Epicurious database (although if we editors had our way, pumpkin pie would be a year-round treat, not just a fall favorite).
But if you're not a baker, or if the pre-Thanksgiving whirlwind leaves you without the time to bake a pumpkin pie from scratch, the frozen variety is a convenient option. We tasted five widely available frozen pumpkin pies in a blind taste test, and found one, just one, that tasted almost homemade, and four others that are worth a try.
Methodology: In a blind taste test, judges compared the flavor, consistency, and appearance of five brands of frozen pumpkin pie. All were baked at 375 degrees F for the suggested time (approximately 60-70 minutes). The winner was scored according to the Epicurious four-fork rating system (four being best). Prices and availability subject to change.
Epi Top Pick: Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pie ($4.99)
Pros: "I'd buy this" is the phrase that came out of all the editors' mouths. They appreciated the smooth and lightly spiced filling and the not overly sweet flaky crust.
Cons: Not the prettiest pie of them all.
First Runner-Up: Marie Callender's Pumpkin Pie ($8.99)
Pros: Tasters loved this pick for its creaminess and the flaky crust that actually cooked through, not to mention its very cinnamon-y flavor.
Cons: A little too sweet for some.
Second Runner-Up: Wholly Wholesome Pumpkin Pie ($7.99)
Pros: Tasters appreciated the fact that this pie was free of artificial flavors and conventionally refined sugars and sweeteners. They also appreciated its smoothness and nutmeg-rich flavor.
Cons: Not ideal for people who don't like whole-wheat crust.
Third Runner-Up: Sara Lee Pumpkin Pie ($8.69)
Pros: This pick was aesthetically pleasing and looked incredibly flavorful.
Honorable Mention: Mrs. Smith’s ($4.99)
Pros: This pie looked particularly homemade. Tasters said they would recommend eating this one with a nice dollop of whipped cream.
Cons: A slightly bitter aftertaste and small in size.
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