1. Frozen pie shells are convenient to have on hand, ready for an impromptu pie. I prefer Tenderflake, because the pastry is, indeed, more tender than other store-bought shells. But frozen crusts, even deep-dish, are slightly smaller than a standard pie plate, and it’s difficult to use them for a two-crust pie—you can peel the pastry out of the foil plate, but it never flattens perfectly.
2. Pre-rolled pie crusts are my go-to shortcut. Each package of Pillsbury Pie Crusts has two pastry discs, already rolled to a perfect thickness. The discs are generous enough to fit in your own pie plate, which means your pie looks homemade. There’s one downside: The pastry isn’t quite as flaky as a from scratch crust.
3. Frozen puff pastry comes in two forms: compact blocks that you roll out, which gives you more control of the pastry’s shape and thickness, and in pre-rolled sheets, which are very convenient. Both types puff very well—often more than the homemade version, which can be tricky to make. President’s Choice Butter Puff Pastry is a widely available pre-rolled sheet.