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Pie Crust Pans - What is Your Preference?

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Shiny metal, dull metal, glass or a fancy fluted pottery dish - does it really make a difference what is used?

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  1. I use Pyrex. They're a good weight and allow the bottom crust to brown well.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

      Caitlin, is that just a regular size Pyrex, or is it a deep dish size?

      1. re: cstout

        I use both -- depending on what recipe I'm making (I know, I'm not Caitlin, but I was going to say the same thing)

    2. glass, it browns better.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Candy

        Gosh Candy, from all these pie making posts, I think I can actually come up with a good recipe, pie pan & rolling pin. Pie in the Sky....my oh my. I am making out my Christmas wish list right now....let's see, which will be the most favorite pie crust recipe? A Vic Firth rolling pin, straight or French, can't decide for right now, a glass pie dish. This has really been fun to see all the variations. Thanks.

      2. I love my Emile Henri. It is nice and deep, has a neat wavy edge, and is heavy. I like the results and the presentation.

        5 Replies
        1. re: tim irvine

          I tried to use a wavy edge pan once & the pie dough just slid down the sides & looked awful. Do you know what could have happened? I sure would like to buy a really nice pan like that, but I am afraid I would experience this mess again.

          1. re: cstout

            Did you refrigerate the dough in the pie pan before baking it?

            1. re: Jay F

              Jay F, no I did not refrigerate the dough in the pan before baking it. Was I supposed to do that?

              1. re: cstout

                Opposite to its effect on men, the cold prevents shrinkage in pie dough.

                1. re: pdxgastro

                  pdxgastro, I will definately put the pie crust in the fridge before baking, I guess about 30 minutes should do it. Thanks for the tip.

        2. As others have said, pyrex seems to brown better and you can see if it is browned.

          13 Replies
          1. re: wekick

            Pyrex is showing some favoritism on this post. I have not used a Pyrex pie pan before.

            1. re: cstout

              about 10 years ago (more or less) Cooks Illustrated gave it their top vote in a battle of pie plates.

              1. re: sunshine842

                Sounds good to me.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  http://www.cooksillustrated.com/equip...

                  I have six Pyrex ones for a reason.

                  1. re: ahack

                    What? You make six pie at the same time?

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Well yes, but give some of them (the pies) as gifts. I will also use the pie plates for some dips (for chips). I make savory as well as sweet pies. I also often cook in quantity for my church, which requires more than most people use.

                      1. re: ahack

                        I regularly knock out 6-8 pies at a time for Thanksgiving, and Christmas. 30" double convection oven, and a Hobart A-120 12qt mixer make it easy to do so.

                        1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                          BIGGUNDOCTOR, what brand is your convection oven & how would you rate it? I was planning to get a table top one, but have read mixed reviews. That Hobart mixer is really a jewel, did you pick it up at a garage sale too?

                          1. re: cstout

                            I found my Kenmore Elite 30" double convection oven on Craigslist for $100. The maker is Frigidaire - Kenmore doesn't actually make anything, just puts their name on it. I really like it,as I can put 2 pies side by side per shelf, and breads come out great. It has an 8 pass broiler, and the other elements are hidden. The newer models will go lower on the convection heat which would be nice for making jerky. Mine has a low temp of 275 IIRC. Regular baking mode will go lower. The contractor I got it from had it given to him for doing the remodeling-the customer didn't like the bisque color, and was changing to stainless. He got it home, and then found out that he didn't have any 220V in the house, only 110V, and gas. It appeared to be little used, and was 3 years old when I bought it. BTW it just fits into the back of a 98 Saturn SW2 wagon =)

                            The A-120 was another Craigslist find. $295 with whip, beater, and hook. It is an older unit, but works fine for me.

                            I also have a 14:" buffalo chopper - $100 w/ss cart, and meat grinder attachment.
                            Large auto Hobart meat slicer $360 at an Air Force DRMO surplus auction years ago.
                            Craigslist also coughed up a Hobart power drive unit with a VS-9 pelican chopper, plates, auxiliary transmission, and 2 meat grinders for $350. Also found 2 SS topped restaurant kitchen prep tables for $65 each.

