Most of the time, a utilitarian pie plate will do. After all, it’s the intricate lattice, layered filling, or juicy seasonal fruit in your pie that should command the most attention, not the baking vessel— simple Pyrexes and nondescript aluminum models are more than up to the task. But every so often, an occasion calls for a pie plate that’s as pretty as the dessert inside of it, that will look great even after you’ve consumed all of its contents. It’s worth it, for these moments, to add one stunner of a pie plate to your collection.
Pie plates come in a variety of materials, shapes, and textures, which makes shopping for a stylish one particularly fun. Depending on the vibe of your kitchen and the kinds of pies you make most often (think: press-in crusts or pastry? baked or cold-set?), there are plenty of options on the market in all manner of aesthetics, like bold, bright, and hand-painted, earthy, glazed, and rustic— and everything in between. No matter what you pick, just be sure to adjust your go-to recipes to work with your new pan, which might be an inch smaller or bigger than is called for; this cheat sheet can help you scale up or down accordingly. Below are a few of our favorite decorative pie plates, which span the spectrum of what a pretty dish can be—glass, ceramic, or metal, new or simply new-to-us.
A note about buying vintage goods online: One-of-a-kind pieces tend to sell out quickly, so if you really love something, you should act fast. However, if a favorite plate is gone, a little digging may reveal a similar style from a different maker—the hunt is part of the process.
Ceramic pie pans are often the most beautiful and intricately designed. They retain heat well, but they aren’t as foolproof to use as plates made with other materials; it may take you take some trial and error to achieve a perfectly browned crust. That said, hand-painted vintage dishes and brightly colored fluted pans are undeniably impressive—so much so that they’ll detract from any crust issues you may face. This hand-built Appoline pie dish is a favorite; the textured exterior and daintily floral interior will differ slightly piece to piece, and lend a prim, rustic feel to any tabletop.
Appoline Pie Dish
Art et Manufacture Pour la tourtière d’Annette Stoneware Pie Plate, 9-inch
Jemirry Ceramic Pie Pan, 10-inch
Christineholm Vintage Fluted Pie Pan
Vintage Andrea by Sadek Country Flowers Pie Plate
Clear, tempered glass pans allow you to see the color of your crust as it bakes, so they’re great for bakers who want to keep a close eye on their pies. Pyrex pie dishes are the go-to for glass bakeware since they’re affordable, high-quality, and widely available—you can level-up your collection with a pretty scalloped-edge model, or go for one of the brand’s vintage tinted pans in your favorite hue. Anchor Hocking is another classic glass cookware company that makes tried-and-true pie pans, including decorative embossed versions with patterns etched into the sides and bottom.
Pyrex Scalloped Pie Plates, 9.5-Inch, Set of 2
Pyrex Easy Grab Pie Plate, Atlantic Blue, 9.5-inch
Vintage Pyrex Pie Plate, Amethyst, 9-Inch
Vintage Pyrex Pie Plate, Cranberry, 10-Inch
Anchor Hocking Embossed Pie Plate, 9.5-inch
The right metal pie pan for you depends on the kinds of pies you make most often. Dark metal pans absorb and retain heat well, so pick one if your priority is a perfectly crisp, well-browned crust. These cast iron models, with fluted edges and easy-to-grab handles, are great for sweet and savory (chicken pot pie!) applications alike. Alternatively, shiny metal pans absorb heat more slowly, so if you’re nervous about over-baking the exterior of a pie before the middle is set (common with pumpkin or apple), they’re good to have on hand. Enamel-coated steel pans have all the heat-retention properties of a dark metal pan but the easy-to-clean exterior of a Dutch oven—the fun splatter pattern is an added bonus.
Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Pie Pan with Handles, 9-Inch
Vintage Unused Tin Mello-Rich Mrs. Smith’s Logo Pie Dish
Camp Chef Cast Iron Pie Pan
Crow Canyon Home Enamel-Coated-Steel Pie Plate, 9 inch
Originally Appeared on Epicurious