Does fruit pie fare better left on the counter or stored in the refrigerator?
Where's the best place to store a pie? According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), pies containing perishable ingredients such as eggs or dairy must be refrigerated once cool. But what about fruit pies? The USDA says they're food-safe at room temperature for up to two days because they contain plenty of sugar and acid, which retard bacteria growth. But does storage temperature affect the pies' texture or flavor?
To find out, we made two apple and two blueberry pies. We stored one of each in the refrigerator and the others on the counter overnight. The next day we tasted all four pies at room temperature. We expected the crusts on the refrigerated pies to be tough and chewy because cold typically hastens the staling of baked goods. But the pies were indistinguishable. The low moisture and high fat content of pie crust makes it resistant to staling in a way that leaner, moister items, such as breads, are not.
THE TAKEAWAY: Refrigerate leftover pie containing eggs or dairy right away. Fruit pies can be stored either at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to two days (covering them with an overturned bowl is a handy way to keep them protected).