The 7 Best Aluminum Pie Pans
Lets face it. Making pies takes a lot of time and effort. You do not want a pie with a soggy bottom. This is why you need the best aluminum pie pan to help you create the best-tasting pie with the perfect texture. A well-cooked pie should be golden brown and delicious, and the only way to do that is by using the best pie baking dish.
A perfectly-baked pie slides right out of the best aluminum pie pan. This is how you know you purchased the right one. The bottom crust should also be evenly browned before you can call your pie a success. In this article, I reviewed seven of the best metal pie plates that you can use in making different kinds of pie.
Do You Need A Pie Dish To Make A Pie
With the springform pan, you can remove the pan side and slice your pie as normal.
However, with the cake pan I found it a little challenging to cut and serve your pie. Because most pies are delicate, you cant invert the pan like you would with a cake.
Instead, you may need to remove the pie one slice at a time.
Make Baking As Easy As Pie
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Do you remember the first pie you ever made? The type of pan you used or maybe even the recipe? I dont remember any of that, but there’s one thing I do think of every time I make pie dough its a line from an old cookbook on making pastry: Be swift and deft.
Its great advice to keep in mind when baking pies, but what most cookbooks dont tell you is that your pie pan can make or break your pie. It doesnt matter whether its made from glass, metal, or ceramicthats mainly a personal preference that bakers will learn from experience. What does matter is that the pie pan must be well-made because the devil is in the details.
That’s why I did the research to help you find the right one for you. Do you still have the recipe for the first pie you ever made? Try it in one of these great pans. Or, if youre looking for new recipes, check out these easy pie recipes or this perfect pie crust recipe.
Here, my list of the best pie pans.
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How To Make A Small Pie Crust
The easiest way to make a small pie crust is to use a food processor because all you do is dump and pulse.
First, add your flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl. Pulse 1-2 times to mix it together.
Next, add your cold butter and shortening to your bowl. Its important your fat is super cold or your dough is going to get soft and sticky.
I personally keep a stick of shortening in the freezer since I mostly only use it for dough. Butter Ill freeze if I remember, but Ive used it straight from the fridge and it stays cold enough.
Pulse until the fat is cut into the flour and looks like little pebbles.
Now its time to add cold water. Once again, you want to work with cold ingredients so your dough doesnt get too warm.
Pulse until a dough forms. If it still looks crumbly, give it another minute or so to come together.
If its really dry, you can add a teaspoon of water, but you dont want to add too much because then the dough will puff too much in the oven.
Next, gather your dough and place on a sheet of plastic wrap. If you dont have plastic wrap, use a lightly floured surface.
Gently knead the dough together then form a round disk. Cover the top with another sheet of plastic wrap then refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Can You Use Disposable Pie Pans
Yes, you can also use 6 inch disposable pie pans. I tested my mini pie crust in these aluminum foil mini pie pans online .
I found they arent as deep as the glass pie plate, so youll have extra dough and filling. That means you can make a second mini pie in a ramekin to bake alongside your small pie.
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How Can I Choose The Best Pie Plate
Selecting the best pie plate is determined by each business and its needs. Pie pans usually measure between 812 to 10 inches diameter and 112 inches deep . In addition to size, different materials conduct heat diversely and are better suited for distinct pie types.
Ideally, a good pie pan should be able to consistently produce savory pies, fruit pies, press-in crusts, custard pies, and even quiche. If you’ll be preparing multiple types of pie, the most versatile cookware would be best, but if you’ll be focusing on a single form, select the pie tin engineered for your needs.
Pie pans with rippled edges can help you form a beautiful fluted crust, while plates with an edge that have a small lip simplify fluting the pie’s edge. Deeper plates are recommended for all-purpose use because they leave extra filling for deep-dish recipes and work well with icebox pies, but shallower pie plates are the leading choice for icebox pies because they make room for layers of meringue on top while leaving space for thin layers of filling. Many custard pie recipes are crafted with shallower pie tins because they provide a closer ratio of fruit to crust, but if you’re not a fan of crust, go with a deeper dish.
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.
Where To Buy A 6 Inch Pie Plate
I bought my 6 inch pie pan online. There werent many options I liked, so I opted for this 6 inch glass pie plate .
