Prepared pie crusts can save you time and effort. Many even come in their own pie tins (one less dish to wash!). The test kitchen of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute conducted a taste test of nine of the leading national brands. Testers sampled frozen, prerolled refrigerated, and dry-mix varieties — both with and without filling — to test flavor, flakiness, and how the crusts stood up to being used with a standard pumpkin pie recipe.
By far the flakiest contender, Wholly Wholesome Organic Traditional 9" Pie Shells ($4.39 for two) won for their natural, buttery flavor — they taste just like Grandma's.
(120 calories, 8g fat, 4g saturated fat per serving; 8 servings per pie shell)
The classic blue box of JIFFY Pie Crust Mix ($0.75 for the mix, which makes two crusts) produces crisp, crumbly results with a good balance of salty and sweet — all for less than a dollar for two.
(80 calories, 5g fat, 2g saturated fat per serving; 8 servings per crust)
Pillsbury Pet-Ritz Frozen Pie Crusts
($2.49 for two)
This delicate crust is sweet and moist. One taster even said it resembled buttery sugar cookies — great for desserts, but maybe not the best for savory fillings.
(80 calories, 4g fat, 1.5g saturated fat per serving; 8 servings per crust)
Mrs. Smith's 9" Deep Dish Pie Shells
Though it has a good crunch, Mrs. Smith's Pie Shells were too dense and salty for our tasters.
(130 calories, 7g fat, 3.5g saturated fat per serving; 8 servings per pie shell)
Wholly Wholesome Organic Whole Wheat 9" Pie Shells
($4.39 for two)
The Wholly Wholesome crusts were surprisingly tender and flaky, considering whole wheat's reputation for being grainy and tough. It has more fiber than non-whole wheat entries.
(110 calories, 8g fat, 4g saturated fat per serving; 8 servings per pie shell)
Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts
($3.19 for two)
Testers deemed Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts to have an overly salty and buttery flavor, and rated this crust as too chewy and tough.
(110 calories, 6g fat, 2.5g saturated fat per serving; 8 servings per crust)
Betty Crocker Pie Crust Mix
With a very flaky, homemade texture, the Betty Crocker Pie Crust was too greasy and somewhat gummy to some tasters.
(110 calories, 7g fat, 2 g saturated fat per serving; 8 servings per crust).
Marie Callender's Deep Dish Pastry Shells
($3.99 for two)
Unfortunately for Marie Callender's, this soft pasty crust tasted both bland and almost raw when cooked according to the package instructions.
(140 calories, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat per serving)
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