1/29/07 | Marie Callender Pot Pie
[ Currently Eating: Leftover Lasagna and Scalloped Potatoes ]
Back to frozen food again. I’ve been shunning Banquet meals lately in favor of both Marie Callender’s (finally spelled it right that time!) and Healthy Choice frozen meals. Just for variety of course. Although, lately my “picky” food side has been rearing it’s mid-life crisis head just a little too frequently.
Also, while Banquet is pretty much $1 each every day of the year, you kind of have to wait it out for Marie Callender’s and Healthy Choice to go on sale. On sale where I am is $2 per meal, although I’ve seen them as cheap as $1.50 on occasion.
I have lots of good memories eating the Marie Callender’s Turkey Pot Pie at both the restaurant location and straight outta the microwave at work. But I haven’t picked up one up in a few years, partly because I’d been so turned off from buying the “lesser” pies. But I saw these on sale the other day so I decided to pick one up to relive the good times.
One of the most interesting things about their pot pies is that the microwave instructiosn say NOT to remove the outer cardboard packaging. You basically just open it up but leave the pie inside. I have a feeling this is to get the crust nice and brown… the top of the cardboard container has a “reflective surface grid” as shown in the pic to right (I cut the box open). It faces downward onto the crust.
Whatever it is – it works pretty beautifully. The microwave time is actually one of the longest I’ve ever seen for a frozen dinner – something like 12 minutes on High! I’m always a bit nervous putting anything into the microwave for that long. I have had one instance in the past where the box got slightly “charred”, but this particular time there were no such scary moments. It does tend to smell a bit burnt, sort of like the smell you get when you microwave popcorn. But the pie itself looks quite nice.
The pie crust actually comes out looking like a real pie crust. It’s flaky and thicker than the other pot pies on the market. I do sometimes have problems with the crust sticking to the top of the box which results in a few tears on top. But nothing severe. Also, because the pie is packed in the box without any sort of shielding (plastic wrap, etc.) it can tend to get knocked about a bit, even though the pie is solid frozen.
Here’s a closeup of the fluted crust I took. Looks nice and golden brown.
The innards of the pie are pretty close to what’s pictured on the box: you’ve got decent chunks of white meat turkey (not sure if some of those are chopped and formed), carrots, peas, onions, and celery. Although the box picture shows at least 2 pieces of celery, I actually only found miniscule pieces in my pot pie. The same goes for the onion. It’s not a terrible loss though, as the turkey, carrots and peas are around. They’re cooked pretty nicely as well.
The turkey pot pie sauce was a little too salty for my tastes, but I’m sure that’s a personal preference thing. It tastes pretty much what you’d expect a pot pie sauce to taste like. The pie is also much more filling than those other tiny Swanson pies.
I’m actually pleasantly surprised they didn’t futz with the formula as much as I thought they might have done. These are still a pretty good deal if you can get them on sale, and I’d definitely keep one or two in the freezer for those days when I don’t feel like cooking lunch.
Price:$2 on sale
Cheap Eats Score: 8/10