Does Apple Pie Need to Be Refrigerated?

Does apple pie need to be refrigerated, or can you store it on the counter?

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Holidays at my house make me thankful I spent so much of my childhood mastering Tetris: there’s only so much room in the refrigerator, and it takes planning and ingenuity to cram everything in there!

Before the big meal, fridge space is monopolized by a brining turkey or a holiday roast. Afterward, all those airtight containers and foil packs containing leftovers tend to stack up. So what to do about dessert? Does apple pie need to be refrigerated, and what is the actual best way to store it?

Is apple pie OK left out overnight?

We have great news: You don’t need to refrigerate your apple pie if it contains sugar. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, fruit pies made with sugar can be stored at room temperature for up to two days. Keep it from drying out by stashing it in a pie carrier like this one ($22), or loosely wrap the pie with plastic or foil. After that, you’ll want to pop that delish dessert into the refrigerator so it doesn’t spoil.

On the other hand, pie made with custard or cream—or ones with egg in the filling (including pecan and pumpkin pie)—do need to be refrigerated. That rule also applies to fresh fruit pies without sugar, or ones made with a sugar substitute like Equal or Splenda.

How do you store apple pie in the fridge?

If your apple pie somehow managed to last two whole days without getting devoured, it’s time to put it in the refrigerator. Keeping it in the original pie pan is the easiest way to store leftover pie, but you can also portion individual slices in an airtight container or wrapped in aluminum foil. Cover the pie with plastic wrap, foil or an overturned bowl to protect the pie.

How long does apple pie last in the fridge?

Apple pie will last an additional two days in the refrigerator. That gives you four days total—two on the counter and two in the fridge—to eat up! Enjoy it cold straight out of the fridge, or warm it up in the oven if you prefer.

Can you freeze apple pie?

Yes! Fruit pies with sugar also freeze exceptionally well, where they’ll last up to four months in the freezer. Place any leftovers uncovered in the freezer until they’re completely frozen. Then, wrap the frozen pie tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Thaw the pie at room temperature and reheat it until it’s warm in a 350°F oven (about 30 minutes).

Now that you know how easy it is to store the leftovers, you may as well make a double batch of our most amazing apple pie recipes.

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Lindsay D. Mattison
Lindsay is a professional chef, recipe developer, writer and developmental editor. After years of working in restaurant kitchens, she turned to writing to share her skills and experience with home cooks and food enthusiasts. She's passionate about using local, organic ingredients and teaching others how to incorporate seasonal food into their diet. Lindsay still cooks professionally for pop-up events, writes for several publications and is the co-author of two books about Ayurveda.