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Jul 4, 2010 03:53 PM

best pie plate

Other metal?

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  1. depends.

    For basic fruit pies, basic aluminum pans are the best. Most will suggest a pan with a dark finish. They're cheap and will work with any recipe. Not altogether attractive for serving, but, it's pie...only the most petty will care what the pan looks like.

    If getting the crust browned isn't an issue (wherefor instance, the crust is baked blind), ceramics like stoneware, cast iron, and glass can work just fine, and might work a bit better. Some are quite attractive (when presentation is an issue, we slip the pie, metal pan and all into the fancy Langaberger stoneware).

    1. FWIW, my pie instructor at L'Academie de Cuisine says she swears by ceramic. I haven't made the plunge to buy one and still use my deeper pyrex. It's okay but if it breaks, I'll get ceramic. This might be helpful, though:

      1. I swear by my Emile Henry ceramic. Fantastic, durable, and well worth the high price.

        3 Replies
        1. re: kariface

          Agree on the EH ceramic. I bake all my pies in them (including the tiny, individual sizes) and the crust comes out excellent every time.

          1. re: emily

            That's great to hear! For my birthday I treated myself to one of those super sexy EH pie pans with the voluptuous ruffled edge that WS has been carrying - but I haven't baked with it yet! I'm thinking a blueberry pie is in order.

            1. re: emily

              The individual EH pie dishes are on my "splurchase" wish list.

          2. I just purchased very good looking earthenware pie plates from the historic Pot Shop of Boston. These are the pie plates that have been used by New Englanders for the past century.


            So these are supposed to be the best. Only problem: the inner half of the pie plate is not enamel - it is porous. I have yet to use these plates for this reason. Won't butter get into the pores of the material? Anyone have experience with these pie plates?

            Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


            2 Replies
            1. re: jasimo17

              jasimo, I have an unglazed pie plate made by Pampered Chef--they advise spraying with cooking oil OR baking oily foods in it for the first few times, until it becomes seasoned. I was reluctant to use mine too for the same reason that concerned you. But after the oil is baked and heated enough it changes to a sort of natural non-stick coating--not really food anymore. I have seen the word "polymerized" to describe what's happening. Same thing happens with cast iron fry pans, I think.
              If I'm spreading non-scientific lies here, please someone set us straight!

              1. re: blue room

                Thanks @blue room!! I will try to season and Google polymerized too!

            2. Cook's Illustrated recommends pyrex, which I was already using. Excellent heat retention and browning of the bottom crust. Additional benefits: you can readily see if the bottom is done to your liking, and if you do a pat-in-pan crust you can be sure of even thickness by holding the pan up to a light before baking.

              5 Replies
              1. re: greygarious

                Pyrex is what I use for the reasons greygarious mentions above!

                1. re: roxlet

                  I have a pyrex glass pie pan (pie dish). It works. However, it is the new pyrex and not the original pyrex. I wouldn't mind to get hold of an original one.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    I don't think there's a difference, results-wise, between the original and current pyrex. As a precaution in the event of pyrex failure, I put a metal baking sheet/pan under any and all pyrex that is going into the oven. And for optimum bottom browning, I put the pie plate onto a preheated sheet pan. It is usually recommended to chill the plate once the bottom crust is in place. So I am careful to let it come back to room temp as I fill it and apply the top crust. I remove the whole shebang from the oven when done, and let the pie pan sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving it to a cooling rack. Same procedure for all pyrex ovenware.

                    1. re: greygarious


                      Thanks. You are right, but it would still be nice to have both versions side-by-side. I don't think I have use a baking sheet pan along with the pyrex glass bakeware. Are you worry about them cracking at temperature changes? That is why I think the original Pyrex borosilicate glass could be better.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Yes, my concern is thermal shock. I never had it happen in the oven but have seen photos on the online sites concerned with pyrex explosion. My only experience was years ago when, not knowing any better, I took a very hot dish from the microwave and placed it on a damp counter. I think most people don't read the packaging thoroughly and assume pyrex is indestructable until they learn the hard way. It is my understanding that even the borosilicate can/will eventually fail after the inevitable scratching that happens after years of use of spoons, knives, and other utensils for portioning/serving.