to catch condensation as they thaw.
  • Allow pies to finish thawing completely before cutting to prevent oozing fillings.
  • Do not attempt to thaw custard or meringue pies. Freezing alters the texture.

Serving Leftover Pie

For leftovers after the Thanksgiving meal, follow these storage guidelines:

  • Allow pies to cool completely before covering and storing.
  • Fruit pies keep 2-3 days in the fridge. Pecan keeps 5-6 days.
  • Pumpkin pie lasts 3-4 days refrigerated.
  • Reheat chilled pie slices in a 300°F oven for 10-15 minutes before serving.
  • Meringue pies do not reheat well due to weeping. Best when fresh.

Freezing Leftover Pie Slices

You can also freeze remaining pie slices to enjoy later:

  1. Allow pies to fully cool after Thanksgiving.
  2. Cut into slices and arrange in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. Freeze until firm, about 2 hours.
  4. Wrap each slice well in plastic wrap, then foil or freezer bag.
  5. Label and freeze up to 2 months.
  6. Thaw overnight in fridge before reheating to serve.


Proper storage is key to enjoying perfect pie on Thanksgiving. Follow these guidelines on refrigerating, freezing, and thawing pies. With some advance planning, you can store pies safely for days before Thanksgiving and ensure your holiday dessert is a delicious success.

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