What Happened When I Tested Different Pie Pans
Ive been baking pies, off and on, for many years, as theyre one of the baked items I feel are worth the time and effort to make at home rather than buying at the store. When it comes to pie, I like them to have a flaky, all-butter crust, and to be packed with lots of lightly sweetened fruit, which is a combination thats hard to find at commercial bakeries, especially if youre on a student/writers budget.
Over the years, Ive worked out a method that yields pretty good results, in spite of the fact that I am, at best, an average home baker. Given the differences between pie pan types, I was curious to see how they would stack up when tested side-by-side.
In order to get a sense of how these pie pans vary from each other, I made a triple batch of my standard all-butter pie crust, a triple batch of apple filling, and then assembled three pies, one in a medium-grey metal pie pan, one in a glass pie pan, and one in a 10-inch cast iron skillet. I popped these pies into an oven that was preheated to 200ºC, baking them until they were a light golden brown.
For the metal and glass pie pans, it took about 65 minutes. For the cast iron skillet, which takes longer to heat up, it took 80 minutes.
Recipe: Ultimate Pumpkin Pie From New York Times Cookingyour Browser Indicates If You’ve Visited This Link
Celebrate the holidays with these recipes courtesy of New York Times Cooking, specially chosen for “Sunday Morning” viewers. We are pleased to share Melissa Clark’ Did you know that the variety of pumpkin used in canned pumpkin purée is very close to sweet winter squashes like butternut and honeynut?
How Do I Use A Fluted Pie Pan
Prepare the pastry as you would with a regular pie pan, but be sure youve allowed an inch extra larger than the diameter of the pie pan when you cut the round. Fold the extra dough over, all around, and then pinch the dough along the edges between your fingertips to follow the pattern of the fluted surface. If the dough becomes difficult to work with, refrigerate the pie until the dough is well-chilled.
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Best Ceramic: Great Jones Sweetie Pie
30-day trial with free returns
Slightly larger than standard pie plates
More expensive option
Who knew that a pie plate could be a super-effective baking tool and ultra-trendy at the same time? Designer kitchen tools are no longer relegated to popular chef series pieces or classic French collectionsbut now include up-and-comers like Great Jones, that strive to design kitchen and bakeware for serious home cooks with equally serious style.
The Great Jones Sweetie Pie pie plate is a 10-inch round and 2-inch deep ceramic pie plate that can be used in the oven or broiler. It is also safe to refrigerate, freeze, microwave, and even run through the dishwasher. The heavy-duty ceramic pan evenly distributes heat across the base of your pie to avoid soggy bottoms. At the same time, the smooth and glossy finish on the inside of the pan will keep your crust from sticking.
Available in 4 colors with coordinating food-themed names. These pie plates are decorated with a retro design that plays up the nostalgic feeling of a fresh-baked pie straight out of your grandmas ovenwhich is really half the point of a comforting homemade pie in the first place.
Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 2 inches | Weight: 2 pounds | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Great for pastry and savory baking
Ruffled edge for easy crimping
Hand washing recommended
Dimensions: 10.24 x 10.24 x 2.17 inches | Weight: 2.94 pounds | Dishwasher Safe: Hand washing recommended
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Auto reorder # will now ship via common carrier. Please choose your delivery preferences:
- Lightweight, yet sturdy pie pan that wont break your budget
- Aluminum construction for excellent and even heat conduction, eliminating hot spots
- 7/16″ wide rim provides ample room for fluting crusts
- Perfectly symmetrical design also stacks to save storage space
- Versatile design can double as a serving plate for wings and sandwiches
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How Do You Take A Pie Out Of The Pan
A pie is typically served in the pan that it is baked in. For serving, a slice of pie is cut with a sharp knife and a pie server is inserted under the crust to lift the piece out to serve. If you want to remove the entire pie from the pan, the pie should be completely chilled or frozen first. A chilled or frozen pie is easier to handle and less likely to break. Once completely chilled, use a knife or pie server to loosen the pie from the pan and either lift the pie out or carefully invert the pie to remove it. If you’re planning on removing the pie from the pan in advance, a disposable aluminum pie pan is the easiest to cut through and remove your pie with the least amount of damage.
