Pie lovers know that a perfectly made pie is a work of art. However, not everyone has the time and patience to create a handcrafted pie from scratch. If you’re looking for an efficient way to make handheld pies, you may be considering using a pie iron or a baking dish. In this article, we’ll compare the pros and cons of each method, explore the differences in taste and portability, and provide some tips for perfecting your pie-making skills.
What is a pie iron?
A pie iron is a device that is specifically designed for making handheld pies. It consists of two hinged cast iron plates that are connected to a long handle. To use a pie iron, you simply place a layer of pie crust on one side, add your desired fillings, and then place another layer of crust on top of the fillings. The two sides of the pie iron are then pressed together, sealing the crust and filling inside. Finally, the pie iron is placed over a heat source, and turned occasionally until the pie is fully cooked. Pie irons come in a range of sizes and shapes, from round to square, and can be used to make both sweet and savory pies.
One of the advantages of using a pie iron is that it allows you to make individual pies quickly and easily, without the need for an oven. This makes it a popular choice for camping trips and outdoor cooking. Additionally, pie irons can be used to make a variety of different dishes, such as grilled sandwiches, quesadillas, and even waffles.
When using a pie iron, it’s important to make sure that the filling is not too wet, as this can cause the crust to become soggy. It’s also a good idea to grease the plates of the pie iron before use, to prevent the crust from sticking. With a little practice, you can create delicious, perfectly cooked pies with a pie iron in no time!
What is a baking dish?
A baking dish is a traditional tool for making pies. It is typically made of glass or ceramic and comes in a range of sizes and shapes. To make a pie in a baking dish, the first step is to make or purchase your crust. Next, you roll out the crust and place it in the dish, filling it with your desired fillings. Once filled, you top the pie with another layer of crust and bake it in the oven until the crust is golden brown and the filling is heated through. While baking dishes are typically used for full-sized pies, they can also be used to make smaller, handheld pies.
Baking dishes are not only used for making pies, but they can also be used for a variety of other dishes. For example, you can use a baking dish to make casseroles, lasagnas, and even roasted vegetables. The dish’s depth and size make it perfect for layering ingredients and baking them to perfection.
When choosing a baking dish, it is important to consider the material it is made of. Glass dishes are great for even heat distribution and allow you to see the bottom of your dish while it’s cooking. Ceramic dishes, on the other hand, are great for retaining heat and keeping your food warm for longer periods of time. Ultimately, the choice of material depends on your personal preference and the type of dish you are making.
Pros and Cons of using a pie iron
One of the biggest advantages of using a pie iron is that it can make handheld pies in just a few minutes. These pies can be made over an open flame, making them perfect for camping trips or other outdoor adventures. Additionally, pie irons can be used to make a wide range of flavors, ranging from classic fruit pies to savory meat pies. However, one drawback is that pie irons can be more expensive than other pie-making tools, and they require a little bit of practice to use effectively.
Another advantage of using a pie iron is that it is a fun and unique way to make pies. It can be a great activity to do with friends or family, and it can also be a conversation starter at parties or events. Additionally, pie irons are easy to clean and maintain, making them a convenient tool to have in the kitchen.
On the other hand, one potential disadvantage of using a pie iron is that it can be difficult to get the perfect crust. The heat distribution may not be even, which can result in some parts of the pie being overcooked while others are undercooked. Additionally, the size of the pie iron may limit the size of the pies that can be made, which may not be ideal for those who want to make larger pies.
Pros and Cons of using a baking dish
One of the primary benefits of using a baking dish is that it can be used for a wide range of pie sizes, from single-serving to full-sized pies. Baking dishes are also typically less expensive than pie irons, and they can be used for other cooking tasks as well. However, making pies in a baking dish can be a little trickier than using a pie iron, as you need to ensure that the crust is evenly browned and the filling is cooked through.
Another advantage of using a baking dish is that it allows for more creative and decorative pie crusts. With a pie iron, the crust is typically limited to a simple design due to the shape of the iron. However, with a baking dish, you can create intricate lattice or braided crusts that add an extra touch of elegance to your pie.
