Which Premade Pie Crust Is the Best Shortcut? We Found Out!
Short on time? No shame in using a premade pie crust. Our Test Kitchen sampled nine to find the very best.
Claire Krieger/Taste of Home
Holiday baking season is right around the corner, and you know what that means: pies—lots and lots of pies. Between Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving and Christmas, there’s a lot of pie going in the oven. When you have spare time, a homemade butter pie crust can’t be beat. However, during this busy baking season, making everything from scratch isn’t always in the cards. That’s where premade pie crust comes in.
There’s no shame in keeping a package or two in your freezer. After all, if you need a shortcut dessert, you want that premade crust to taste as close to homemade is possible. That’s where our Test Kitchen’s latest test comes in!
What We Were Looking for in Premade Pie Crusts
Sampling premade pie crust, our Test Kitchen pros kept these factors in mind:
- Appearance: How does the crust look? Is it golden and something we can’t wait to taste? Does it look store-bought? Could it pass as homemade?
- Aroma: How does the crust smell? Like real butter? Delicious?
- Texture: Is the crust flaky? Tender? Crispy around the edges?
- Flavor: Does the crust taste good? Is it sweet? Could it work for savory pies?
A good premade pie crust should, of course, taste as homemade as possible. Crusts should be flaky, buttery and something you enjoy with a delicious filling (sweet or savory).
Want to learn more about how our Test Kitchen chooses their favorite products? Check out our testing methods.
Our Test Kitchen Preferred Premade Pie Crusts
The Test Kitchen baked up nine types of pie crust. Four brands stood out (and might make a secret appearance at our next dessert table).
Best for Desserts: Great Value Frozen Pie Crusts
Testers were also really pleased with the flavor of Great Value frozen crusts from Walmart: they had a hint of vanilla and were almost shortbread-like in flavor (perfect for sweet fillings and cream pies especially).
We also appreciated how golden this crust baked up. It looked absolutely stunning. Sure, the pre-formed crust won’t fool anyone, but the flakiness, flavor and color will make you and your loved ones very happy when it comes to dessert.
The Best for Fruit Pies: Mrs. Smith’s Deep Dish Pie Crusts
When it comes to making a pie, sometimes the trickiest part is getting that fluted edge just right. With Mrs. Smith’s pie crusts, you don’t need to worry about that. These frozen crusts come out of the package looking perfect. No, you won’t fool anyone into thinking you made the crust yourself since they come perfectly pressed into the pan with a crimped edge, but they still look gorgeous.
These crusts were a bit thicker than others we tried but still baked up crispy, buttery with just a smidge of sweetness. This thicker crust would make a great vehicle for juicy fruit pies since you need a little extra stability for all that filling—but don’t hesitate to use a package of Mrs. Smith’s crusts for other desserts; they’re delicious.
Best for Savory Pies: Pillsbury Pie Crusts
When you’re making a potpie at home, you need a particular kind of crust—one that’s buttery and flaky without any hint of sweetness or additional flavors (like vanilla). That’s when you’ll want to grab a package of Pillsbury pie crusts. These premade crusts were buttery, flaky and baked up golden.
Plus, the two-pack is just right for making yourself a double crust pie: one fills the pan and the other can top your savory filling. Another bonus: since these crusts aren’t pre-shaped, you can get fancy with the crimping and even pass this one off as your own.
Flakiest: Marie Callender’s
The mark of a good pie crust (homemade or store-bought) is flakiness, and Marie Callender’s frozen pie crust delivered. Cutting into the crust, the pastry layers, not to mention the golden hue, were obvious. Take a bite, the crust is crisp and mild in flavor making it a great base for any homemade treat—sweet or savory.
How to Use Premade Pie Crust
We don’t need to tell you how to use these store-bought pie crusts! Just sub them into any recipe that calls for pie pastry—that’s it! But if you need pie recommendations, we have plenty. Serve up quiche for breakfast, a delicious veggie potpie for supper and finish it all off with a sweet pie—a classic or a new favorite.