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Trader Joe’s Frozen Pie Crust, reviewed

Trader Joe’s Pie Crust

When it comes to pie crusts, I am a firm believer in making my own when I can. They’re really not that difficult to make by hand, and you can also blend the dough in a food processor. The more you practice, the better you’ll get – and you also have a great excuse to bake more pies this way. Still, there are plenty of times when a premade pie crust can come in handy. I really like using premade graham cracker crusts for convenience and I’ve had some success with frozen pie dough, although homemade tends to taste better. I decided to give Trader Joe’s Frozen Pie Crusts a try because they’re made with real butter and I hoped that the finished product would have a good flavor.

These pie crusts come two in a package in the frozen foods section. They’re flat, so you’ll need your own pie plate to fit them two. You simply defrost the crusts, transfer them to your pie plate and bake as you would with homemade crust. Do not defrost them all the way to room temperature or they’ll be too soft to handle; aim for a chilled but flexible texture with these crusts. These will definitely not fit in a deep dish pie plate, as they just barely fill a regular 9-inch plate. You can roll them out slightly if you want more of a crust overhang on the edge of your pie, but that kind of defeats the purpose of using a ready-made crust.

After baking, I was really pleased with the flavor of the crust. It was light and had a nice butter flavor to it. I noticed that it was a tiny bit saltier than my usual crusts, but that is not necessarily a bad thing since most pie fillings are nice and sweet to start with. So, I’d have to say that these are a good, flavorful bet as far as ready-made crusts go, although they’re not as easy to use as pie crusts that come already shaped to a pie plate and do require prep time because they must be defrosted before using. The packaging doesn’t take up much room, however, so this might be just the thing to keep in your freezer as a backup when you just don’t want to do it yourself.

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  • Sunny
    March 12, 2010

    I keep a package of these in my freezer. Almost as good as homemade and much better than the ones you find in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores. (Plus not all the yukky ingredients no one recognizes!) I partially thaw and give them a quick roll or two since I like a thinner crust and my pie plates are on the large side.

  • industrial pumps
    March 12, 2010

    I’m a big fan of the frozen section at Trader Joe’s. Along with these pie crusts there is a number of other great time savers that are of fairly good quality/taste compared to the usual grocery store frozen foods. I’ll definitely try these crusts next time I make a pie.

  • lbrookscooks
    March 12, 2010

    These used to be much better. I think they used to be made with mostly, or maybe all, butter. They have less now, and the texture is different and they’re saltier. I still agree that they’re better than the regular grocery store brand.

  • Erica
    March 13, 2010

    Great tip! I read that frozen pie crust produces a better result than the refrigerated kind. Now I just need a Trader Joe’s in Florida 🙂 Do you know if Whole Foods has a good frozen pie crust?

  • Stephanie Manley
    March 14, 2010

    I wished I had a Trader Joes nearby. I like to use Marie Callendars because I get the pie tin in with them. Their pie crusts taste good and you get the pie tin so when you bring a pie to someone’s house, you don’t have to worry about getting the pie pan back.

  • Michelle
    March 30, 2010

    Does anyone have any suggestions for keeping the Trader Joes pie crust from slipping down the side of the pie dish while cooking? The older version of the crust (was folded in box) never slipped down, with the new flat version I have not had one crust stay put. Is is simply that the pie plate is too big – but it’s just a conventional size, hmmm. I love the flavor and flakiness of the crust, but am tired of crustless sides.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Karen
    July 6, 2010

    Trader Joe’s came out with a new pie crust last fall that is quite inferior to the older version. I checked the ingredients and found that the newer version has added water. This may cause the crust to melt and fall down the sides. My suggestion is to e-mail Trader Joe’s and ask them to restore the original version. I stopped buying the new recipe and went back to making homemade. The original version is better than my homemade and I’ll resume purchasing it if TJ’s brings it back.

  • Amanda Sanders
    July 30, 2010

    I’m a big fan of the frozen section at Trader Joe’s.

    October 24, 2010

    The ‘new’ TJ’s piecrusts this year are looking like the original folded piecrusts that were so good but discontinued. Does anyone know if TJ’s went back to the original piecrusts? I haven’t tried one yet but my sister did and said she thinks it’s the original recipe!

  • Ray
    December 22, 2010

    The new TJs pie crusts have added sugar. They are much sweeter than the old ones, and don’t work well anymore for non dessert foods.

  • Marie
    January 12, 2011

    I never had the original crusts, but I loved the ones from last year that weren’t folded. They were so puffy and flaky. They made the best chicken pot pies. I just bought the latest folded ones, and they’re a flop. They taste awful. Nothing like the delicious flaky ones from last year. Probably the worst crust I’ve ever purchased.

  • Peggy Manning
    November 9, 2011

    Why does the new frozen pie shell brown until it’s almost burned? Love every thing else about it.?

  • bobcj
    November 26, 2011

    all this noise over a pie shell. Heck,make it yourself and take some pride in your baking. If not just buy a smiths or sarra lee and tell all you baked it. Well you did, but did you?

  • Suzie
    November 10, 2012

    Geez, bobcj, don’t get your underwear into a bunch. We’re just some people discussing crusts. That bugs you?? Honestly, some people…..’all this noise?’ take a chill pill.

  • Mary
    July 26, 2013

    The rolled ones, which are all I can get at my TJ, fall apart as they are unrolled. I find it easier to just bunch it into a ball, flatten it and roll out between the waxed sheets they are rolled in, as though they were made from scratch. Of course, I realize a lot of people who buy the ready made crusts don’t have a rolling pin. I had to use a bottle of wine when I was making a pie once in my daughter-in-law’s kitchen.

  • RobL
    July 10, 2016

    Slightly less than mediocre, at best. READ THE LABEL. Less butter than water. What does that tell you? These things use 90% Palm oil for their fat. If one is a serious baker, and really puts on their bakery hat, there is no butter flavor at all in these crusts.

    Making a good pie crust is not hard. Use these PERCENTAGES TO FLOUR WEIGHT, and one CANNOT go wrong:

    Whisk together: Flour, 100%; Sugar, 8%; Salt 3%. Work in until pea size: Butter, 85%; Shortening, 20%. Add all at once (all should be ice cold): Vodka, 20%; Water 20%; White Vinegar 6%. Just barely combine. Chill an hour or overnight, and you’ve got the world’s best pie crust. Puts TJ’s to shame, and you’ll win prizes at the State Fair.

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