The Best (And Worst) Store-Bought Pie Crusts


Do you’re keen on pie?

I do. I like to make pie. I like to eat pie. I particularly love an excellent do-it-yourself pie crust. In truth, I’ve spent years encouraging individuals to make their very own pie crust from scratch (and even have the world’s most fool-proof pie crust recipe with video proper right here on the positioning).

That stated, I’ve discovered through the years that the majority house cooks will use a store-bought frozen or refrigerated crust to make their pies. I get it. We are busy individuals. We need pie. We would slightly make a pie in a single hour than in two.

With that in thoughts, I got down to assessment a number of packaged pie crusts I may discover domestically, to see if there have been any I’d personally use and suggest, and if there have been any that individuals ought to merely keep away from.

What follows is my assessment of 10 completely different frozen or packaged pie crusts that I discovered at markets right here in Sacramento. Most are title manufacturers which might be out there nationally. Four of the 10 crusts come from one model as a result of this model provided a wide range of crust varieties, together with gluten-free and complete wheat, that I needed to check.

Price

Listed are the costs I paid right here in Sacramento, California. The costs vary from $2.99 to $10.99 for a bundle of two. You might discover completely different costs in your space. For comparability sake, the elements for my favourite do-it-yourself pie crust add as much as about $1.80 every, or $three.60 for 2.

Types of crusts reviewed

Some crusts are the sort that come frozen in an aluminum tin, some come frozen or refrigerated rolled up in a field, one crust comes frozen, rolled out and flat.

Ingredients and Weight

I’ve listed the crusts’ elements, based mostly on the knowledge given on the packages. Several of the title model packaged crusts have fillers, preservatives, and meals dyes.

I’ve included the burden of a single crust for every product. By comparability, one among my do-it-yourself crusts weighs about 11.6 to 12 ounces.

Method

The pie doughs that have been rolled up in a field or rolled out in a field I shaped into 9-inch Pyrex baking dishes.

I pre-baked all the crusts first, following pre-baking instructions on their respective packages, to see how they held as much as blind-baking, and to see how they tasted on their very own, with out pie filling.

My view is pie crust ought to style nice! It shouldn’t simply be a service for the filling.

I first judged all of those crusts on style. Was the crust flaky? Buttery? Did it style good? Did I wish to hold consuming it although I had been consuming crusts all day? I made a do-it-yourself butter crust to match with these. How effectively did they evaluate?

From these 10 packaged crusts, I selected three to do one other check by filling with our pumpkin pie recipe filling, and baking right into a pumpkin pie. I judged the crusts on construction. Did they maintain up effectively with the pumpkin pie filling?

Conclusion

The outcomes? None of the crusts style pretty much as good as my do-it-yourself crust, however there are a number of crusts that I’d be completely satisfied to make use of and suggest. Some of the crusts are simply okay, and there are a number of that ought to be averted all collectively.

Here’s the listing, ranked from greatest to worst, click on by or hold scrolling for the extra detailed notes.

  1. Wholly Wholesome Organic Traditional – BEST OVERALL
  2. Trader Joe’s Pie Crust – BEST VALUE
  3. Leadbetter’s All Natural French Picnic Flaky Pastry Sheet – BEST TASTING
  4. Pillsbury Pie Crusts
  5. Wholly Wholesome Organic Pie Dough
  6. Wholly Wholesome Organic Whole Wheat
  7. Safeway Brand Signature Kitchens
  8. Mrs. Smith’s Deep Dish Flaky Pie Crust
  9. Wholly Wholesome Gluten Free Pie Shell
  10. Marie Callender’s Pastry Pie Shell

1. Wholly Wholesome Organic Traditional

Wholly Wholesome Traditional Pie Crust

Wholly Wholesome is a pure meals model out there all through the U.S. at Whole Foods and grocery shops that carry pure meals manufacturers.

