Thursday, November 18, 2010

Costco's Apple Pie slices up Tippin's

Posted By on Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Costco's Apple Pie, at left, was pitted against Tippin's pie this week.
  • Costco's Apple Pie, at left, was pitted against Tippin's pie this week.

You probably don't bake, but you can definitely bring dessert. Now when it comes to finding the right dessert to pass off as your own, there are lots of ways to fill a pie dish.

This week's battle is meant to prepare you for Thanksgiving or any other dinner where you agree to provide dessert. It's the oversized lattice apple pie from Costco up against the classic apple pie from Tippin's.

A little slice of Tippin's apple pie.
  • A little slice of Tippin's apple pie.

Originally baked at Pippin's Restaurant and Pie Pantry, Tippin's is a Kansas City classic. If you're from here, it's what you grew up eating. In 2004, Hen House Markets bought the Tippin's recipe and brand -- the pies are now available exclusively at the grocery chain.

Costco earned its way into the fight after a close friend with impeccable pie taste signed off on Kirkland bakery. I've always walked by the gargantuan pies, knowing that 4.69 pounds of pie, is probably slightly too much for a household of three. This pie battle will be decided head-to-head in four categories: appearance, crust, filling and a la mode. We adjusted for hometown bias by using both out-of-town and hometown palates. 

Appearance: The latticed top of the Costco pie has a cinnamon sugar crust and looks like something you'd steal off a windowsill -- a massive, steel reinforced windowsill. The Tippin's pie is a beautiful golden brown that screams butter. Both make you want to cut right into the top and get eating. Winner: It's a push.

Crust: The Tippin's pie lifted easily out of the container and had the flaky, buttery texture of a traditional pie at the edges. The Costco crust was slightly chewy and glued to the pan in parts. Winner: Tippin's 

click to enlarge There are literally pounds of apples in this Costco pie.
  • There are literally pounds of apples in this Costco pie.
Filling: A bit gushier and with heaps of cinnamon, the Costco pie showcased the apples inside. Tippin's was somewhere between apple jelly and compote. Winner: Costco 

A la mode: Apple pie demands a scoop of vanilla ice cream. In this case, a scoop of Blue Bunny Homemade Vanilla Frozen Yogurt was ice cream's stunt double. The Costco pie got a slightly savory element with a scoop of vanilla and seemed more balanced. The vanilla clashed with the Tippin's pie, in comparison. Winner: Costco

Verdict: Thanks to a pleasant filling and a crust built for a la mode, the Costco pie is the winner of this week's battle. When you throw in the added value (a 12-inch pie is $8.99, while Tippin's is $5.99 for a 6-inch pie, $10.29 for a 10-inch pie), it's a no-brainer which pie you should be passing off as your own this holiday season. 

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