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Peach pie disaster

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  • micki Aug 24, 2002 09:09 PM
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I did all the right things--the pie was a small miracle--the crust looked and felt like it would be flaky and tender--the filling was redolent with farmer's market fresh Jersey peaches, cinnamon, nutmeg, fresh lemon juice, a pinch of salt, butter. It had all the makings of a dessert to remember.

I rolled out the crust. I filled the pie. I put on the top crust. I glazed it with egg yolk and a little milk. I made four slits. I put it in the oven.

It was gorgeous! I took it out of the oven on the cookie sheet it had been baking on. I let it cool for a while, I took it off the cookie sheet and put it on a cooking rack.

A few minutes later I hear a "Crack". The bottom of the Pyrex glass pie plate had shattered!!!! The pie was a loss.

WHAT HAPPENED?????????

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  1. You are not alone!

    Interestingly, one of the consumer reporters on WCVB in Boston did a report on shattering Pyrex a few months ago...The same thing; Pyrex that shattered through normal use...At first they were uncooperative, but here is a link to her report, and the Consumer Hotline numbers at Pyrex...

    Link: http://www.thebostonchannel.com/buyer...

    7 Replies
    1. re: galleygirl

      WOW! I always thought of Pyrex as being a reliable product. The instances recounted in the article you so kindly gave the link to were more about Pyrex exploding in the oven. My case was somewhat different. The dish shattered while the pie was cooling on a metal rack.

      So, now that Pyrex has proven itself to be useless what do I use in its place? I like to make pies in glass rather than ceramic (Emile Henry) or metal. Are there other, better glass pie plate manufacturers?

      1. re: micki

        I wouldn't give up on Pyrex yet. On the whole, it's durable, safe and affordable. I love the fact that I can see how the whole crust is browning. I bake my pies in pyrex pie plates, and my crisps, cobblers, and casseroles in pyrex dishes. I've never had anything crack or explode.

        Abrupt temperature changes can crack glass or ceramic. What kind of surface did you place the pie on? Was it damp or particularly cold?

        1. re: Lindsay B.

          Interesting that Pyrex should be cracking under such (relatively) benign temperature situations. Unless I misremember my painful days spent working in labs during college, Pyrex is what's used to make test tubes and lab beakers (which we would place directly over the flames of Bunsen burners). Curious that there would be Pyrex failures in mere kitchen situations....

          1. re: Lindsay B.

            When the pie first came out of the oven I kept it on the cookie sheet it baked on. I put it down on my granite countertop. All was going fine. The pie cooled off for about 1/2 hour and then I took it off the cookie sheet and put it on a metal cooling rack. Some time after that the Pyrex cracked.

            1. re: micki

              I try not to put hot glass or ceramic dishes directly down on my marble table. It seems to me that there is too much of a heat differential between the cool stone and the hot dish. It is possible that your pie plate may have been damaged while sitting on the counter - it was only when you took it off the flat surface of the pan and put it onto the rack where it wasnt 100% supported that it actually broke.

              Also, I would put the pan straight onto the rack (I often set them on the stove burners) - you want the pie to cool down quickly to avoid sogginess on the bottom.

              I cant imagine that the pyrex formula has changed - I have not have this type of problem with any of my baking dishes, though the pyrex can shatter when dropped. Such terrible luck about the pie, and better luck next time!

              1. re: jen kalb

                Your theory sounds very plausible to me. Yet, still, I always thought Pyrex was virtually indestructible. And it was a damned good pie, too. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

                1. re: micki

                  Another thought came to mind. Why don't you send a letter to Pyrex and ask THEM for an explanation. What do you have to lose, except a stamp and some time?

      2. My gosh, I sure applaud your efforts on making what sounds like a perfect Peach pie. They are really tricky to make since fresh peaches can turn on you in a very short while from just exactly right to use to being too overripe.

        Anyway, as to your Pyrex situation, I wouldn't give up on the Pyrex products yet. I have been been married and cooking for 40 years and have used a Pyrex pie pan for about 25 years and have made some wonderful stuff in it - pies, cobblers, quiches, you name it. It must just have been time for your pie pan to go.

        We bought a really expensive pizza stone a few years ago and used it quite a bit. One night, with a pizza in the oven on it, it cracked in two. We pulled it out, ate the pizza which was done enough, and the next week I went to a local discount store and bought a $10. pizza stone. Has served use well these past few years.

        Man, I bet you were really sorry about having the pan break after spending all that time on the pie.

        Thanks for listening and don't give up on Pyrex!

        1. Just out of curiosity. How old was the pyrex dish, and how often did you clean it with brillo or other steel wool pads?

          The tiny scratches from steel wool, knives, and metal cooking utensils can act like a glass cutter over time, and weaken the pyrex until one day, when there is a fast temperature fluctuation, it will break.

          This is diffferent from the exploding in the oven effect from extreme high temperature steam bursts. When it happens due to scratches you usually get a few large pieces. When it is from the steam burst effect you get lots of splintered fragments.

          I found out about this in high school when I was doing an internship at CIBA-GEIGY Labs. It was the reason we were told never to use abrasive objects on our pyrex beakers when cleaning them after experiments and projects.

          5 Replies
          1. re: The Rogue

            The Pyrex pie plate was brand new! Never before used. Maybe it was defective? Thanks to all who encouraged me not to give up on Pyrex but hey, when you spend so much time and energy on putting together a peach pie and Bang! it's a total loss--well, it gives one pause to think. I'll now be very skeptical about Pyrex and I'll certainly try to find a glass pie plate made by another company. Any suggestions?

            1. re: micki

              Anchor Hocking makes glass pie dishes. I've seen the brand at Target. Here's a link to their website -- only sets are listed here, though.

              Link: http://www.target.com/gp/search.html/...

              1. re: Nancy Berry

                Thanks for the suggestion. I'll try an Anchor Hocking glass pie plate and hope for the best.

              2. re: micki

                I suspect now there's been a change in the manufacturing process that has caused defects. I've used pyrex all my life (not only for liquid things), as has my mother, and I've never heard of this before.

                1. re: micki

                  I'd pick up an old tried and true pyrex from a garage sale and use that.

              3. I don't know if you did this or not, but recipes commonly tell you to bake things at 25 degrees lower if you are using a glass baking dish.

                That said, I can't imagine that even if you used the higher temperature that was what caused your problem.