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Pies recipes are made from savory to sweet, which means there are also many kinds of pie pans. The recipe can end up with unwanted results if the pie pan doesn’t have the correct dimensions. There are standard measurements for a pie pan, as well as taller deep-dish pans. So, we have carefully researched how deep your pie pan should be, including the measurements for a deep-dish pan.
A standard pie pan ranges from one inch to one and a half inches deep. A deep-dish pie pan usually measures one and a half to two inches deep. Mini pie pans can measure between half an inch to two inches deep. These measurements are designed to accommodate different recipes, which may require more or less volume for the filling. The pie pan's size allows the pie to bake evenly for a crisp brown crust.
There are many pie recipes and pie pans, which can make it challenging to determine which pan you need. Keep reading to learn how pie pans are measured, the pros and cons of a deep-dish pie pan, and whether a glass pan is better than a metal pie pan.
What Size Pan Are Most Pie Recipes Written To Fit?
The majority of pie recipes will fit in a standard 9-inch pie pan, usually one and a half inches deep. These measurements will ensure that too much moisture doesn’t build up in the filling, resulting in a soggy base.
It will also ensure that the proportions of the crust and the filling are appropriate. Some pies, such as pecan or pumpkin pie, do not have a crust on top to hold the filling in should it overflow.
You can read the post Does Apple Pie Need A Top Crust? to learn more about that relationship.
Most pies would use the standard 9-inch pan and shallower depth to speed up cooking since a deeper pie needs to cook longer. But the standard size will also brown the crust and provide more crust per slice.
However, you will need to double-check that the pan you are purchasing is actually 9 inches in width.
The Los Angeles Times has warned that the true width can be smaller than the label suggests, resulting in a disproportionate pie. Short of measuring the pan in person, you can always read through customer reviews.
Many recipes only state the necessary width of the pan and not how deep it should be. You can measure the volume of the pan against the estimated volume of the recipe’s filling.
But you might consider the broader elements of the intended pie recipe. For example, some fruit pies are going to use deep-dish pie pans so that the end result has more moisture.
Mini pie pans have the greatest range in depth, including the sizes of both standard and deep-dish pans. As such, they can potentially accommodate nearly any kind of recipe.
Is A Pie Pan Measured From The Top Or Bottom?
Because all pie pans have sloped sides, there is a large difference between the width of the base and the width of the top. But the correct way to measure a pan’s diameter is from the top instead of the bottom.
Sometimes, your pie pan will have a lip along the upper rim. This is designed to support the edge of the crust and should not be considered part of the true width.
Instead, measure inside the rim, from one side to the other. Otherwise, the thickness of the pan itself will mislead you.
Measuring the Depth
When measuring the depth of the pan, you do not measure the length of the slope. Instead, you should keep the ruler completely vertical. There are two common methods of completing this measurement properly.
First, you can simply keep the ruler flush against the edge of the pan, measuring straight up. Secondly, you can place your ruler directly in the center of the pan.
Place a flat straight edge across the top of the pan, and measure from the center of the pie pan to the straight edge. While this alternative method ensures the ruler does not bend at all, the first method is usually close enough.
Which Is Better: A Glass Or Metal Pie Pan?
There are advantages for either kind of pan, but the glass pie pan tends to be favored the most. This tends to include the Pyrex brand of glassware specifically.
This is mainly because a clear glass pan will allow you to check on the status of your crust to see if the color is browning correctly.
Then, you would be able to adjust the baking time at the moment, without waiting for a bad result to realize something unexpected happened.
A glass pan can also ensure that no residual flavors are transferred into the pie. As such, you would be able to store the finished pie right in the same pan. Lastly, glass is an effective conductor of heat.
However, metal pie pans can have their own advantages. Metal can heat up quickly, which tends to result in an especially crispy and flaky crust. It will also have a faster cool-down time, which is useful if you are in a hurry.
Also, metal pie pans can safely be used in the broiler. The United States Department of Agriculture has warned against using glassware such as Pyrex in the broiler.
That’s because the glass can sometimes shatter from the sudden shift in temperature.
You can also read the post 3 Types Of Pie Pans To Know for more details on the differences between the main three materials that are used for pie pans.
How Many Pie Pans Should You Own?
The ideal number of pie pans for you should be determined by how often you bake and for how many servings. Generally speaking, average domestic bakers would only need at least one standard-sized pie pan and one deep-dish pie pan.
This way, you are likely to be able to bake just about any pie recipe. Mainly, you will need to determine if the pan will be able to hold the volume of filling called for in the recipe.
Before baking anything, you can use a measuring cup to count how many cups of water the pan will be able to hold. Fill the pan to the brim for complete accuracy.
The result can then be compared to the volume of all the filling’s ingredients, which may or may not be listed on the recipe.
Mini Pie Pans
Sometimes, you may not necessarily want to bake an entire pie just for yourself. In that case, a set of single-serving pie pans would be useful. These pans have the greatest range of depths, including both standard and deep-dish heights.
You can also purchase mini pie pans in disposable materials, which are generally very inexpensive. These are more useful if you bake frequently and tend to make pies for holidays or other special occasions.
For example, some fruits are seasonal and may invite more baking when they are freshly available.
You might also use the size and disposable nature of mini pie pans to test out new recipes. This can help you avoid using all of the ingredients on a pie that doesn’t taste good to you. You’ll also have more control over the toppings.
Pies are a popular treat that is common all year round, but they are not especially flexible. It is important to use an appropriate pan size for the desired recipe.
Otherwise, the crust may not brown correctly, and the filling can get dried out or even overflow.
You should also take the pie pan's material into consideration. These mistakes can be avoided now that you know how to identify the true width and depth of any pie pan and the advantages of various pan materials.