How Long Should One Wait Before Eating Cooked Pie?

Turkey Pot Pie & Salad
Flickr-User: Lynn Gardner

The other day I was baking a turkey pot pie in our microwave oven and after the set amount of time, 7 minutes, the oven shut off. My wife was about to take it out of the microwave when I told her that the pie needed to stay in the oven for 5 more minutes. She asked why couldn't the pie just cool down on the counter, after all, when a microwave oven shuts off, there is no more heating going on.

I told her the pie needed at least 5 minutes of standing time in the oven where the heat given off by the pie is reflected back off the walls of the microwave. This allows the pie to become evenly heated throughout the entire volume rather than just at the edges. I told her that if she didn't want to wait and needed to use the microwave to reheat her coffee she could take the pie out but to cover it with a pan so that the heat can bounce off the pan walls and back toward the pie.

Although I may reheat a fruit-filled pie, I never bake fruit pies, such as bluberry or cherry pies, in a microwave. The blueberries overcook and the crust under-cooks. So I bake fruit-filled pies only in a conventional, convectional oven and remove the pie for a standing time of at least 40 minutes, but cover with a large pan to allow for the pie to evenly heat and for the filling to set.

How Long Should One Wait Before Eating Cooked Pie?

For a meat-filled pie I allow a standing time of only 5 to 10 minutes and eat it forthwith.

For fruit pies, I suggest that you let the pie cool down to room temperature before slicing. After it cools down, I prefer chilling it in the fridge and then reheating in the microwave when I'm ready to consume. The only exception is my wife's blueberry pie - after it reaches room temperature I put a slice into the microwave - no pre-chilling.

Up until 2009, my wife usually made the blueberry pie for Thanksgiving, see my article Be Thankful For your Jews, but her pie has become so popular that one is not enough and friends and relatives have been asking for more, so I have in the past four years helped her in preparing and baking at least three pies for the holiday. However, this Thanksgiving we will be baking at least 4 of our signature blueberry pies.

I have previously written that my wife and I cannot occupy the same kitchen area at the same time because of fundamental philosophical differences bordering on religious fanaticism regarding the cleaning, preparing, cutting, cooking, baking, seasoning, broiling, frying, stirring, storing, and disposing of food. However, there is one time and only one time when we can be in the kitchen together at the same time without acting Muslim to each other: when baking her blueberry pies.

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