Springform pans feature side walls with clasps that tighten and loosen around a bottom plate, allowing you to remove the sides from delicate dishes, showing decorative or colorful layers of food. Though usually used for desserts such as cheesecake, you can also use springform pans to cook certain appetizers.
Using Springform Pans
Springform pans come in dozens of shapes and sizes, allowing you to create free-standing dishes with neat, clean lines. You can make star-shaped appetizers for Christmas or Independence Day, heart-shaped dishes for Valentine's Day and birthdays or try out any number of octagons, hexagons and circle sizes. For appetizers, try choosing two or three small springform pans of different shapes. Place the dishes around the room so your guests don't have to crowd one corner.
Though cheesecake is traditionally a sweet dessert, smoked salmon, salty cheeses, onions and a crushed crouton crust take it to a savory level. The croutons line the bottom of the pan, while the salmon and cheese mixture act as the filling. As the cheesecake bakes, it becomes dense and firm. When you remove the sides after cooling, you'll see that the cheesecake holds its form quite easily. Cut it into bite-sized pieces to make it easy for your guests to serve themselves.
Mini-quiches are often a very welcome sight on an appetizer buffet. However, stuffing dozens of muffin tins with quiche crust is monotonous and time-consuming. A springform pan allows you to perfectly cook a quiche with just the barest sprinkling of crust on the bottom of the pan. The custard gels as it bakes, forming against the shape of the pan. After removing the sides of the pan, slice the quiche into miniature servings, saving time and energy.
Pizza is so versatile that it can become part of any meal, including the first course in a formal or semi-formal dinner. Create deep-dish pizza with a springform pan. Form the crust up against the sides of the pan and add your toppings, almost like creating a lasagna. After baking, the crust will hold in the toppings. All you have to do is remove the sides of the pan and serve. Just remember: deep dish pizzas require a layer of sauce on top of the cheese to prevent it from burning during the long baking time.