Is there anything better than a piece of pie? Sure, cake has its moments, but there’s something about a decadent pie that really feels rustic and homemade. I know not everyone has time to bake a pie from scratch or who just don’t feel like baking pies from scratch because Ingredients could cost a lot of money? (or Is it just me that baking ingredients from scratch cost a lot of money), so why not take a few shortcuts (nothing wrong with some shortcuts here and there)? With a store-bought frozen pie crust, you’ll have a pastry that’s ready in less than 15 minutes so you can focus your time on the star of the show: the filling. Gone are the days when you have to make your dough by hand. With the right pick, you can have that homemade taste you want in less time. But how do you find the best-frozen pie crust?
I got some of my taste testers to test frozen pie options to see which ones could actually fool someone into thinking the whole pie was homemade (it’ll be our little secret). To see what pie was crowned the winner, and no one will know you cut serious prep time off your pie.
How We Graded Them
These are the three metrics we used to determine each pie crust’s final grade.
I know pie is an indulgence and a true treat (unless it’s cake there is no wrong time for cake), so I didn’t put too much weight on this metric. If you’re going to have a slice of pie, you might as well make sure you’re having the best piece possible and really treat yourself.
With crust, it’s all about a good flake and a solid structure that can hold up to fillings. When we tried these pie shells, we paired them with a simple vanilla pudding so we could really taste the pastry and see how it held up to a creamy filling. Though not a determining factor, we also looked at how decorative or homemade each crust appeared. Did it have fancy crimped or zigzagged edges, or did it have a more plain, homespun style?
Of course, the taste was my taste testers top determining factor. I looked for pie crusts that had a buttery, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth taste that had them going back for more.
From Worst… To Best
Best Yet Deep Dish Pie Crusts in 9-inch Pie Pans (2-Pack)
PER 1/8 CRUST (21 G): 90 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 85 mg sodium, 11 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 1 g protein
This was far from the best choice for store-bought pie crust. My testers said this pick was too dry for their liking, and it left an aftertaste they didn’t like. They thought there wasn’t a good natural flavor to it either, so if you’re looking for a crust that makes you think of your grandmother’s homemade desserts, you’re better off looking elsewhere or baking your own if you are into that type of thing?
Wholly Wholesome Organic Traditional 9″ Pie Shells (2-Pack)
PER 1/8 CRUST (25 G): 120 calories, 7 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 85 mg sodium, 12 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 1 g protein
My taste testers loved the definition along the edges of this pie, saying it could fool someone into thinking it was homemade (maybe they never had homemade pie before or maybe this is the closest thing that resembles homemade)? This crust had a good structure to it, so it could definitely hold some weightier pie ingredients, like apple slices and peaches. It kept a crunchy texture without being hard. Though we liked the denser feel of this pick, my taste testers found that it was only “ok” and that nothing really stood out about it, so they weren’t as excited to go back for another piece.
Mrs. Smith’s 9″ Deep Dish Flaky Pie Crusts (2-Pack)
PER 1/8 CRUST (28 G): 130 calories, 8 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 90 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (0 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 1 g protein
This popular brand gave just enough sweet crust flavor to keep my taste testers satisfied, without being too overpowering. It really let the filling shine through, without being too bland. The crimped edges were a nice touch to this crust, and it had a dense, weighty crust that felt substantial—I could tell it wouldn’t crumble under a filling.
Pillsbury Pet Ritz 9″ Regular Pie Crusts (2-Pack)
PER 1/8 CRUST (18 G): 80 calories, 4 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 70 mg sodium, 9 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), less than 1 g protein
My taste testers said this Pillsbury pick looked and tasted more homemade, and the flaky texture made us feel like we were really eating a made-from-scratch pie. However, if you’re looking for a showcase-worthy pie, this isn’t your pick. Unlike my other options, there was no definition to the perimeter of this pie in the form of crimped edges or zigzagged patterns to dress it up. However, taste is more important than presentation, and though this was a thinner crust than the others, it had a buttery, decadent texture that they loved.
The Maine Pie Co. Ready-to-Bake Gluten-Free 9″ Pie Shells (2-Pack)
PER 1/8 CRUST (25 G): 100 calories, 6 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 11 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 1 g protein
Surprise: The best-frozen pie crust turned out to be a gluten-free option from The Maine Pie Co. With neat, crimped edges and a homemade taste, we had to crown this pie crust our winner. One tester remarked that this crust was “good to eat, even without the filling,” and another said they wanted to go back for more. The sweet (but not too sweet) taste reminded them of a sugar cookie, and this sturdy pie shell had a flavor they couldn’t get enough of. It wasn’t as crisp as some of our other picks (it didn’t give them a definitive “snap” when we cut into it), but the taste was spot-on and could easily be paired with fruits, puddings, and other fillings. It held together nicely, it looked the best, and it tasted homemade—what else could you want?
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