tart pan substitute
ok, all you bakers....I am making a tart tomorrow and just realized somebody has my tart pan. Can I substitute a springform pan, or a glass pie plate (although then I can't take the tart out of the pan), or should I just suck it up and go buy another tart pan because there really is no substitute?
I use either an appropriately-sized springform or, if desperate, a pie plate of the appropriate size. You lose a little on presentation, but most people won't notice.
You could try this:
Put your pie plate upside down on a baking sheet. Loosen the springform pan and slide the bottom halfway up the sides to make a tart-appropriate depth. Put the springform on top of the pie plate, using the pie plate to support the bottom of the springform. Close the springform as much as possible, and proceed to make your tart.
If you're making an apple, pear, onion tart as opposed to a custard type tart, you can easily make a free form or rustic tart. On advantage of this is that you can make them any size you like.
Roll out the dough, pile the fruit(s) on, leaving a broad edge that you then pull up over the fruit leaving an opening (as large or small as you like) to expose the fruit.
Alternatively, you can roll out the dough to the desired shape, then push up a lip by fluting the edge much as you might on a pie pan.
I use two aluminum foil cake pans. I cut the entire bottom out of one, and only a circle in the middle out of the other. It works exactly like a tart pan and is easy and reuseable. Just push the pastry to the height you need around the sides.
I do the cutting on my cutting board with an X-acto knife. Easy.
It is also a good way to make deeper-dish tarts.
On occasion, I've wanted to make a tart in an unusual shape (heart, star, etc.) for which I had no pan. I make tarts in any shape or size with a roll of aluminum foil and a baking sheet by making an open tart ring with the foil and setting it on the baking sheet, then laying the pastry into the impromptu tart ring.
1. Estimate the circumference of the tart ring you wish you had. Be sure to overestimate a bit.
2. Add about 3 inches to that length.
3. If that length is less than the width of your roll of aluminum foil, you'll use the end of the roll. If it's longer, you'll pull a long piece from the roll and use the side of the piece.
4. Fold the foil over on itself about 1 to 1 1/2 inches from the end and keep folding about 6 or 8 times. Tear off the remainder. You should now have a strip of foil about 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide, as long as the circumference of your tart ring + 3 inches, and 6 to 8 layers thick. The multiple foil layers will make the foil strip stiff enough to support the uncooked dough.
5. Stand the foil strip up on edge on the baking sheet and mold it into the shape you want.
6. Join the ends together by folding one end of the foil strip toward the inside of the tart ring about 1 1/2 inches from the end of the strip. Fold the other end toward the outside of the tart ring.
7. Overlap the ends and link them up with the folds interlocked, then pinch them together.
This makes a usable open tart ring in any shape you want.