Features To Keep In Mind When Shopping For Pie Pans
Glass allows you to keep an eye on the bottom and the sides of the pie as it bakes, and ceramic evenly insulates and distributes heat while receiving high marks for style. Metal and aluminum conduct heat quickly and evenly they are also lightweight. Another consideration? Color. Dark-colored metal or ceramic pie plates absorb more heat than light colors, resulting in more browning of the crust.
Overall Design & Look
In all of our top picks, clean, simple designs ensure the pie is the focal point of the dish. Overly intricate pans didnt make the cut, simply because slices were difficult to remove and the pans more cumbersome to clean. The one exception? An Emile Henry with a dimpled rim that makes it simple to create a decorative edge.
If cared for properly, pie plates should have a healthy lifespan of many years heavy ceramic pans should last a lifetime. Although certain manufacturers cite their products as dishwasher safe, hand washing is always better for protecting the pan. Baked-on sugar from pie fillings may caramelize and turn black, but that can be removed with an overnight soak in hot, sudsy water. Tempered glass wont scratch easily and comes with a lower price point. Glass and ceramic pie plates are generally microwave safe, but always check the manufacturers instructions.
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Why Trust Simply Recipes
Karen Resta is a New York-based writer specializing in food culture and history, cooking, pastries, and restaurants. A former executive chef who started out as a pastry chef, she now travels the globe writing about and photographing the best authentic food and pastries. She admittedly likes cake better than pie, but believes pie is more challenging to make perfectly. Karen is passionate about finding quality kitchen tools within your given budget, and that knowing how to use them makes all the difference. She curated this list with that in mind.
Best With Lid: Oxo Good Grips Glass Pie Plate With Lid
Lid for storage and transport
Easy to see crust while cooking
Microwave and dishwasher safe
Stand-alone pie plate not super attractive
Pie is a wonderful thing, but storing the leftovers can be a bit of a challenge, particularly if youve made a pie with a tall and fluffy meringue top. This pie plate solves the storage problem neatly with a plastic snap-on lid that will keep the pie safe until the last crumb is gone. The lid has vent holes to release heat in case you have to cover your pie while it’s still warmthey’ll reduce moisture that could make the crust soggy.
The pie plate itself is made from borosilicate glass thats resistant to thermal shock and lets you monitor the crusts browning as it bakes. Its microwave safe if you want to reheat leftovers, and its dishwasher safe when the last bite of pie has been eaten.
Dimensions: 9 x 9 x 2.1 inches | Weight: 2.5 pounds | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
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The Best Budget Pie Plate: Pyrex 9
The Pyrex 9-inch Pie Dish has been around for a long time for good reason. It’s just the right size for most recipes, its sturdy, inexpensive, and it bakes quite evenly. Being able to see through the bottom to check the browning on the crust is also a huge bonus for novice and experienced bakers alike. The dish was slightly harder to clean than my number one pick and had some stickage issues with the graham cracker crust, but it was nothing a little scrub couldn’t take care of.
There have been incidents of Pyrex bakeware shattering in recent years which is why this dish ended up in second place. I didnt have any issues while I was baking and anecdotally havent heard of this happening to any of the bakers I know, but make sure to follow manufacturers instructions when using these dishes to reduce the small chance of your dish shattering.
Emile Henry Artisan Deep Ruffled Pie Dish
Kitchns Pick for the Best Pie Plate
This is actually a hard one! Because we see the merits of glass, ceramic, and aluminum. Theyre all so different! And it does kind of depend on the pie youre making and what youre planning to do with it. For example, we love the Williams Sonoma option for a simple graham cracker or cookie crust. The OXO glass one is nice for fruit or custard-based pies. But if we had to pick just one, were actually going to diverge from everyone on this list and pick this ceramic Emile Henry dish .
First of all, its gorgeous, so its sure to elevate anything you make. We also like that its so fluted, taking the pressure of novice bakers who might be intimidated with crust work. It can also go straight from the freezer to the oven, which is handy if you tend to freeze your fruit pies before baking them. And it can go under broiler, which glass cant do.
Do you have a pie dish you love? Tell us about it in the comments below.
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Avoid Soggy Or Burnt Crusts With The Right Pan
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Pies may seem simple when compared to their taller, sweeter, more colorful cousincakebut anyone who’s perfected one knows it’s all about the details. And that includes finding the right pie pan. That’s why we searched high and low to find the best dishes in which to bake pies, both savory and sweet.
From glass to stainless steel to ceramic, here are the best pie pans.
Should You Grease A Pie Pan
There are a lot of different opinions about whether or not you should grease a pie pan, but generally speaking, a quick spritz of cooking spray on the bottom of a pie dish will help keep your pie from sticking to the bottom of the pan but there’s no need to overdo it. Many people believe that greasing a pie dish will change the texture of your pie crust, making it less flaky. So if you’re more concerned with a flaky crunch than easily removing slices of pie, feel free to skip the cooking spray. If your pie does manage to stick to the bottom of the pan, gently heating the bottom of the pan by dipping the bottom in a shallow pan of hot water should help loosen the crust from the pan.
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What Types Of Pie Pans Are Available
Pie pans are generally divided into three main material categories: metal, glass, and stoneware/ceramic though mini pie pans are available in all these varieties. If you already have one of these options but can’t seem to get your pies to achieve the desired results, it’s probably time to upgrade your pie plate.
Metal pie tins are quick, efficient heat conductors that provide well-cooked bottom crusts for filled pies such as rhubarb and apple. However, they aren’t the best pie plate for custard-based pies such as buttermilk or pumpkin. Those fillings require longer cook times to set, and metal pie tins are prone to leaving them with inconsistences. Shatterproof metal pie pans are usually made of aluminum that has a nonstick coating to simplify slice removal, but this means their surfaces can be easily scratched. While durable in nature, their construction doesn’t prevent metal from warping with time.
Disposable foil pie tins are recommended for operations preferring convenience. They are great for flash sales or giveaways taking place outside of a business, and because of their inexpensive nature, they can be thrown or given away. However, they are constructed of flimsy material which might provide inadequate filling support or result in uneven baking. To achieve a more even bake with a disposable foil pie tin, place it inside a ceramic or glass pan to aid in even heat distribution and stability. Wait for it to finish cooling before removing it for serving.
Why You Should Trust Us
Through high school, college, and culinary school, Daniela Galarza worked in bakeries and restaurant pastry kitchens, where she baked thousands of pies. She has made every type of pie dough and filling, and has used pie dishes of all sizes, shapes, and styles. Marguerite Preston, who worked on a previous version of this guide, is a former professional baker with almost two decades of pie making under her belt. Shes now a senior editor overseeing Wirecutters kitchen and appliance coverage. This guide also builds on work by Wirecutter deputy editor Christine Cyr Clisset.
To ensure we werent limited to our own experiences, for our 2019 update we reached out to some of the best in the pie-making business, including third-generation pie baker Petra Paredez of Petees Pie Company in New York City Melissa Clark, longtime food columnist for The New York Times, who has written a guide to pie crust pastry chef and recipe developer Erin McDowell, author of The Fearless Baker and The Book of Pie: Everything You Need to Know to Bake the Perfect Pies Jerrelle Guy, photographer, recipe developer, and author of Black Girl Baking and Nicole Rucker, a pastry chef and pie baker in Los Angeles whose new book, Dappled, includes a section on pie. In the past weve also spoken to a number of other cookbook authors and pie experts.
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