                            I am a machinist, and I like industrial duty equipment, so the Hobarts fill the need for Arrrr Arrrrrr Arrrrrrr more power.

                            1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                              BIGGUNDOCTOR, sounds like you had great luck on Craigslist, I had a bad experience with purchasing some chickens from someone listing on there & just washed my hands of that site, but I think I need to just look around, Yes, it is best to purchase the best equipment you can afford. Thanks for the info.

                    2. re: ahack

                      Got me convinced that pyrex is the only way to go. Thanks everybody for sharing their favorites.

                      1. re: ahack

                        Ah, even better -- they've repeated the test since the article I was talking about, and ended up with the same results!

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          Well, sunshine, that just about confirms it to anybody who is listening/reading...pyrex is a winner for pie bakers!!!!!!1

                2. I haven't done enough testing to say which one I like better, but I use glass. The Pyrex glass.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Pyrex has been around a long time for a reason.

                  2. Pyrex. They allow the crust to brown well. And if you don't get it back, it's pretty cheap to replace.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: iluvcookies

                      One time a pyrex casserole dish exploded in the oven & I have been leary about using anything glass, but seems a lot of folks are in favor so maybe I had fluke. I think I will get a pan tomorrow. Thanks.

                      1. re: cstout

                        Make sure your oven is preheated to the correct temp before putting any Pyrex in it. This will help prevent explosions from the rapid changes in heat. And don't put empty Pyrex in an oven either.

                    2. I have a few pyrex deep dish pie pans that I use for pies, I also have an Emile Henry. They both cook great pie.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: rasputina

                        Emile Henry just sounds luscious to me, I would use it every time if I had one ot those dishes.

                      2. Add me to the Pyrex fan club. I love that I can see if the middle of the bottom crust is browned enough - no guessing. I have both brown and clear glass, and I think they are the same. I baked pies in both for Thanksgiving, and both were cooked at the same time, and looked the same.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jeanmarieok

                          I am beginning to like Pyrex more & more...even though I don't own any (yet).

                        2. I'm happy with my Le Creuset stoneware pie dish. It's pretty, has good heft and is virtually non-stick.

                          In theory, I like the idea of being able to see through Pyrex. However, when I've baked a pie crust, the bottom burning/overcooking has been the least of my concerns. If I've ever had an issue with burning/overcooking, it's been around the rim, which is plainly visible regardless of the material of the dish.

                          ETA: I guess the point of being able to see through Pyrex is to determine sufficient, although not necessarily excess, browning (which isn't the same as burning). Makes sense!

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: topbanana

                            On this note, does anyone else experience more browing on the top rim compared to the bottom? Do I need to adjust the over rack height?

                            1. re: topbanana

                              if the edges of your crust are browning too fast, just tear off a long strip of foil and wrap it around the edges of your pie (leave the center open, so the middle browns! -- it will shield the edges from excess heat and thus from turning into petrified crust.

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                Great tip! I will try this next time. Thank you.

                                1. re: topbanana

                                  I have some of the crust shields, but my new convection oven cooks them without burning, so I really don't need to use them.

                          2. Further up the thread I put in my vote for my EH. I will concede the popularity contest, the affordability, the good browning qualities, and the ability to see the level of brownness all go to Pyrex. Also if I ever lost my pie dish because I left it somewhere it would be hard to justify running out and replacing it. However, I have never felt the need to check for brownness, and if I have to take a desssert somewhere else it will probably not be a pie. So if I were rational I would have Pyrex, but something in me likes to "bake it on faith."

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: tim irvine

                              tim irvine, thanks for your thorough input. You know, I think these folks here gave a much better evaluation than Cooks Illustrated did. Of course, I am partial to you all, but when it is voiced here, you can pretty well know that person has given thought & depth to the question, whether it be about a recipe or any other thing pertaining to the cooking world. Just wanted to let everyone know I am in awe of what is available out here. Thank you.

