My girlfriend and I are cooking our first Thanksgiving dinner and I took care of baking the pumpkin pies tonight. Once they were done, she asked if I was going to put them in the refrigerator and I said no. She said her family always has, though my family never has.
I decided to see what the interwebs had to say. Seems most sites are saying refrigeration is an absolute must as bacteria will begin forming right away if it's not put in the fridge.
In the 30 Thanksgivings I have lived through, my mother has always made four or more pies and never refrigerated them, even though some of them didn't get finished up for nearly a week. Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers make pies every year and never refrigerate them. Nobody has ever gotten sick from eating them.
Are all these warnings about refrigerating pumpkin pies a result of an overly germ sensitive modern culture? Or has my family been avoiding certain doom all this time? I could see tempting fate once or twice and getting away with it, but nobody getting sick in over 70 years from eating non-refrigerated pies has to be more than just a fluke. Or maybe we all just have really great immune systems...