Please note cold glass cannot be put directly onto a hot oven rack or hot baking sheet. It will shatter if you do this.
In order to transfer it from the fridge to the oven, place your glass plate onto a room temperature baking sheet.
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Which Disposable Pie Pan Works Best In Action
Now we get into some heavy analysis. Not to pan them , but both had cons. Both also had good qualities.
To test how well each baked, I blind baked each pie dough shell until about halfway done, to start the browning and inhibit sogginess. Then, I filled each one with pumpkin pie filling decorated the edges, and baked the pies.
The paper holds a lot more pie filling. I got 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin pie filling in the aluminum pan, but a full 2 cups in the paper. The extra half cup made for a significantly thicker-looking and more luxurious filling. Win for paper.
Paper was flimsier. When I lifted the pie to place it in the oven, the bottom sagged like a wet pumpkin diaper. The aluminum, on the other hand, was more firm. Also, the aluminum has a nice lip on the edge, making it easier for me to make a nice border crust. The paper has no lip. I thought about doubling the paper tin, but at $1.34 each, that does not seem economical.
Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Nonstick Pie Dish
The Best Pie Plate, According to Cooks Illustrated and EpicuriousThe testers at Cooks Illustrated didnt like glass as much as Wirecutter because it struggled with release issues when it came time to serve. Instead, they picked this metal dish, which is extremely thin so it heats quickly and evenly. They said it baked crusts perfectly without ever over-browning. They also liked its super simple lip, which meant they could do their own crust-crimping. And did note that the metal surface can cut or scratch when youre slicing up the pie, but that this was not a huge issue.
Testers at Epicurious came to the same conclusion as Cooks Illustrated. Their tests involved making a blueberry pie and a Key lime pie in each pan. This pan did the best in both tests, but did especially well with the berry pie, producing the most even results and crisp crust of all. They noted that the slices came out incredibly easily. They also noted the scratching issue but said the scratches didnt seem to have any negative effect on the utility of the dish. Note: Williams Sonoma recommends using wooden or silicone tools when serving.
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How We Chose These Pie Plates
All of our picks were tested in a traditional home oven the aluminum pie plate and the aluminized steel pans were also tested in both a traditional oven and a commercial convection oven for stability/durability. Made from scratch all-butter pie dough was blind-baked in all of our picks then filled with partially cooked apples and baked with a top crust. Additionally, graham cracker crust was patted into each pan, chilled to set, then filled with a key lime filling and baked. Professionals and home bakers weighed in on their favorites. In order to make the cut, the pans needed to deliver a well-baked crust and an evenly baked filling. Our list includes reputable companies with knowledgeable and easy-to-reach customer service reps.
The Result: The Best Disposable Pie Plate Is
The aluminum pie plate baked a more stable-to-handle pie, and saved baking time due to the thinner filling. The paper pans extra baking time, however, allowed the bottom crust to get nice and brown. Plus, the extra filling made a thicker, more satisfying slice of pie.
I did not like how the paper pans flimsiness made the crust separate from the filling when I handled it. It made the pie crack. The aluminum pie did not do this but also had a less dramatic appearance overall.
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What Pie Plates Are Nonreactive
Nonreactive cookware is cooking equipment that won’t react with acidic ingredients. Stainless steel forms the most common nonreactive pie tin, which doesn’t pit or discolor when it is used with the acidic ingredients required for key lime pie or lemon meringue. When preparing these pies, you should avoid using “reactive” materials such as raw aluminum and tin, unlined copper, and pie pans with a deteriorated finish.
While generally nonreactive, the enamel on glaze finishes can become discolored, and you may run into health safety issues with glazed cookware or chipped enamel. Anodized aluminum finishes wear down over time, though many nonstick coatings are considered safe for acidic ingredients. Glass is nonreactive as well, but it can have higher maintenance needs and limitations. If cast iron is well seasoned, it can also be used for baking pies.
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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- Features a full curl rim for increased stability and extra deep depth
- Durable 38 gauge aluminum construction
- Wagon wheel design reinforces the pan’s base
- Great for bakery display or retail applications
- Eliminates time and labor spent on washing the pan after use