                            2. Pyrex pans are great, but I like the ones Corningware made. These are white glass ceramic with the little blue flower in the middle. I have about a dozen I have bought over the years from garage sales and thrift shops.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Leolady

                                Leolady, now you go & post about Corningware & I want one of those too. You are lucky to find them, I bet it would not be so easy these days. I will search on ebay & if one pops up, then I know it was meant for me...I can justify anything if I set my mind to it. Oh well, thanks for bringing in Corningware.

                              2. Pyrex for me too, and I use either the regular or deep dish depending on the pie. It's great to see the bottom of the crust.

                                1. I have Pyrex, Anchor Hocking,and aluminum -Mirro, Wear-Ever, etc pans. They all cook the same for me. I use the aluminum when taking the pies somewhere where there is the possibility of breaking a glass dish, or I leave a gift pie with someone. I use the Pyrex the most though, as I just like how they feel.

                                  With the old standard oven I used pie crust shields on the edges, but the new convection oven doesn't burn them like the old oven could if they were not covered.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                                    BIGGUNDOCTOR, folks who can get good results from just about any pan/rolling pin/crust recipe have to be good bakers in my opinion. You sound like the sort of person who can walk into someone's kitchen & whip up a meal at a whim. NOT ME!!!! I envy folks like you who are so relaxed in their cooking.

                                    1. re: cstout

                                      Or, it could be the pie crust recipe that I use. It is the ancient Spry brand water whip pie crust. Easy, and comes out great.

                                      I am just a single guy who likes to cook, and eat different kinds of foods. Over the years I have done a lot of cooking with the Boy Scout troop I was with back home, and now I try new things for me, and my friends. I also have a stack of cookbooks that I inherited from Mom, and that I have picked up from various thrift stores. I just wish I had more time to cook at home, most of my week is spent at work, and commuting now =( I have had a big bowl of guacamole ,and chips for dinner a few times. There are also a couple of Del Tacos that I keep in business.

                                      1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                                        BIGGUNDOCTOR, geez, we sure don't want you to live on those Del Tacos (whatever that is). Search for some brunch recipes...they make wonderful evening meals in a hurry. Plus put on a pot of soup & eat on that several days. I never wanted to face it, but eating does take some planning. Utilize this cooking talk forum, so many ideas in here. Just concentrate on making meals you can freeze or heat up quickly. Spend your lunch time jotting down some ideas to pick up for supper. Good luck.

                                        1. re: cstout

                                          Del Taco is a fast food joint that started in Yermo CA in 1961. www.deltaco.com Their chicken soft tacos are realllly good. I also end up with a ton of BOGO , and $$ off coupons for them, so it is inexpensive to eat there since they allow you to combine coupons.

                                          I live in Da Boonies, and I have a 206 mile daily round trip commute. 12+ hours a day are spent on work related activities. When I get home most nights I am pretty beat, and many nights I don't even eat at all. I have tons of cookbooks, and the internet for ideas, it is executing them that I have the problem with. Today is a good example , started off doing some chores, then ended up helping a neighbor out by driving my forklift over to his place to move some heavy items. Gotta get ready now to head into Las Vegas to meet someone , so I will be eating on the run again. No biggie.

                                          Anyway, don't want to hijack this thread anymore, so I'll just add that when it comes to pie pans I feel that is it just finding the combination that works for you. My standby pie crust works great with all of my different pans , so I feel pretty lucky.

                                          1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                                            BIGGUNDOCTOR, you mentioned you used a Spry piecrust, we don't have that brand here, I assume it is like Crisco. Thanks for talking to us. Yes, do feel lucky that you make a great pie.

                                            1. re: cstout

                                              Yep, Spry was a shortening manufacturer back in the old days, not sure when they went away.

