When you want to bake a pie and cannot find a pie pan, there are some suitable substitutes.
The heat distribution is all-important so you can use an aluminum pie pan, a cake pan, a tart pan, or a springform pan.
Depending on the sort of pie you want to bake, you can even make mini pies using a muffin tin.
Most pie recipes can include different shapes so why not try making slab pies in a baking tray too?
In this guide, we will look at pie pan substitutes to find out how to bake a pie without a pie pan.
An Aluminum Pie Pan
Pie pans can come in many forms though you may be tempted to use aluminum as a foil pan.
This is largely down to how foil works as an excellent heat conductor.
There are a few tips that need to be applied, namely that the foil pan has to be sturdy and that you need to increase the baking time.
A Cake Pan
If you do have a round cake pan then you can use that to bake a pie.
Cake pans tend to use different means of creating baked goods. You may want to use a pan with parchment paper or apply blind baking.
As an excellent heat conductor, a cake pan can also help to create a decent crust. With a cake pan, you do need to use the right size.
For the best alternative pie pan, try to find one that is around eight or nine inches in size.
This should have a similar dimension so would form a good pie pan substitute.
To use a cake pan to create the same effect as a pie pan, use parchment paper prior to applying the pie crust and try blind-baking for a perfect pie crust.
The baking time should be similar but check that the crust is golden brown first.
You may even find with a metal pan that you need to increase the baking time by around ten to fifteen minutes.
A Springform Pan
A springform pan may be ideal if it is the right size for baking pies, you could even use one for a deep dish pie.
A cake pan can conduct heat really well so should be ideal for a good pie. This is an ideal pie pan substitute for a thicker pie and it still works well for pie crusts.
As there would be more pie filling, you need to confirm that this is cooked to know that the pie is done.
A Tart Pan/A Quiche Pan
A tart pan with a removable bottom can also be used as a pie pan substitute. Tarts are typically more shallow than a pie so you may have to use less of the pie dough.
Consider whether you need to blind bake the crust either. If you have a tart pan with fluted sides then even better for that flaky pie crust.
As the volume is usually reduced with a tart pan as the sides are shorter, consider less pie filling.
This is especially for pumpkin pie or apple pie as it can ooze out and burn.
A tart pan can also be used as a quiche pan while also being used to bake pies.
One with a removable bottom can be helpful though do use a non stick spray or cooking sprays to ensure it can be removed once baked.
The Importance Of A Pie Crust
Whether using casserole dishes, muffin pans, a pyrex dish, baking paper, a springform pan or tart pans, the pie crust is important.
The pan is crucial for creating exquisite pie crusts yet each material will need to be closely monitored as pie pan substitutes.
To prevent uneven baking, consider blind baking pies to ensure that the bottom is cooked sufficiently.
The pie crust should be golden brown on top yet with a deep dish pie, getting the right amount of pie dough needs to be checked.
For a large pie, ensure that you use baking paper to roll out the pie dough evenly. Apply cooking sprays or a non stick spray on the bottom of the pan first and then place it in the pan.
For pies cooked in tart pans, cake pans, or a muffin pan, the sides should be shorter so there should be little worry of uneven baking.
If you have no pan at all then you can create a pie pan from aluminum foil. This may not create the most perfect pie as it will be less sturdy than pie pans.
When using an aluminum pan, remember that this is a last resort as at least cake pans, tart pans, even a muffin pan for mini pies has been used before for baking pies.
Aluminum foil as a pie pan substitute needs to be considered carefully as using a pie pan to pre bake makes baking easier.
For those tiny pies, you should be using a muffin pan anyway.
You can still create a whole pie crust just as you would typically, but this can be cut into rounds, pressed into the muffin pan, filled, and then you can bake them.
The cooking time will be reduced so keep an eye on them for that golden crust. You can also find a nonstick muffin pan which is an ideal mini pie pan substitute for removing them easily when baked.
If you are worried about using a substitute for a pie pan then use cooking spray and non stick spray to help remove it.
Even a pan with parchment paper can be really helpful with a springform pan and especially an aluminum pan.
Muffin pans tend to be made from silicone so likely do not require cooking sprays or a non stick spray.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Use A Glass Pan To Bake A Pie?
While glass is not ideal to conduct heat, glass pans do provide ample heat distribution. This is ideal for a big pie just as much as you would expect from tart pans.
Try to find oven safe glassware as it can shatter when heated quickly, even when you make a pie.
You can also use a pyrex dish which is a glass pan that is confirmed as oven safe glassware.
How Do You Use Parchment Paper To Bake A Pie?
To bake pie on a small scale, consider using parchment paper instead of a regular pie pan.
The parchment paper can be placed on a baking pan and you can even use it to roll out the pie dough.
This is an ideal pie pan substitute for mini pies such as apple pie or pumpkin pie.
Just ensure that the pie crust is rolled up so the pie filling does not escape when baked.