We’ve broken down everything you need to know about those gluten-free packaged premade pies that pop up in grocery stores around the holidays. Here’s how to find your new favorite pie.
All About Gluten-Free Pies
We polled our readers about pie and over 1,200 responded. One reader said that she hadn’t had a slice in eight years because she couldn’t find a gluten-free pie that tasted like “real” pie. Over 70 percent told us they’ve never tried a premade gluten-free pie. More of us are buying a premade crust and making our own fillings. Almost 94 percent of survey respondents said they have used a prepared gluten-free pie crust.
We found 13 companies that produce gluten-free premade pies and ship them nationwide. We also found plenty of smaller gluten-free bakeries that make mouth-watering pies but because they don’t ship or have national distribution, they are not included in this review.
Shipping can be costly and problematic.
Proper packaging and cooling is an issue. We found that some pies arrived irreparably damaged from tumbling around in a truck. Some frozen pies arrived warm. Some were shipped perfectly but the shipping fees were two to three times the cost of the pie. We included shipping prices when available in our comprehensive charts.
Thankfully, prepared gluten-free pie crust and pie crust mixes are readily available and much less expensive than full pies. All you need is a great filling recipe and you’re set. (See our recipes for gluten-free holiday pies from this issue here.) We found several lesser-known crust and mix brands to share with you.
Which pies are our readers’ favorites?
Your favorite pies (in order of preference) were apple, cherry and pumpkin. Other favorites were pecan, blueberry and peach. But it’s not just about the filling. Over 75 percent of you couldn’t choose between the filling and the crust—you love them both equally and expect both to be delicious. Our favorite reader quote is, “Why can’t the whole pie taste good?” We agree!
Over half of our readers want a pie, pie crust or mix that is certified gluten-free. Larger companies often have certification, but certification is more difficult and expensive for smaller bakeries. Always check to make sure pies are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility or that good manufacturing practices are used to segregate ingredients. Call the manufacturer’s customer service number if you’re unsure how a pie or crust is manufactured.
Most of the prepared pies and crusts we tested contain egg and/or dairy. Egg is primarily used in the crust, while dairy can be used in both the filling and the crust. Only one pie crust mix contained dairy in the mix itself. If you’ve got a tree nut allergy, look for companies that don’t manufacture tree nut pies (like pecan) or crusts, or ones that have good manufacturing practices and testing procedures for top allergens.
Gluten Free & More‘s Favorite Pies & Crusts
Testing more than 70 pies and over a dozen pie crusts was a time-consuming task. And it wasn’t kind to our waistlines. Nevertheless, we are not complaining!
GF&M staff around the country ate the pies and rated them based on appearance, taste and texture. On conference calls, we had lively discussions about which pies had the best berries and whether diced or sliced apples made the best apple pies.
See all our hard work yourself by logging in and following the links to our 2017 Best Pies review!
Get even more GF packaged food reviews here: