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Enjoyed reading your review but who would have though such a generic product could be so area-based. Your #4 is the only one available in central Florida even though we have several Whole Food stores.
Elise, when you made the pumpkin pie with the Wholly Wholesome Pie Shells, did you follow the directions for them and use the pie shell from frozen rather than pre-baking the crust? You have stressed the need to pre-bake in your recipes but that was with home-made crusts. I want to make your Smoked Salmon, Dill, and Goat Cheese Quiche for a party using a WW Pie Shell and am unsure what to do.
Many thanks for this article and for your recipes. Faith
Hi Faith, I followed the directions for them and used the pie shell frozen, rather than pre-baking. I only pre-baked the crusts for this review so I could get a sense of what they tasted like unadorned by pie. For the quiche, I wouldn’t bother pre-cooking the crust with this store-bought crust.
I have a question! Were the crusts with sugar sweet at all? I’m wondering if I can recommend them for savory applications like quiche. I recently tried to use the Safeway Signature version and was so annoyed with it. Maybe it’s my imagination, but I feel like the rolled versions are getting skimpier every year. Forget about a pretty crimp. But I know a lot of people want to skip homemade, and I’m planning to point them to this article since you did such a great test. I’m leaning toward recommending anything that’s already pre-baked so all they have to do is pour in the filling.
Hi Jennifer! None of these crusts were so noticeably sweet that you wouldn’t want to use them for a savory pie. Haven’t found a pie crust that is pre-baked, I blind-baked all of the packaged pie crusts I tested.
I have always (30 yrs or so) used Oronoque Pie Crusts (pkg of 2, frozen in pie tin) because my mom recommended them and they are still good. Not as ‘solid’ as they used to be (i need to press some broken bits together and, occasionally use the single pie top they add -if they still do- to fix. Since we’ve moved from the East coast to the Southwest, I’m not sure what I’ll find. It’s good to know that TJ’s, Whole Foods, and another couple of local organic stores may have your favorite Wholly Wholesome in case I can’t find Oronoque or in case I want to try something else! Thank you!
Going to save this for reference – I’m from NH so always used this brand: https://www.mrssmiths.com/products/pie-crusts/pie-crusts-oronoque-orchards.htm.
but now see it’s only sold on the East Coast! Presently in Minneapolis and miss being able to bake with it. Off to read your article!
Thank you for your timely review. I have always used trader joes ( the pie crust never unrolled so badly until a couple of year ago, I’m assuming a new vendor or manufacturer) and decided to try something different when I was “assigned” to making a pumpkin pie for this year family thanksgiving dinner. It turns out I had bought your top pick! I’m relieved and look forward to my own comparison. Now I know which ones to avoid in the future. Your website is a goldmine of recipes and one I have been using for years now. Including some very successful thanksgiving turkey dinners. Thank you so much for sharing!!!
My only comment is that the first two you recommended both use palm oil in their recipe. There is a real issue with the decimation of palm forests. I avoid all products that use palm oil. Pillsbury for me.
Hi Jeanne, good point! I followed up with Wholly Wholesome on Twitter to find out where they source their palm oil. This is their reply: “Our main source comes from suppliers in South America, Brazil & Columbia.Our suppliers are independent family farms that had previously lived off non-sustainable extraction of timber & subsistence crops.” Here’s a link to more info on their site: http://www.whollywholesome.com/faq.php#palmoiluse
Personally, because I lived in a rural town with one grocery store (Safeway) and a local chain next town over, I’ve used the Safeway brand, store brand for the other store, and the Pillsbury crust. All three were just meh (such a descriptive word at times). There were freshness issues with all of them. Surprisingly it was the worst with the Pillsbury one. Very poor taste and baking performance. I don’t have the energy to do a home made pie crust most of the time so I will definitely look at some of your other recommendations.
I have never paid $3.99 for Pillsbury Pie Crust. The two were $2.50 at Krogers last week. I guess it depends the area you are in.
I totally agree about the Marie Callendar crust. It used to be my go-to for quiche, but the last few times both frozen crusts were so badly broken, I couldn’t even use them. On the plus side, I ended up making my quiches without the crust and they turned out great. So good-bye, frozen crust–hello, Crustless Quiche! (If you think I didn’t take the broken crusts back to Safeway and demand my money back, you are wrong!) Thanks for testing the crusts. Now we don’t have to!
My new favorite is Immaculate Baking Ready-To-Bake Pie Crust as well. I buy at Whole Foods, Bi-Rite Market, Real Foods, etc. It rolls out nicely and has a nice favor for savory pie pockets and sweet pies. I also still use the Trader Joes’ version but this one is better when I can find.
Unbleached, Unbromated Wheat Flour, Palm Fruit and Canola Oils, Wheat Starch, Water, Cane Sugar, Rice Flour, Salt, Cultured Wheat Starch, Cultured Whey, Dextrose, Wheat Gluten, Natural Flavor, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid.
Thank-you for this article. You put a lot of time & effort into these reviews. As I do use pre-made pie crusts often, I found your reviews very helpful.
Thanks again – Laurie DeWitt
Thank you Laurie!
You left out one of the best out there for not only pie dough but
and here is their pie dough
Thanks for the recommendation Rosalee, I’ll look for it!
I’ve never used pre-made pie crusts (such as Pillsbury) because, at least up until now, they all contained lard, and we don’t “do” pig. I may give the TJ’s version a try, but will probably stick to making my own crusts. Thanks for taking one for the team!
Thank you, Elise, for doing the grunt work on this issue. As always, I trust your observations and conclusions more than anyone else’s. You really helped us all with this article.
Having used Marie Callender’s crusts for years (but not recently) I was surprised to see the negative comments and low rating. I wonder if they have changed it? In the past it was very like the crust in the MC pies one gets at their restaurants. I will give the #1 crust a try. I prefer to have the crust already in a pan. For pumpkin pies, I use a bit of the egg white to brush onto the “floor” of the raw shell and up the sides a bit. Let it dry. You won’t know it’s there, but the filling will not seep into the crust.
I’m really surprised to find that our sentiments are stronger here in Italy than the US sentiments. We reject almost all the ones you think are good because they contain palm oil. Can’t, won’t do that. Italians do not have a standard pie crust as Americans do, so because they want to make some of our pies, they would go for high quality pre-made crusts, but we have only a few refrigerated crusts available and none are anything to write home about. It’s a long journey from “I like that” to making and rolling out a crust, never having seen it done and not understanding any of our lore. Some try to use the crostata crust, which has sugar and eggs in it, and are very disappointed with their lemon meringue pies. I wonder why the ones using butter and lard can’t make them taste better?
Thanks so much for this, Elise! And my family thanks you too … we might actually be able to have pumpkin pie this year for Thanksgiving! ;-)
I am so grateful you did this because I hate making pie crust and cheat. I too have had the unrolling issues with TJ’s every single time I use it. The Pillsbury (your #4 on the list) unrolls much better but the taste is meh. The next time I need a pie crust, I will give your #1 on your list a try!
What a great resource! I always use pillsbury if I need to buy a pie crust. Gonna check out the other ones you recommend!
Thank you for your sacrifice! :-) I always used ready made pie crust with a bit of shame….but I’m definitely on a search for your #1. I haven’t heard of it before because my go-to was always Pillsbury…easy to find, easy to use but I agree that the texture after blind baking is a little questionable. Good thing I always fill those things to the brim. LOL!