  • 7 ounceseach
  • $6.99 for a bundle of two (at Whole Foods)
  • Frozen in aluminum pie tin
  • Flour, palm oil, water, cane sugar, sea salt
Wholly Wholesome pie crust with pumpkin pie filling

Wholly Wholesome conventional pie crust baked right into a pumpkin pie

Tasting notes: Good style, correct amount of salt and sugar, tender and flaky, can hold consuming

Structure notes: Did not crack or break with pre-baking. When baked with a pumpkin pie filling, it held up effectively. No soggy crust. Even although it’s a deep dish pie crust, it doesn’t maintain as a lot filling as my do-it-yourself pie crust, so once I cooked up a pumpkin pie with it, I had a few cup of leftover filling.

Conclusion: RECOMMEND. I’d use this pie crust. The style is nice. I saved nibbling on the crusts I blind baked for this check. The crust holds up effectively for each blind-baking and baking with a pie. Would be good for a candy pie or a savory pies resembling a quiche.

2. Trader Joe’s Pie Crust

Trader Joe's Pie Crust

The Trader Joe’s pie crust was the one most beneficial to me by my pals. It has virtually as a lot dough as one among my do-it-yourself crusts. It’s one difficulty is that it’s arduous to unroll.

Tasting notes: Flaky with notes of butter, near the style and texture of do-it-yourself crust when tasted by itself after blind baking. Holds up effectively with pumpkin pie filling.

Structure notes: Followed instructions to defrost in a single day within the fridge after which let stand for 45 minutes at room temperature. Completely broke aside once I tried to unroll, past with the ability to be patched collectively.

So, I gathered up the dough in my fingers and squeezed collectively till I made a stable disk. Then I rolled out the disk between the 2 items of parchment-ish paper that the pie crust got here rolled up in. Refrigerated it for 10 minutes, then positioned it in a pie plate and blind baked.

When I baked with the second crust from the bundle, I let it defrost on the counter for four hours. Then I unrolled it rigorously. There was nonetheless cracking, however as I noticed the cracking I may use the heat of my fingers to fuse collectively.

If I have been to make use of once more, I’d let come to room temperature for a few hours first, and microwave for 10 sec after that, to be able to make it simpler to unroll.

I blind baked, following instructions on the bundle, by pricking the underside and sides with the tines of a fork. I didn’t use pie weights. If I have been to blind bake this crust once more, I’d prick the underside and sides with the tines of a fork AND use pie weights, as the perimeters of the pie crust slumped.

Conclusion: RECOMMEND WITH CAVEAT. At $three.99 for 2 11-ounce pie crusts, the Trader Joe’s Pie crust is clearly the perfect worth for the cash. The style is nice and the crust itself carefully approximates a do-it-yourself crust.

That stated, many individuals have points with the pie dough not unrolling simply from the bundle. Recommend that you just let defrost utterly and are available to room temperature utterly. Unroll rigorously. If the dough breaks up an excessive amount of, you possibly can all the time type it right into a dough disk and roll out with a rolling pin.

three. Leadbetter’s All Natural French Picnic Flaky Pastry Sheet

Leadbetters French Picnic Pie Crust

Leadbetter’s is San Francisco based mostly firm that distributes their merchandise to Whole Foods and different grocers within the Bay Area. Many city areas have native bakery manufacturers that produce prime quality packaged butter crusts.

Tasting notes: Extremely buttery and flaky. Like consuming a croissant.

Structure Notes: More of a pastry crust than a pie crust. Very flaky, not very sturdy.

Conclusion: RECOMMEND WITH CAVEAT. The most scrumptious of all of the pie crusts I examined. Best if you happen to want a lightweight and flaky pastry crust. Don’t suggest it if you happen to want a sturdy crust.

This specific crust is simply out there within the San Francisco Bay Area, however is an efficient instance of the wonderful packaged crusts that could be out there from native bakeries.

four. Pillsbury Pie Crust

Pillsbury Pie Crust

This is likely one of the hottest packaged pie crusts within the nation, you will discover it within the refrigerated part of the grocery retailer. Because it’s refrigerated, not frozen, it wants added preservatives for an prolonged shelf-life.

Tasting notes: Definitely flaky crust. No buttery taste, as a substitute there’s the flavour of lard. Slight aftertaste, however not a lot, and never unhealthy.

Structure notes: Unrolls simply and presses into pie pan simply. Can simply crimp edges. Bakes up effectively, no cracking. Blind baking appears like a large Ritz cracker, which is a little bit unnerving. Holds up effectively with pumpkin pie filling. Sturdy however not robust. Doesn’t get soggy with filling.

