If you don't want to make your pie crust from scratch, you don't have to. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
pumpkin pie with whipped cream

Around this time every year, pies become central to the mainstream American food consciousness. What is the best pie crust recipe? What's better, butter or shortening? Should you cut the fat into the dough, or use a food processor? All these questions, and many more, serve to intimidate pie bakers, turning what should be a fun holiday baking project into a source of stress and anxiety about overworked pie crust.

This year, I'm opting out. You know why? I know you do. This year has been stressful enough. I just don't need that type of anxiety in my life. Instead of making pie crust, I'm buying the store-bought stuff and you know what? It's going to be delicious.

I've made pie crust plenty of times. I've even done it well. I would go so far as to say that I am a pretty decent maker of pies, and I'm still skipping the homemade dough this year. Even in the best of circumstances, it's a pain. I always (always!) end up covering my kitchen and myself in flour, smearing butter on some obscure surface of my kitchen, and ending up with weird pie scraps that I have absolutely no use for. Plus, there's the fact that homemade crust really does need to be refrigerated for at least 6 hours before it can be rolled out, adding another level of complication to my already detailed pre-Thanksgiving prep list.

Instead, I'm opting for a refrigerated or frozen pie crust that I can simply place in a pie tin, fill and bake. If I can find them, I might buy some handmade all-butter crusts from a local co-op or bakery. Lots of places offer these, so if you have bakery or locally owned grocery store you love, it's worth calling to see if these are available. Sometimes they even come pre-formed into pie tins, saving you yet another step. Even if I can't find those, I'll be quite happy using Pillsbury pie crust, which come in packs of two, all rolled up and ready to go. If you buy them frozen, let them defrost in your fridge for a couple days, then come to room temperature for a few minutes before you unroll; otherwise, they may crack.

If you feel sheepish about this decision, it's fine to do this in private and claim you made the crust yourself. I certainly won't tell anyone, and no one is likely to notice. If they do, and you get called out for using a premade pie crust, reassure the person hassling you that they are not expected to eat any pie. (That ought to quiet them down.) Plus, you can rest assured that they're a huge jerk for calling you out after you spent hours (or minutes) sweating over a hot oven to bring them a holiday meal. There's no shame in the premade pie crust game. After all, this year has been tough, you don't need to worry about whether your pie crust will be, too.