Glass pie pans are made of tempered glass that allows them to withstand the heat of oven baking. These pans are inexpensive and allow the cook to see the item as it bakes. In addition to pies, these pans can be used to bake quiches, chicken breasts, fish fillets or vegetable dishes. Glass pie pans are available in 8-, 9- and 10-inch diameter and various depths. The standard depth for a pie pan is 1 1/2 inches, though pans made for deep-dish pies are approximately 2 inches deep.
Grease your glass pie pan before cooking items such as casseroles, meats, vegetables, brownies and other baked goods except pies. Pie crusts contain enough shortening that you shouldn't have to grease the pan to prevent food from sticking. You can use cooking sprays with glass pie pans, but the sprays may discolor the exposed edges of glass, leaving brown specks that are difficult to remove.
Glass pie pans conduct heat better than metal pans. Lower the temperature 25 degrees when baking in glass pans. Foods will brown faster and darker in glass pans than in metal pans. Depending on the recipe, you may need to shorten the baking time to prevent excess browning.
Sudden temperature changes can cause your glass pan to break. Don't remove a hot pan from the oven and set it in cold water or even onto a cold counter. Set it on a cooling rack instead. Don't take a glass pie pan directly from a cold refrigerator or freezer to a hot oven. Don't pour cold liquid into a hot pan, and don't pour hot liquid into a very cold pan.
An 8-inch diameter glass pie pan 1½ inches deep holds approximately 4 cups of food. A 9-inch pan of the same depth will hold about 5 cups and a 10-inch pan holds 6 cups.
Clean glass pie pans in warm soapy water or in the dishwasher. Soak in soapy water to remove stuck food. For tough stains such as the brown spots caused by cooking spray, use a non- scratching powdered cleanser such as Bon Ami. Don't use steel wool or abrasive cleaners that could scratch the glass.
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Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University.