Conclusion: OKAY. I miss the buttery taste, however if you’re used to lard crusts, this might work. It appears fairly, however you possibly can inform it’s synthetic. Personally I’d slightly keep away from all of these preservatives and meals dyes.

5. Wholly Wholesome Organic Pie Dough

Wholly Wholesome Pie Dough

Tasting notes: Edible, style is ok, however the crust itself is a little bit robust

Structure notes: Out of the field (and defrosted and unrolled) the crust dough circle was not giant sufficient to correctly cowl my pie dish. I positioned a bit of plastic wrap over it (one aspect already was lined with some sort of plastic or parchment), and used my fingers to press the dough out a bit. I then lined my pie dish and chilled it for 20 minutes earlier than pre-baking. Even with that, the pie crust slumped with pre-baking.

Conclusion: OKAY. I each want the Wholly Wholesome Pie Shell and the Trader Joe’s pie dough to this pie dough. Taste is nice, however a little bit robust and never sufficient protection for my pie pan.

6. Wholly Wholesome Organic Whole Wheat

Wholly Wholesome Whole Wheat Pie Crust

Tasting notes: Edible, doesn’t style synthetic, positively tastes “healthy” in a wheat bread vs white bread means, would possibly work with a savory pie

Structure notes: It did crack a little bit on the aspect with pre-baking.

Conclusion: OKAY. appears very health-food-ish, wouldn’t use it for a candy pie. Might use it for a savory tacky tomato pie.

7. Safeway model Signature Kitchens

Safeway Signature Kitchen Pie Crust

This is the Safeway grocery retailer generic model of the Pillsbury Pie Crust. By the best way, many nationwide grocery chains make generic variations of nationwide manufacturers. You can inform which model they’re imitating by trying on the ingredient listing.

Tasting notes: Rather less flavorful than the Pillsbury Pie Crust it’s imitating. Rather less yellow and a little bit extra pink in coloration. The taste and consistency jogs my memory extra of a cracker than a pie crust. Edible.

Structure notes: Unrolls simply and presses into the pie pan simply. Just a little cracking on the very finish of the unrolling. Bakes up effectively with out cracking.

Conclusion: OKAY. Similar sufficient to the Pillsbury model, not fairly as flavorful. Edible, nothing particular. Uses preservatives and meals dyes.

eight. Mrs. Smith’s Deep Dish Flaky Pie Crust

Mrs. Smith Pie Crust

Mrs. Smith’s is a nationally out there model that I discovered at virtually each grocery retailer I checked.

Tasting notes: Leaves barely disagreeable aftertaste in your mouth, doesn’t style a lot of something, I don’t wish to eat it.

Structure notes: Cracks popping out of the bundle, cracks with pre-baking alongside the rim, fragile.

Conclusion: Edible, however NOT GOOD

9. Wholly Wholesome Gluten Free Pie Shell

Wholly Wholesome Gluten Free Pie Crust

Tasting notes: Tastes unhealthy, nothing I’d wish to eat or serve anybody.

Structure notes: Sides cracked each 2 inches with blind baking in response to directions

Conclusion: AVOID. Wholly Wholesome ought to return to the drafting board on this one. There isn’t any cause why a gluten-free crust mustn’t style pretty much as good as a gluten-based crust. I’ve had Kate McDermott’s gluten free pie crust and it tastes higher than many common pie crusts!

10. Marie Callender’s Pastry Pie Shell

Marie Callender Pie Crust

Marie Callender’s is a nationwide restaurant chain well-known for its pies. The pie shells nevertheless, are a product of Conagra Brands and seem to don’t have anything to do with the restaurant.

Tasting notes: Completely inedible. I spit it out as quickly as I took a chew. I style examined pie shells from three completely different packages from completely different shops and so they have been all horrible.

Structure notes: Of the three packages I purchased, in every bundle one shell was cracked or damaged in locations proper out of the bundle. Every blind baking check resulted in a pie the place the rim cracked away from the remainder of the pie.

Conclusion: AVOID. By far the worst tasting of all of the pie crusts I examined.