If you don’t have a pie pan or the available ones are busy, and you need extra cookware for baking your pies, you can use pie pan substitutes. They include tart pans, cake pans, muffin pans, etc. These substitutes work like a pie pan, as they are of similar sizes to a pie pan.
This article will cover
- Pie Pan Substitutes
- Things To Consider When Choosing A Pie Pan Substitute
- How To Use A Pie Pan Substitute
- How To Care For Your Pie Pan Substitutes
Pie Pan Substitutes
To substitute pans, you have to measure the dimensions and depths of the specific pan that should be used originally. This will help you determine the right substitute based on what you want to bake. Below are some pie pan substitutes.
1. Cake pan
If you don’t have a pie pan, you can use a cake pan for baking your pie. Cake pans, which are made from a variety of materials such as aluminum, steel, and silicone, often have more depth than a pie pan. They can hold the volume of a large pie and are good at baking the pie until doneness, no matter how deep the filling is.
2. Tart pans
Another substitute for a pie pan is a tart pan with a removable bottom. A removable bottom makes it easier to remove the pie by pushing up the bottom without spoiling the pie crust. Some tart pans have fluted sides, while some have straight sides.
Tart pans with fluted sides make your pie look more appealing and professional. If your tart pan has no removable bottom, you can use a cake lifter or a spatula to remove the pie from the pan. However, be careful so that the pie won’t slip off the spatula or cake lifter.
3. Muffin pans
Muffin pans are suitable substitutes for pie pans, especially when you want to make mini pies. Mini pies are great when you want to make a pie for a group of people, and you don’t want to go through the stress of dividing a large pie among them.
Besides, with muffin pans, you can make a variety of pies with different fruit fillings simultaneously. However, ensure the kinds of pie you bake in a muffin pan require the same temperature and time to get done properly.
4. Baking paper
In addition, you can use baking paper in place of a pie pan. Enclose the pie in the baking paper and fold the edges. Press the blade of a knife horizontally against the edge to seal it properly. You can flute the edges if you want. Slide the paper on a baking sheet before you place it in the oven.
Things To Consider When Choosing A Pie Pan Substitute
As much as you can use another cookware in place of your pie pan, you can’t just use any cookware. Here are some essential things to know about your pan pie substitutes.
Pie plate substitutes are made from glass, metal, or ceramic, and each of these has its advantages and disadvantages. As such, you should know how best to handle the material your pie pan substitute is made with.
For instance, if you’re using an aluminum pan, even though it is an excellent heat conductor, it isn’t knife-friendly. As such, you have to be careful when cutting the pie so as not to scratch the pan’s surface.
If you’re using a ceramic substitute, you will likely need a crust protector as the edges of the pie tend to brown faster than the rest. It’s advisable you don’t use disposable foil for baking pies as they can’t support the dough and fillings and cause uneven baking.
Equally important is the size of the pie pan substitute. Your pan should be big enough to contain your dough and the fillings. Besides, the size of your pan determines the depth of your pie.
Ease of cleaning
Your pie pan substitute should be easy to clean as well. You shouldn’t only lookout for the design and type of material; you should also consider the convenience of cleaning. Besides, check if the manufacturer recommends dishwashing or handwashing for the pie pan substitute. For example, most nonstick pans shouldn’t be washed in the dishwasher.
In addition, your pie pan substitute should distribute heat evenly across its cooking surface. Your pie won’t turn out well if there are hot spots on the pan’s surface. You don’t want the edges of the pie to shrink or the crust to get done before the filling. Choose a pan that will provide a uniformly-baked pie.
For easy maneuverability, use a lightweight substitute. You would have to put and remove the pan from the oven, and in some instances, place it in your freezer. A heavy pan will be difficult to handle like that.
How To Use A Pie Pan Substitute
If you want a uniformly baked and golden pie crust when using your pie pan substitutes, you need to know how to go about it. Getting the perfect pie isn’t easy as it seems, but below are some tips to help you.
Preheat the oven
Preheating the oven helps your pie crust to set immediately when you place it inside the oven. Your recipe will determine the temperature you will set the oven to. For instance, fruit pies will require a higher temperature than non-fruit pies. If you’re using a high temperature, ensure your pie pan substitute is strong enough to withstand the heat.
Pre-bake the pastry
To stop your pie crust from having a soggy bottom, you need to pre-bake the dough first. To do this, first, line your pan. Grease the pan with butter and line it with a piece of parchment paper. Put the dough in it and bake for some minutes. Pre-baking makes the dough firm; as such, it won’t become soggy when you add the filling.
Add the filling
After the dough has been pre-baked, take the pie out of the oven and let it cool. Once it is cool enough for you to handle, put the fillings on it and cover with another layer of dough. Ensure you cut holes in the edges of both doughs for uniform baking. You can decorate your pie crust top according to your recipe. Some of the ingredients you can use for the filling are fruits, cornstarch, boiled steak, etc.
Check the doneness of your pie
You have to make sure every part of the pie is properly baked before removing it from the oven. One way to do this is to take out a small slice from the pie. Through the vacant space, you can see the bottom crust and middle of the pie and how firm the filling is.
Also, you can run your knife through the pie to check for doneness. If it comes out clean, then the pie is ready. However, be careful so as not to scratch the pan’s coating with the knife.
How To Care For Your Pie Pan Substitutes
Taking good care of your pie pan substitutes will ensure they last longer and provide good results whenever you use them. Here are ways you can care for your pie pan substitutes:
The first step in caring for your pie pan substitutes is to clean them properly. The type of material determines how you clean the pan. Also, you need to follow the instructions in the user manual. If you’re using a stainless steel pan, avoid soaking it for extended periods to prevent potential damage.
Since it is prone to discoloration, remove the stains with a cleaning solution and scouring pad. If you’re using a glass dish for your pie, don’t subject it to instant temperature changes. This can make it shatter. Allow it to cool thoroughly before you clean it.
Avoid cooking sprays
Since you’ll be lining your pan with parchment paper, you don’t need cooking spray. However, if you must grease your pie pan substitute, use butter. Avoid using cooking sprays on their surfaces. Cooking sprays leave a layer that is difficult to remove on the pan’s surface. This not only contaminates your food but also renders the pie pan substitute useless for cooking other foods.
Store your pie pan substitutes properly
How you store your pie pan substitutes matter a lot. Before you store them, ensure you dry them thoroughly after washing. For baking sheets, place them upright in one of your kitchen cabinets.
To prevent your glass dish from falling and breaking, put it on a shelf. Ensure it sits properly on the shelf. For your metal pans, you can use a pan divider to stack them, hang them on the wall or display them on your cooktops.
Use the recommended temperature
Not all pie pan substitutes can withstand the same degree of heat. For instance, a ceramic pan isn’t as durable as a metal pan, so you can’t use the same oven temperature for both pans. Check the bottom or user manual of the pie pan substitute you’re using to determine the ideal temperature you should set the oven to.
When choosing pie pan substitutes, avoid using thin cookware. Thin cookware will likely get damaged and won’t give you a perfect pie. For good results, use sturdy and more durable substitutes. Also, keep in mind that the efforts you put in maintaining your pie pan substitutes determine the results you get when you use them.
Michael Johnson is the founder of Pan Mastery, Inspired by his blacksmith grandfather’s legacy has a deep appreciation for hand-crafted pots and pans, he provides invaluable guides, reviews, and recipes to enhance your culinary journey.