There's nothing better than warm pie hot fresh out of the oven. No matter which filling you go with, the key to a perfect pie is in the crust. Luckily, the best pie pans on the market can help you
bake a flawless, flaky crust in no time.
Pie pans are surprisingly diverse, so to find out how to shop for the right one, I reached out to Melissa Elsen, owner of the cult-favorite Brooklyn pie shop
Four & Twenty Blackbirds and co-author of the book The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book. Unsurprisingly, she had a lot to say about how to find the best pan for baking perfect pies, every time.
When it comes to materials, it’s best to first think about what
type of pies you plan to bake before choosing one. “I usually use a glass Pyrex because you can see through the bottom to make sure the crust is brown all the way to the center (soggy centers are no good),” Elsen notes, “However, glass is more insulating than metal, so it also causes browning to take longer. Sometimes for a custard pie (say pumpkin or pecan) I prefer to use a metal pan (especially if you need to pre-bake the crust) as it browns faster.” Ceramic pie pans can also be a solid choice, especially for fruit pies, since “less conductive material helps keep from over-browning the exposed crimped edge,” according to Elsen. In a hurry? These are the best pie pans for all your baking needs. 1. The Best Glass Pie Pan: Pyrex Easy Grab Glass Plate (2-Pack) 2. The Best Ceramic Pie Pan: Rose Levy Beranbaum's Perfect Pie Plate 3. The Best Nonstick Pan: OvenStuff Nonstick Pie Pans (2-Pack) 4. The Best Disposable Tins: NoCry Premium Disposable Pie Pans (50-Pack) 5. The Editor’s Pick: Wilton Excelle Elite Non-Stick Tart Pan Also Great: A Cult-Favorite Recipe Book: The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book
If you’re ready to become the official pie-maker of your family and friend group, check out this list of the best pie pans that you can find on Amazon.
1. The Best Glass Pie Pan
Made from Pyrex glass,
classic dish is completely oven and freezer safe. The glass is also nonporous so it won't absorb any odors or stains. The indented rim makes it easy to remove it from a hot oven, or to gently fold over the dough to create a scalloped edge. The best part? It's easy to clean and dishwasher safe so there's zero scrubbing. According to one reviewer: “I bought these to make pot pies for a friend. The price was good for two and it is a good and heavy plate. I love that it is oversized so I can make nice thick pies for my family. I use it a lot and it is still as good looking as when I first bought it. It is easy to clean even when it has burned filling.” 2. The Best Ceramic Option
If you're looking for a
ceramic pie pan, this scalloped-edged dish hits all the right marks. This dish features a scratch-free glaze that repels all odors, stains, and resists cracking. The high-ridged sides help even the heaviest pies keep their shape while also forming a unique crust shape. On top of that, this dish is so durable, you can even use it under the broiler without any wear or tear. According to one reviewer: “Eat with your eyes first. Really doesn't matter how the pie turns out in this dish, it looks lovely. My husband used it and was appreciative of the pre-existing scallops on the dish. Like most pies, removing that first piece is tricky, however that doesn't stop me from rating this my go to pie plate whenever I bake. A short soak in soapy water and any juices that created a sticky situation are quickly dissolved. Love it.” 3. The Best Nonstick Pan
Made from steel, this
extremely durable pan heats up your pie in a flash. It's also coated in a DuraGlide nonstick finish so you can slip your pie out with ease when it's done baking. And since the entire pan conducts heat, it evenly warms both the crust and contents of your pie so you don't have to worry about a burnt bottom or edges. Plus, at only $13 for a two-pack of high-quality and versatile pans, it's a total steal. According to one reviewer: “These are an economical way to have lots of pie tins. They take a lot less space then their glass counterparts. I used mine for a luncheon when I needed 5 pie tins for quiches. They would be great for making chicken pot pies to have on hand in the freezer too.” 4. The Best Disposable Tin Pie Pan
Especially when you’re bringing a pie to a party or making a ton of pies for the holidays,
disposable tins can be a great choice. This pack of aluminum tins have a sturdy, ridged rim to give your pie crust the support it needs, and the 9-inch top diameter is a great size not only for most standard round pies, but also for making and transporting cheesecakes, pasta bakes, and other pot luck favorites. They’re sold in a pack of 50, and boast over 1,300 five-star ratings and counting on Amazon. According to one reviewer: “These disposable pie tins were perfect for my birthday ‘pie social!’ I was able to make 14 different kinds of pies and not have to worry about whether the pie tins would hold up. They were strong and perfect for what I needed. When the pecan pie came out of the oven, it looked like it was ready to be displayed on a bakery shelf.” 5. The Editor’s Pick: A Pie Pan With A Removable Bottom
Wilton tart pan is a fan-favorite on Amazon, with a near-perfect overall 4.8-star rating from over 6,000 shoppers. Bustle editor Carina Finn is also a fan of the 9-inch version of the pan. Finn explains, “I’ve had this pan for years, and it’s always my go-to for baking pies and tarts since I prefer a single crust to let my fillings shine.” Perfect for making shallower, open-faced bakes with decorative fillings, it creates a pretty fluted edge on your tart that’s totally display-worthy. “The fluted rim makes even the most basic crusts look stunning,” says Finn. “It’s also great for making tarts and shallow pies with lattice crusts.”
The bottom of the pan removable, and it’s made from steel with a nonstick coating for easy cleanup. Finn describes, “I’m able to unmold even finicky complicated tarts with no issues,” adding that the “nonstick coating makes it easy to clean.” This particular version features an 11-inch diameter and is dishwasher-safe.
According to one reviewer: “When our old tart pan started to shed its nonstick finish, I torte it would be a good idea to order a new one right away. I’m glad I got this one. The sturdy metal base layer makes tart-making a piece of cake and thanks to the very good nonstick, two-piece design the pan releases as easy as pie.” Also Great: A Cult-Favorite Recipe Book
Even the best pie pan won’t do much good if you don’t have a great recipe, which is why it’s worth snagging a copy of
The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book. It includes recipes for the Brooklyn-based shop’s fan-favorite pies, like Salty Honey and Green Chili Chocolate, as well as classic flavors and tips for making the perfect crust. According to one reviewer: “I love pie. I love this book. The recipes have that extra something that makes the pies special. My favorites are the peach pie with the surprise ingredient of paprika and the lavender blueberry pie. The pictures are gorgeous and show ideas for interesting top crust patterns. The instructional part that tells how to make a piecrust was very useful. I reread that section every time I make a pie and do everything they say, and my pie crusts are improving, getting closer to that perfectly tender and flaky ideal.” Experts: Melissa Elsen, owner Four & Twenty Blackbirds and co-author of the book The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book
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This article was originally published on
April 6, 2019