In Anticipation of the Pi-Day of a Lifetime, We Blind Tasted 5 Apple Pies

David Naffziger Mar 13, 2015

Our office observed Pi-Day today. Christopher led the team in a blind tasting of five store-bought frozen apple pies.

The Candidates:

  • A: Mrs. Smith's Original Flaky Crust Dutch Apple Pie ($5.99): The box art highlights 'real' butter and they are quite proud of their flaky crust.
  • B: Safeway Select Dutch Apple Pie ($4.89): The cheapest pie on the list. The box doesn't describe much else about the pie, other than that it is 'select'. The only pie without a web page to link to.
  • C: Sara Lee Oven Fresh Dutch Apple Pie ($5.00 reg. $8.99): Kind of funny that Sara Lee uses the phrase 'Oven Fresh' to describe a pie that you buy frozen.
  • D: Grand Central Bakery U-Bake Apple Pie ($16.95): Grand Central Bakery is a popular bakery a few blocks from our office in Pioneer Square. A few of us remember when President Obama had lunch there.
  • E: Marie Callender's Lattice Apple Pie ($6.49 reg $8.99): This pie even has you sprinkle sugar on midway through the baking process.


Christopher baked all five apple pies according to the package instructions. This particular detail meant that the pies couldn't all be baked at the same time as they had different instructions around oven temperature.

We were all pretty surprised by how different the five pies tasted - I certainly expected to have a difficult time telling them apart. Once everyone tasted the pies, they submitted their responses using a Google form where they were asked to select their Favorite and their Least Favorite.

The Grand Central Bakery Pie won pretty handily, although we were collectively surprised to see the cheapest pie (Safeway Select) perform pretty well against the competition:


The Sara Lee and Marie Callender's pies were the pretty clear losers. No one in our group of tasters preferred their pies and a meaningful number of tasters chose them as their least favorite.

It probably isn't surprising that the pie from the local bakery outperformed the pies from the frozen foods aisle in the super market, but it was a nice reminder what an impact high quality natural ingredients coupled with small batch production can do for something as simple as pie.

How did you celebrate Pi-Day?

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