Baking a delicious pie with a flaky crust and perfectly-done filling requires really good ingredients, a little know-how, and the best cookware or pie pans you can find. This all-important pie plate must meet a few requirements, such as appropriate weight, ease of use, and good reviews. Do a little investigating, ask around. This information is important for baking wonderful pies.
For our purposes here, it is understood that a piece of ceramic or glass pie bakeware is called a pie plate, and an aluminum or other metal piece of pie bakeware is called a pie pan.
Perfection in pie-baking requires attention to detail, and this applies to picking out the most perfect pie pans. In a recent (unofficial) poll, it was found that the majority of bakers questioned use ceramic pie plates exclusively.
The reasons listed for ceramic pie plates being the best are:
-Ceramic pie plates cook pies gently but competently due to their weight and thickness, which also helps to prevent dripping, smoky boil-over.
-They are the perfect size for most pies. Approximately 11” in diameter, including the rim, the big 9″ pan/dish can hold slightly over one quart (36 oz.) of any filling.
-They are microwave-, dishwasher-, and freezer-safe
-Ceramic pie plates are glazed, which helps make cleanup quick and easy since nothing seems to stick to the glaze. Depending on the style purchased, the ceramic pie plate can go from oven to table because of the bright, colorful glazes.
-Most of these pie plates have a fluted edge which allows a secure grip and helps when placing the pie into the oven or removing it. You do not want to drop that pie!
-Glass pie plates (Pyrex, for instance) are considered to be the second BEST pie plate to use. Glass is the preferred pie plate for many professional bakers for much the same reasons as listed above for ceramic pie plates.
-Glass cooks gently and competently due to the weight and bottom thickness, aiding in preventing spilling and boil-over.
-Glass pie plates come in various sizes, from 8“to 10” and with or without a fluted edge.
-Usually made by Pyrex, they are guaranteed to be microwave- and dishwasher-safe, plus they can go from oven to freezer without breaking since they are made of tempered glass.
-The most popular glass pie plates are clear glass, so it is very easy to see if the crust is browning, and to know when the crust is done.
Heavy-duty aluminum pie pans
Some bakers use only heavy-duty aluminum pie pans.
-They like the lighter weight of the aluminum and is well-known as a great heat conductor.
-Aluminum pie pans are usually coated with a clear, non-stick, non-toxic, quick-release coating, which also aids in quick clean-up.
-Professional-grade metal pans have a corrugated bottom, which aids in the browning process of the bottom crust, usually eliminating soggy crust. (These pans are also available for home bakers.)
-Aluminum pie pans come in assorted sizes: 6″, 8″, 9″, and a 10″ deep-dish style.
These are the primary types of pie pans/cookware available with the “BEST” listed first. Let experience be the best teacher – try them all before deciding on your own best choice.