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There’s no doubt about it—the ruffle makes a statement. It also makes decoration a little easier for you, since your pie crust can be formed right on the ruffles. But that's not what makes this pick the best pie pan though—it’s also made to do hard work. The ceramic provides great heat retention for a perfectly browned pie crust that’s evenly baked from center to edge. It’s also resistant to temperature changes and can be used in the oven up to 520 degrees and under the broiler if your crumb topping didn’t brown as much as you like. It can even go directly from your refrigerator to the oven and is dishwasher-safe and microwave-safe. And, of course, it’s just downright pretty and looks great on the buffet table.
Pie is a wonderful thing, but storing the leftovers can be a bit of a challenge, particularly if you’ve made a pie with a tall and fluffy meringue top, or if you don’t want to mess up the smooth, uncracked top on your custard pie. This pie plate solves the storage problem neatly with a plastic snap-on lid that will keep the pie safe until the last crumb is gone. The lid has vent holes to release heat in case you have to cover your pie while it's still warm—they'll reduce moisture that could make the crust soggy.
The pie plate itself is made from borosilicate glass that’s resistant to thermal shock and lets you monitor the crust’s browning as it bakes. It’s microwave-safe if you want to reheat leftovers, and it’s dishwasher-safe when the last bite of pie has been eaten.
If you're feeling adventurous, you can make individual pies, rather than one big pie for a group. These 5-inch pie pans have a steel core and non-stick coating, so the pies can be easily plated and cleanup is a breeze when the meal is done. They’re even dishwasher-safe. These pans have a heavy gauge steel core that makes them super-sturdy and heats your crust evenly, so you won't get soggy spots in the middle and burnt spots on the sides. These are great for both dessert pies and savory pies, like chicken pot pie.
For beginners, this pie pan does a lot of the work for you when it comes to decoratively shaping your pie crust. This beautiful, fluted pie plate is part of cookbook author Rose Levy Berenbaum's line of baking gear. The ruffled edge gives your pie an artistic flair, even if you’re not good at crimping the crust or finishing it with a fancy edge. The flutes also let you lift the pan easily from below, so you won’t mess up the crust as you retrieve the pie from the oven. This pie plate can even be used under the broiler if your cheesy quiche needs a little more browning or your crumb crust is a bit too pale.
When you need a higher filling-to-crust ratio for your recipe, look for a deep-dish pie pan. This attractive stoneware dish has a subtle ruffled design on the outer edge, while the interior edge is smooth, so you can work your own magic with braided crusts or fancy designs. The stoneware offers great heat retention, whether you’re baking an apple pie or a savory frittata, so you won’t suffer from the dreaded soggy bottom. The design is microwave and dishwasher-safe, and the pan can be stored directly in the fridge or freezer.
If pie making isn't a regular occurrence in your house, you might want to save a little on your pie pan. Instead of investing in a heavy-duty pick made of ceramic, go for a tempered glass version, like this one. Oven-safe up to 425 degrees (so it's not safe to stick under the broiler), this pick is the perfect option for baking your annual holiday pie. The glass base lets you sneak a peek and make sure your crust is cooking evenly, and when you're not using it to make pies, it's a wonderful serving dish for family dinners.
While pies are normally served directly from the pan, tarts are often removed from their pans before they're plated. Flipping a pie or tart out of a traditional pie pan would be nearly impossible, but tart pans are made of two parts to make the process go more smoothly. Just a push up from the bottom pops the tart out of the pan's ring, so you can slide it onto a plate to be admired from all angles. This pick is made from steel with a nonstick coating, so your pastries slide out easily, and it’s dishwasher-safe so you don't have to think about clean up when there's tart to be eaten.
When you’re baking for a bake sale or a potluck, you sure don’t want to give away your favorite pie plate with your pie. Sure, a stack of 50 pie pans seems like a lot, but they'll never go bad, so you can keep them in your kitchen and skip the last-minute panic before Thanksgiving when you can't find disposable pie plates anywhere.
If you bake a lot, these pans can also be used for freezing stacks of unbaked pie crusts so you’ll have them on hand when you need them. They are made from aluminum in the standard 9-inch pie pan size, so they’re great for all your regular pie recipes. Re-use isn’t recommended, but they’re recyclable when you're finished with them.