Grocery Taste Test

The Frozen Pie Crust Taste Test: We Tried 7 Brands and Here's Our Favorite

Image Credit: Kelli Foster

When it comes to baking pie, I'm happy to lean on store-bought crust once in a while. It's quick and convenient, and there are some pretty good options out there. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I tested some of the most widely available brands of store-bought frozen pie crust, and I'm sharing my thoughts on each of them — as well as my favorite. Want to see the top pick?

Why Frozen Pie Crust

Sure, homemade pie crust is really great. It's buttery, flaky, and downright delicious. But for a number of reasons, homemade isn't always realistic. As anyone who's ever made pie crust knows, it takes time and patience, and sometimes it's just plain fussy. Let's be honest — sometimes it just doesn't feel worth it when it's so easy to rely on the store-bought version.

Image Credit: Kelli Foster

How I Selected the 7 Brands

I selected a variety of well-known national brands of frozen pie crust that can be found at most grocery stores across the country. There was a mixture of regular and deep-dish crusts, based on what was available. All the brands included were found at various major grocery stores in New York City.

Testing Method

I was curious to see how well these frozen crusts measured up to a buttery, flaky homemade crust. So in addition to the seven store-bought crusts, I also included a homemade crust as the control. It's the best way to see how the store-bought crusts really measure up, right? I also included one vegan and one whole-wheat crust to cover more bases, and see how they stacked up in the mix.

And of course, the best way to really test pie crust is to bake a pie, or in my case, eight pies. So I baked eight pumpkin pies, using canned pumpkin pie filling, baking each one according to the instructions on the can (the baking instructions for each of the frozen crusts prompts you to refer to the recipe bake time).

In addition to taste, I also assessed texture and appearance of the crust, and how well each crust held up with pumpkin filling after baking and cooling. I wanted to see which brand had the most tender and flaky crust, which one looked the best, and which one baked up well without getting a soggy bottom once filling was added.

Image Credit: Kelli Foster

Mrs. Smith's Deep-Dish Pie Crusts

Image Credit: Kelli Foster

Oronoque Orchards Deep-Dish Pie Crusts

Image Credit: Kelli Foster

Pillsbury Pet-Ritz Pie Crusts

Image Credit: Kelli Foster

Shoprite Deep-Dish Pie Crusts

Image Credit: Kelli Foster

Trader Joe's Pie Crusts

Image Credit: Kelli Foster

Whole Foods Vegan Pie Shells

Image Credit: Kelli Foster

Whole Foods Whole-Wheat Pie Shells

Image Credit: Kelli Foster

Our Top Pick: Trader Joe's Pie Crusts

Of course this crust has homemade-looking crimped edges, but it was really the buttery, balanced taste, and tender, super-flaky texture that set Trader Joe's pie crust as the hands-down winner of this taste test. I kept wanting to eat more of this crust.

This was my first time working with a rolled crust like this one (other than homemade), and it came with unexpected frustrations, like mending many cracks after the dough was unrolled. While this dough proves to be more work than the other pie crusts in the lineup, what you get in taste and texture certainly makes this a worthwhile choice.

The clear runner-up was Mrs. Smith's pie crust. A deep dish version, that doesn't need to be rolled out, this crust was tender with great flavor, and held up really well after baking.

Do you have a favorite brand of frozen pie crust? Any brand we missed that we have to try? Let us know in the comments!

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