We Tried a Few Store-Bought Pie Fillings, And This One Is Our Favorite

Even our pickiest pie maker is impressed.

Lattice Apple Pie Oven
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The color of many store-bought pie fillings looks like something out of Alice in Wonderland, and sometimes the flavor is oddly similar to Kool-Aid. These unnatural characteristics come from artificial flavors and food dyes used to "enhance" a filling. But what makes a homemade fruit pie delicious is that it highlights the actual flavor of the fruit. This is why most fruit pie recipes consist of a simple mixture of fruit, sugar, starch, and lemon juice. Each of these components work together to make the fruit stand out while helping the liquid components set into a filling that holds its own shape. Fresh berries, crisp apples, and rich stone fruits like peaches and plums don't need the assistance of artificial flavorings to taste their best. But if you're short for time and want to make a fruit pie that tastes homemade (and doesn't almost glow in the dark), where can you turn?

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Duncan Hines has a new line of "Simply Pie Fillings & Toppings" that are noticeably different from the rest. For starters, compare the ingredients list to those of the other cans in the grocery store. The list for their Comstock Simply Cherry Pie Filling & Topping reads as follows: "cherries, water, sugar, corn starch, lemon juice, salt." The apple version is similar: "apples, water, sugar, corn starch, natural flavors, lemon juice, spices." Folks, that's as close to homemade as you can get from a can! We almost always opt for making fruit pies from scratch, but after trying these new products, we've been convinced that buying the right filling from a can is worth it every once in a while. It bakes faster than one made from scratch, the fruit looks like natural fruit (because it is!), the filling sets beautifully because of the corn starch, and the taste is delicious without anything artificial. Overall, we're sure you'll be just as happy with this line of pie fillings as we are. Try one of the many Duncan Hines Simply Pie Fillings & Toppings: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, Raspberry, and Strawberry.

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