Does Apple Pie Need To Be Refrigerated and How Long Does It Last?

You should refrigerate apple pie after you first cut into it, or within two days of baking if it sits untouched.

Once you place it in the fridge, it can sit there for another 3 to 4 days for a total of about 5 days.

There are also other ways to go about storing this pie, and each has its pros and cons. But they all boil down to this: you need to refrigerate apple pie sooner or later, and that it stays good for 4 to 5 days.

If you need more time, freezing is something to consider.

That’s the gist of it. Want to know more?

Read on to learn about storage practices, shelf life, and spoilage of apple pie, both homemade and store-bought.

Info

Everything below applies to both homemade and bakery-bought apple pie. There aren’t any major differences between how you make your apple pie and how professionals bake theirs.

Leftover apple pie
Leftover apple pie

Does Apple Pie Need To Be Refrigerated?

You don’t need to refrigerate apple pie as long as it’s whole and was baked less than two days ago. Once you cut into it or it sits on the counter for more than two days, put it in the fridge.

If you scoured the Internet for info on apple pie, you would find many places saying you can leave this fruit pie at room temperature for two days of baking it ([FS]), no matter what. You certainly can follow that advice, and 9 out of 10 times, you’re going to be fine.

However, I recommend refrigerating apple pie after cutting into it because slicing and serving might introduce bacteria to the pie. And if that pie sits on the counter, it’ll likely grow mold in a day or so.

Eating apple pie
Eating apple pie

Sure, there are sugar and acid in the filling that impair bacteria growth, but refrigeration is much better at putting the brakes on that. Plus, if we store open applesauce in the fridge, it only makes sense to refrigerate open apple pie as well.

I left out my leftover apple pie overnight, should I toss it? No. While it’s much safer to keep leftover fruit pies in the fridge, if it only sat out one night, it will be fine in most cases. Check it for any signs of mold or discoloration, and refrigerate as soon as possible.

Apple pie in a carton
Apple pie in a carton

How To Store Apple Pie

Whole apple pie can sit on the counter or in the fridge. Once you cut into it, or it’s at room temperature for two days already, put it in the fridge. No matter where it sits, keep it covered.

The cover is especially important if you refrigerate the pie because it prevents it from absorbing smells of other foods.

When it comes to covering your apple pie, there is a number of options:

  • if the apple pie sits in the original pie pan, use its lid (if it comes with one)
  • overturn a bowl over the apple pie
  • use a pie carrier
  • wrap the top with plastic wrap or foil
  • slice the pie and transfer portions into an airtight container
Warning

Apple pie that sits on the counter uncovered looks gorgeous, but it’s basically collecting dust. Cover it.

If you need apple pie to last more than a few days (e.g., the birthday party got canceled), you might’ve considered freezing the pie. Let’s talk about that.

Leftover apple pie in an airtight container
Leftover apple pie in an airtight container

Can You Freeze Apple Pie?

Yes, you can freeze apple pie, and it freezes quite well. All you need is a couple of minutes to portion the pie, and some basic kitchen equipment to wrap and package the pieces. Then it can sit in the freezer for months.

Here’s how to freeze apple pie (and any other fruit pie, really):

  1. Cut the leftovers into portions. If the piece you’re left with is small, skip this step. But if it’s a bigger one, slicing it into a few dessert-sized portions is the optimal choice. This way, you thaw only a small (or moderate) amount and make sure you don’t scarf down the entire thing in one sitting.
  2. Wrap each portion. There are lots of options here. If you have enough space, you can place each one in an airtight container. That ensures the pie doesn’t get squashed by other foods. Alternatively, you can use freezer bags, freezer wrap, or the good old plastic wrap. No matter what’s your preference, make sure each piece is wrapped tightly.
  3. Freeze. Place every portion in the freezer, and you’re done.

You can freeze apple pie without much change in quality for at least 4 months ([PS]), possibly more.

Apples in apple pie
Apples in apple pie

How do you defrost frozen apple pie?

You can thaw apple pie on the counter or in the fridge.

Defrosting at room temperature usually takes between an hour and two hours, depending on the portion’s size.

If you go with the refrigerator, place the apple pie there in the evening so that it’s ready the next day.

Remember that if you thaw apple pie on the counter, you should eat it right after. If you choose the refrigerator, the pie can sit there for another day or so. That means if you’re thawing a big ol’ piece, the fridge is the way to go.

Tip

If you prefer apple pie warm, thaw and reheat it in the oven. Go with a relatively modest temperature of 375°F (190°C) or even lower, and put the pie right after turning on the oven. Check how the pie is doing after 20 minutes or so.

Apple pie top
Apple pie top

How Long Does Apple Pie Last?

CounterFridgeFreezer
Whole apple pie1 – 2 days or until sliced4 – 5 days4+ months
Leftover apple pie2 – 4 days4+ months

A whole apple pie keeps for 2 days at room temperature and another two to three days in the fridge. Once you cut into it, it stays safe to eat for about 2 to 4 days, depending on when it was baked. If you freeze it, it’ll retain quality for at least 4 months.

Those are rough estimates that work most of the time.

Sometimes, your apple pie might still be perfectly okay after like 5 days in the fridge. Other times, you might get unlucky and see mold after two days of refrigeration.

That seems like a good time to talk about the spoilage of apple pie.

Apple pie and tea
Apple pie and tea

How To Tell If Apple Pie Has Gone Bad?

You have to rely on your senses to tell if your apple is still okay to eat or not. Check the following:

  • Storage time. If those leftovers sit in the fridge for like a week, they probably aren’t safe, even if they look so inviting. Throw them out.
  • The surface and the filling. Look for any signs of fuzzy mold or any other discolorations. If present, that apple pie is done for. And no, cutting off the moldy part isn’t a good idea because mold can easily permeate the filling.
  • The smell. If your apple pie smells off in any way (e.g., fermented and the like), you throw it out.
  • The taste. If everything looks and smells okay, chances are the pie is a-okay. Giving a tiny amount a taste before you wolf it down is the last thing on your to-do list. If anything seems off, err on the side of caution and discard it.

If you gave your leftover apple pie a thorough check using the tips above and there are no red flags, it’s yours to enjoy.

Slice of apple pie
Slice of apple pie

Sources