Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Food Review: Apple Pie

My earlier post about cookies made me think about the cost of other desserts. The other classic heavy butter and flour dessert is of course pie. Who doesn't love apple pie it's as American as, I can't remember what?

I stopped by Trader Joe's and despite my typical hate for store bought pie decided to give it a try. When you consider one cookie is now almost $2, a whole pie for $6.99 is a bargain.

Trader Joe's Apple Pie $6.99

Crust Grade: B-
Pie really has two separate crust qualities the bottom crust and the top layer. I like to par bake my pie shell bottoms so the crust has some body. The bottom of this pie is a little soft for my taste but not a Mr. Soggy Bottom pie that store pies are prone to being. The top crust is interesting, it's very heavy handed with cinnamon sugar. If you're a cinnamon fan this is a great element if you're not then you're SOL. I love cinnamon sugar so I thought it was a great addition. The crust texture isn't flaky but it's not realistic to expect a flaky crust unless it's from a fresh baked pie.

Fruit Filling Grade: A-
IMO, this is where most store bought pies fall apart. I do not want fruit filling that resembles jelly or cling peaches from a can. I should bite into the fruit and know that at one time it was fresh and vibrant. You can almost tell from the pix above this pie gets very high marks for the filling. It is remarkably not gelatinous and the fruit still has some bite. If you like fresh apples this pie is for you, if you like apple pie filling in a can then stop reading and go buy a fresh apple to remember what they should taste like.

Overall Grade: B
There is no substitute for a home made pie. With that out of the way, this is one of the better store bought pies I've ever eaten. The pie weighs almost 2 pounds and cost only $6.99, so it's a good value. The crust of the pie is highlighted by the cinnamon sugar dusting, and the texture well not flaky, is not overly soggy and is tasty. The filling stole the show for me with this pie. I expected soft jelly apples and actually felt giddy when the apple still had some bite. I recommend this as a buy when you're short on time to bake a pie and want some fruit pie goodness.

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