We Tried Every Frozen Pie That Marie Callender’s Makes — And the Favorites Tasted Better than Homemade
Pi Day may have come and gone, but pie day lives forever in our hearts. Or my heart, anyway. I’m convinced it’s a perfect dessert. Between the buttery crust and incredibly versatile fillings, I like to think of pie as a blank canvas for all of my sweet tooth fantasies. But alas, pie is not one of the quickest or easiest things to bake (for that, we’re better off with a mug cake). Enter: frozen pies! Frozen pies are partially or fully baked; all we have to do is finish them in our ovens or let them thaw. I’m a fan of pie and efficiency, so in the name of research, I decided to taste test every pie from one of the biggest names in the biz: Marie Callender’s.
Marie Callender’s does more than pie (you may be familiar with the company’s line of heat-and-serve dinners and nourishing bowls), but, in my opinion, the pie is where it’s at. In fact, my mother regularly had one or two in our family freezer during my childhood. Gotta love insta-dessert! For my grown-up taste test, I grouped the pies into two different categories: fruit pies and cream pies.
The fruit pies — blueberry, apple, etc. — must be baked in the oven, while the cream pies are fully baked and just need to be thawed before slicing and serving. I prepared them all according to the directions on the packaging, and got to tasting with my trusty sidekick — my mom. (Leftovers got delivered to friends and neighbors.)
Each pie had something to love. The Dutch Apple Pie, for example, came with so much delicious streusel topping, I would have happily eaten it with a spoon. And the Lemon Meringue Pie walked a delightfully narrow line between tangy and sweet. After tasting each pie, though, there was no question about which ones we liked the absolute best.
The Best Marie Callender’s Fruit Pie: Razzleberry Frozen Pie
Fruit pies hit hard on the brain’s nostalgia spot, so I knew the winner in this category had to have a buttery-tasting crust that was properly flaky. Fruit filling should be gooey and rich, but not soupy — and the fruit should ideally be a combination of tart and sweet. That’s no small order, and one really delivered: The Razzleberry Pie.
This pie combines raspberries and blackberries for a mouth-puckering tartness, which is tempered by a hint of sweet and creamy apple. The crust is gorgeous, and the slices come out clean and pretty. I also love that this pie tastes like the height of summer; the fruit is really at peak ripeness. It may not be the most traditional flavor pairing, but it’s definitely one of Marie Callender’s best.
Buy: Marie Callender’s Razzleberry Frozen Pie, $6.39 for 40 ounces at Target
The Best Marie Callender’s Cream Pie: Confetti Birthday Cake Pie
Onto the second category. Cream pies are rich and luxurious, and the winner should taste indulgent. My mother quickly fell in love with the Chocolate Satin Pie for its ultra-creamy filling and upgraded graham cracker crust (they’re chocolate grahams!). But we both agreed that nothing could compare with Marie Callender’s most unique pie offering: The Confetti Birthday Cake Pie.
That’s right; this pie is also a cake. It’s truly the best of both worlds, with a crumbly crust (made from crushed cookies!) and a creamy vanilla center that reminded me of homemade pudding. The best part is inarguably the big chunks of confetti cake and rainbow chips that finish it all off — forget about cherries; these are the only things I want on top of my whipped cream.
I know that the “pie versus cake” argument is a pretty big controversy in the dessert world, and I can’t believe that we aren’t talking more about this ideal solution! I’ll be keeping a couple of the Confetti Birthday Cake Cream Pies in my freezer for dessert emergencies … or any day I need a colorful mood booster. You could even say it’s the perfect way to have your cake and eat pie, too.
Buy: Marie Callender’s Confetti Birthday Cake Cream Pie, $9.34 for 25 ounces at Instacart
Do you have a favorite frozen pie? Tell us in the comments below.