You Should Definitely Cool Your Pumpkin Pie In The Oven

There's no denying that pumpkin pie is a fall staple. Whether you enjoy it as part of your Thanksgiving feast or simply as a delicious dessert throughout the autumn months, there's no doubt that this flavor-packed treat hits the spot. The rich and creamy dessert is the perfect way to celebrate the seasonal change to cooler weather — whether you're creating a simple five-ingredient pie or adding tofu in place of eggs for a more vegan-friendly option.

In addition, there are actually plenty of ways to prepare a pumpkin pie. Non-traditional cooking methods include cooking the pie in an Instant Pot, as well as a no-bake pumpkin pie that does away with the need for an oven altogether. However, if you're sticking to the classic method of baking your pie in the oven, one important tip is to make sure that you cool your pumpkin pie before removing it. This may seem like an odd step, perhaps even counterintuitive. However, it's actually crucial in ensuring that your pie turns out perfectly.

The science behind cooling your pumpkin pie in the oven

Pumpkin pies are notoriously finicky when it comes to cooling. Many home cooks have experienced the frustration of pulling a beautifully baked pie out of the oven only to have it crack as it cools. But why does this happen? Is it simply a pie-cooking mistake or bad luck?

As it turns out, there is a scientific reason behind cracked pies. When pumpkin pies (or any custard-based pies, for that matter) are cooled too quickly, the outside sets before the inside has a chance to fully firm up. This causes cracks to form as the pie contracts.

The good news is that there is an easy way to prevent this from happening. All you need to do is let your pumpkin pie cool slowly in the oven with the door propped open slightly. By allowing heat to escape gradually, you'll give your pie time to set evenly without cracks. Once it's cooled completely, you can enjoy a slice of perfectly creamy pumpkin pie that's just begging to be topped with whipped cream or ice cream. So ditch the fridge and opt for the oven next time you're cooling your pumpkin pie — your taste buds will thank you!