On the other hand, one potential downside of using a baking dish is that it can be more difficult to remove the pie from the dish without it falling apart. This is especially true for pies with a delicate crust or a runny filling. Additionally, baking dishes can take up more space in your kitchen compared to a compact pie iron, which may be a consideration for those with limited storage space.
How to use a pie iron to make handheld pies
To use a pie iron to make handheld pies, begin by preheating your iron over a fire or on a stove. Next, place a layer of pie crust on one side of the iron. Add your desired filling, being careful not to overfill the pie. Finally, place another layer of crust on top, and close the pie iron firmly. Cook the pie, turning it every few minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is hot and bubbly.
There are many different types of fillings that can be used in handheld pies. Some popular options include fruit fillings like apple or cherry, savory fillings like chicken pot pie or shepherd’s pie, and even dessert fillings like chocolate or caramel. Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite!
When using a pie iron, it’s important to make sure that the crust is sealed tightly around the edges. This will prevent the filling from leaking out and making a mess. You can also brush the top of the pie with an egg wash before cooking to give it a shiny, golden brown finish.
How to use a baking dish to make handheld pies
To use a baking dish to make handheld pies, begin by preheating your oven and preparing your crust. Roll out your crust and place it in your baking dish. Add your desired filling, being careful not to overfill the pie. Place another layer of crust on top and crimp the edges to seal everything inside. Finally, bake the pie in the oven until the crust is golden brown and the filling is hot and bubbly.
Differences in cooking time between pie iron and baking dish
When it comes to cooking time, pie irons typically cook in just a few minutes, while pies made in a baking dish will need to be baked in the oven for anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the pie. Keep this in mind when deciding which method to use, as pie irons may be better suited for making quick and easy pies on a camping trip while baking dishes may be a better choice for more elaborate pies at home.
Taste differences between pies made in a pie iron and in a baking dish
Pies made in a pie iron tend to have a more crispy crust, while those made in a baking dish tend to have a flaky, buttery crust. Additionally, pie irons can create more uniform, single-serving pies, while baking dishes can create larger, family-sized pies. Ultimately, the taste difference between the two methods will come down to personal preference.
Portability of pies made with a pie iron vs. baking dish
When it comes to portability, pies made with a pie iron are the clear winner. They can be easily transported and cooked over an open flame, making them perfect for camping trips or other outdoor adventures. Pies made in a baking dish, on the other hand, are more difficult to transport and require access to an oven or stovetop.
Cost comparison between using a pie iron vs. using a baking dish
In terms of cost, pie irons can be more expensive than traditional baking dishes. However, they typically last longer and are more versatile, allowing you to make a range of different pies and other sandwiches. Baking dishes can be purchased relatively inexpensively, but may have a more limited range of uses.
Maintenance and Cleaning of pie irons and baking dishes
Both pie irons and baking dishes require some degree of maintenance and cleaning. Pie irons should be cleaned after each use and may need to be seasoned periodically to prevent rusting. Baking dishes should be washed and dried after each use to prevent any build-up of food or grease. Both types of tools can last for years with proper care and maintenance.
Tips for making perfect handheld pies with both methods
Regardless of which method you choose, there are a few key tips to keep in mind when making handheld pies. First, be careful not to overfill your pie, as this can cause it to burst or become soggy. Second, be sure to crimp the edges of your crust tightly to seal everything inside. Finally, experiment with a range of fillings, flavors, and crusts to find your perfect combination.
Which method is best suited for camping trips or outdoor cooking?
If you’re looking for a tool that is portable and can be used over an open flame, a pie iron is the clear winner. Its compact size and versatility make it a great tool for making quick and easy handheld pies while camping or on other outdoor adventures. However, if you’re looking to make more elaborate, family-sized pies, a baking dish may be a better choice.
Conclusion: Pie iron vs Baking Dish – Which one should you choose for making handheld pies?
Ultimately, the choice between a pie iron and a baking dish comes down to personal preference. If you’re looking for a tool that is portable, versatile, and easy to use, a pie iron may be the way to go. However, if you’re looking for more control over your pie-making process, or if you’re making pies for a larger group of people, a baking dish may be a better choice. Regardless of which method you choose, making handheld pies is a delicious and satisfying cooking experience, and one that is sure to please pie lovers of all ages.