I compared apple pies from 3 grocery-store chains and the best tasted fresh days after I bought it

  • I tried apple pies from three grocery stores in the South: Kroger, H-E-B, and Brookshire Brothers.

  • H-E-B's apple pie had a perfect crust and Kroger's was made with a delicious filling.

  • I thought Brookshire Brothers' pie lacked flavor and structure.

I compared pies from H-E-B, Kroger, and Brookshire Brothers.

Whole apple pies on a table from H-E-B, Kroger, Brookshire Brothers
The pies looked quite different when they were lined up next to each other.Pascale Mondesir

I've only recently discovered the joy of eating a great slice of pie and, as a dessert lover, I can say an apple version of the treat is one of my favorites.

I compared apple pies from three grocery stores in Texas including H-E-B, Kroger, and Brookshire Brothers to find which had the most flavor inside a crispy, buttery crust.

H-E-B and Kroger had apple pies in-store but, for Brookshire Brothers, I had to order its seasonal treat in advance. The store had the pie ready for pickup in less than 48 hours.

Each pie was no larger than 11 inches and ready to eat after a quick warm-up in the oven.

Kroger's apple pie was golden-brown and had a delicious filling.

A whole pie in packaging on a white counter
Kroger's apple-pie filling tasted great.Pascale Mondesir

I'm probably in the minority here but my favorite part of a pie is the crust. Combine a flaky, buttery well-baked crust and a sweet filling, and I'm on cloud nine.

Kroger's apple pie was only about 9 1/2 inches wide, but it was thick and had my favorite filling out of the three.

It was also a much darker color than the other two, which I thought was more visually appealing.

The crust on Kroger's apple pie didn't hold up.

The writer flattening a piece of apple pie with a plastic fork
The crust became way too mushy after reheating in the oven.Pascale Mondesir

However, Kroger's pie crust didn't hold the flaky, crispy texture I crave. The crust also became mushy after a 15-minute reheat in the oven, even the outer edge, which wasn't appealing at all.

The crust lacked flavor compared to those belonging to the other pies.

Kroger's apple-pie filling was perfectly sweet.

A plastic fork with a dollop of pie filling on it
The filling-to-crust ratio was just right.Pascale Mondesir

Kroger's pie filling was given the most care out of any of its other components and was exactly what I wanted in a dessert: simply sweet.

The apple slices were evenly coated with cinnamon and nutmeg. I think there could've been more slices but each bite had a good balance of crust and filling.

Overall, the pie was baked beautifully.

Brookshire Brothers' pie didn't impress me.

A whole apple pie with a lattice design on top
The dessert didn't come in an aluminum pie pan so it lost a bit of its shape.Pascale Mondesir

Next, I tried the pie from Brookshire Brothers, a Southern-based grocery-store chain with locations in Texas and Louisiana.

I ordered Brookshire Brothers' pie in advance so it's unfortunate that it's the pie I least preferred, especially since it seemed like it would be the freshest.

The bakery also didn't pack the dessert in an aluminum pie pan, which caused the pastry to fall apart in its paper box.

Unfortunately, I thought the crust tasted overbaked.

A slice of apple pie on a white plate
I wasn't a fan of Brookshire Brothers' pie crust.Pascale Mondesir

Bits and pieces of the lattice pie crust seemed overbaked so there was no escaping that burnt taste each time I took a bite.

Though the crust was dusted with brown sugar, I thought the whole pie lacked quite a bit of flavor.

Brookshire Brothers' pie didn't have a strong, sweet flavor.

Close up of a piece of apple pie
Unfortunately, Brookshire Brothers' pie filling didn't pack enough flavor for me.Pascale Mondesir

I didn't really taste cinnamon or sugar in the filling. Though I didn't ask for any special modifications when I ordered, this lack of sweetness made me wonder if a low-sugar or sugar-free recipe was used.

Overall, I wished the filling had a sweeter flavor and the pie crust was sturdier, as it became a bit mushy after heating.

H-E-B's apple pie had a great flaky, crispy crust.

Whole apple pie with a slice of pie on a white plate next to it
The crust was perfectly buttery.Pascale Mondesir

H-E-B's 10-inch cinnamon-apple pie had the best crust out of the three options.

The crust was dense, which is what I prefer, and most importantly, it kept its fresh, crusty texture after a reheat and even a couple of days after my purchase.

H-E-B's pie filling was flavorful and balanced.

A slice of apple pie from H-E-B
The filling had just the right amount of each star ingredient.Pascale Mondesir

The filling tasted great and had an even balance of sugar, cinnamon, and apple slices in each bite, the mark of a baker who pays attention to measurements.

The box didn't say which type of apple was in the pie, but I thought the dessert could've benefited from another type since whatever was used was a bit too sour for me.

However, this tartness was the only con.

H-E-B's pie was my favorite.

The writer holds a thumbs up in front of apple pie from H-E-B
H-E-B's apple pie impressed me.Pascale Mondesir

I enjoyed Kroger's pie filling the most but I'd recommend H-E-B's dessert most of all.

H-E-B's crust was perfect, the pie had a great golden-brown color, and the filling was delicious despite the slight tartness. I would have preferred if Kroger's pie had a flakier crust and if Brookshire Brother's treat had more flavor.

I'll definitely grab H-E-B's apple dessert again and check if the store carries any other pie flavors.

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