                                  2. Nothing bakes a crispier, flakier crust for me than, a foil pie plate and a hot oven.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: hetook

                                      hetook, you know, I have just recently starting making pies & bought some of those pie tins at the store for giving a pie to someone & thought they turned out really good in there, but did not know if it was a fluke or what. I am kinda afraid to buy a pyrex plate & use it, maybe my luck will run out. A pie tin was what I made my first good crust in & now you have just confirmed what I was wondering. Well, we have a vote of 2 for pie tins, anyone else out there like them??

                                      1. re: cstout

                                        Pyrex,doesn't always work for me. Metal pans are good but, foil tins are the best. Not sure ?. I know if keep my cooking frill-free ,I have better success. I bought a vintage pan from second-hand store that works good too.

                                    2. I know everyone seems to like pyrex, but I use a ceramic pie plate, that I find works well.

                                      10 Replies
                                      1. re: lawhound05

                                        lawhound05, I think if a person sticks with one type of pie pan, they will get to know which crust works best in there, how to adjust the oven temp & all kinds of other nuances that make for a good pie. I will go so far as to call it "bonding" with your pan, whether it is a lowly aluminum tin or something sophisticated like your ceramic plate. Just fun to see what folks are using. One thing about your plate, it is a heck of a lot prettier sitting around than that aluminum thing. How 'bout putting some Granny Smith apples in there & just placing it on the counter....or maybe even as a centerpiece on the table? What color is your dish?

                                        1. re: cstout

                                          I got the dish as a gift. It is cream-colored and has an green apple pattern decoration on it, don't recall the maker offhand. It would look nice filled with apples, if I had the counter space! If I ever get around to baking more than one pie at a time, I'll have to get more pie dishes and would consider pyrex, based on its popularity. I have pyrex loaf pans that I bake bread in weekly that work fabulously.
                                          I love the idea of "bonding" with your pan! I've definitely bonded with several items in my kitchen.

                                          1. re: lawhound05

                                            lawhound05, yes I too have some loaf pans but have never baked bread in them. Do you make bread from Scratch or use the "no knead" method?

                                            1. re: cstout

                                              I bake, from scratch, various regular yeast breads as well as quick breads like banana bread in the loaf pans. I like that with the pyrex you can see if the bottom crust is brown. For no-knead, I use my Lodge cast iron dutch oven. No knead-requires a closed baking vessel, loaf pans won't work.

                                              1. re: lawhound05

                                                lawhound05, well another point for good ol' pyrex. For my no knead bread, I use Peter Reinhart's lean bread recipe & just freeform the dough into a rounded ball & put in a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. It comes out in a wonderful rustic loaf. Have not tried any of his other recipes, as I have such good luck with that one. I too have a Lodge cast iron dutch oven, but it was always so hard to get into the oven, so one day I just put the bread in the oven like I just described & it worked wonderfully. I bought that heavy darn thing just to make bread in, so maybe I will revisit a recipe that calls for the cast iron pot. But I am so spoiled on just flouring the parchment & plopping my dough on there. Sorry I got side tracked there.

                                                1. re: cstout

                                                  I use Mark Bittman's recipe, and the dough so wet that I think it would just spread out over the cookie sheet and make a foccacia instead of a loaf! I've also used a corningware casserole to bake the bread, but I think the crust comes out better in the cast iron for some reason, but yeah, it is heavy.

                                                  1. re: lawhound05

                                                    I tried Mark's recipe but made a total mess with it...just could not get used to such a goopy dough, maybe I will try again, so I can say I used my cast iron pot. Thanks for posting.

                                                    1. re: cstout

                                                      I use a tip I picked up from Cook's Illustrated to deal with the goopiness factor - make a sling of parchment or nonstick foil to transfer the dough from the bowl to the dutch oven, which I had found to be the tricky part. Good luck with your bread!

                                        2. re: lawhound05

                                          I don't know if I like pyrex. As I mentioned early, I have it, but that is pretty much all I have had, except the aluminum foil kind. I got pyrex baking pie because it was inexpensive.

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            Chemicalkinetics, the Wally World around here only carries "Anchor Hocking"....no pyrex in sight. Oh well, thanks for your input on the subject of pie pans, Let us all go bake in peace.