The Trader Joe’s Pie That’s Even Better than Homemade

updated Nov 9, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Roman Tiraspolsky

In a few weeks, we’ll probably be filling our plates with slices of roasted turkey, once-a-year sides like stuffing and gravy, maybe a veggie here and there, and the pièce de résistance: a slice of pie. And while it simply wouldn’t feel like the holidays without the scent of a warm baked good in the oven, there’s absolutely no shame in outsourcing this particular dessert. (Especially in a year like 2020.)

Lucky for us all, there’s one store-bought pie that’s even better than homemade (and requires absolutely zero fiddling with frozen pie crust or puff pastry): Trader Joe’s Apple Cranberry Tart.

Credit: Patty Catalano

These hand-formed pastries (which you’ll find in the bakery section beside the brownies and pancake bread) are filled with Northern Spy apples and cranberries, and seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. The buttery pastry crust is golden and flecked with coarse sugar, making them look like something you’d get at a high-end bakery — not the grocery store. It’s hard to believe they cost just $4.99.

These personal pies come two to a box, so they are perfect for modified (read: smaller) holiday celebrations or for families who prefer an array of desserts to choose from. Plan on one pie per person (if it’s the only sweet served) or divide them in half if they’re part of a larger dessert spread.

Credit: Patty Catalano

The package instructions suggest heating the pies in a 350°F oven until the fruity center is warm, about 15 to 20 minutes. I like to place a baking sheet in the oven while it heats, and then slide the apple and cranberry pastries onto the hot pan to crisp the bottom crust. I recommend leaving the pies in the oven until the outer crust dries slightly (this may take an extra five minutes) for a truly homestyle pie.

You can also serve these pies at room temperature right out of the package, with a cup of coffee for breakfast the morning after your feast. Pie for breakfast? Yes — it’s 2020, after all.

Have you ever tried Trader Joe’s Apple Cranberry Tart? What did you think?