Sometimes there just isn’t time to bake a pie from scratch during the holidays. Company is coming, your family is traveling, or you’ve cooked so much other stuff that you’re simply not interested in starting another project. At times like this, you can buy a pie or other dessert from a favorite bakery, or you can buy frozen pie and stick it in the oven after dinner – no prep needed. In their most recent issue, Consumer Reports taste-tested two types of frozen pies – Dutch Apple Pie and Key Lime Pie – to find out which brand made the best and which weren’t worth eating.
The Dutch apple pie category included Marie Callender’s, Mrs Smith’s Classic and Sara Lee brands. Marie Callender’s and Mrs Smith’s both topped the Sara Lee pie, which “tasted store bought” and had a slight aftertaste. Marie Callender’s pie, although a bit sweet, seemed to be the best be. The key lime pie category included Edwards, Marie Callender’s and Sara Lee Signature Selections. Again, Sara Lee was the lowest rated with a “lime-flavored filling with a slightly off-taste [and] gritty crust”. Marie Callender’s was again the top-placer, with a zesty lime filling.
I’m still going to make Dutch apple pie and key lime pie from scratch, but Marie Callender’s is clearly the way to go for a frozen pie. And, as another alternative, you will probably do a little better than the frozen pies if you stop in at one of their stores for a fresh pie, too.