Kitchn Love Letters

The $4 Aldi Dessert I Bring to Every Party I’m Invited To

updated May 11, 2022
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Credit: Patty Catalano

For the first time in two years, invitations to dinner with friends seem to outnumber the shows in my Netflix queue. I’m the first to admit that I’m a bit rusty when it comes to hosting these days, and I can only assume others are too. That’s why I am committed to contributing to the culinary portion of every celebration (no matter how small!). Lately, I’ve been offering to bring dessert because, well, I’m a big fan of baked goods and, also, I have a secret shortcut up my sleeve. One of my very favorite desserts is a store-bought treat that costs just $4. What is the secret sweet I’ve found? Aldi’s Dutch Apple Pie, of course!

Last holiday season I tasted my way through Aldi’s pies, and I was completely blown away by this streusel-topped sweet. Thankfully, apple pie knows no season and is just as welcome on a table in July as it is in November. Sure, you can buy apple pies year-round in the freezer case and bakery departments of most major grocery stores, but Aldi’s Dutch Apple Pie is super special.

Bake Shop Bakery Dutch Apple Pie, $3.49 for 24 ounces

It all starts with the crust. While many other store-bought pies have a pale, soft pastry crust, Aldi’s crust is golden, flaky, and buttery. The streusel topping sets this pie apart from other pre-made pies as well. This streusel, tumbled on top of the fruit filling, has contrasting crumb sizes with a cinnamon sugar flavor that could certainly pass for homemade. And there’s the filling; the part of pre-made pies that often prevents me from falling head over fork at first bite. Aldi’s apple filling is packed with sweet and warmly spiced crisp-tender apples. It’s magical and it’s the closest I’ve ever tasted to a homemade slice.

There’s an easy way to make it look (more) homemade too: Remove the dessert from its clamshell packaging and slide the pie tin into a pretty ceramic dish — we eat with our eyes first, after all. You can take things a step further by grating fresh nutmeg over the crumble topping; it adds another layer of spice and warmth the the pie. If there’s time, slide the pie into a warm oven at the host’s home to awaken the apple’s aromas. For the finishing touch, top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, because pie is always better when served à la mode!

Do you have a store-bought dessert you bring to everything? Tell us in the comments below!