Making Sense of Pie Pan Sizes
Can you identify the most common pie pan called for in recipes in the picture?
I had a chat recently with Kate McDermott, author of the highly celebrated and best-selling cookbook, “Art of the Pie,” about the bewildering variation in pie pans or pie plates. Kate said “Why don’t you write a blog about it?” So I did. And here it is.
What you see in the photo is all the 9 pie plates I own, accumulated over decades of baking. They range in size from 8 inches to 10 inches in diameter–that’s the measurement across the opening at the top of the pie plate. By far, the most commonly called for pie plate is the 9-inch size, preferably made of ovenproof glass (Pyrex© brand usually).
Can you spot it? It’s in the upper right corner, perched atop two other glass plates. It has a nice broad rim to support the edge of a fluted pie crust. The opening of this pan, however, is only 8 3/4 inches across its open top diameter and the height of the pan is 1 1/2 inches. The only pan in my collection with a true 9-inch opening is the one in the lower right of the photo, an aluminum pan made by Mirro©. It’s also 1 1/2 inches high.
In the bottom left sits a 9 1/2 inch deep-dish rimless pie plate and to its right is an actual 10-inch pie plate with a 10-inch opening. Resting on top of the rimless deep-dish pie plate is its sister, a 9 1/2 inch rimmed deep-dish plate. So which would you use if a recipe called for a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan? It’s a roll of the dice, and it shouldn’t be. You’ll have to base your choice on the quantity of the pie filling and if the recipe said to make a fluted edge. No rim to the pan, then no fluted edge. A high fluted edge can often compensate for an undersized pie plate.
My advice? For “regular” pies, use the 9-inch Pyrex© pan. I much prefer glass to metal because I can see the color of the crust while the pie bakes and adjust my baking time accordingly. Deep-dish pie plates are needed less often, but if a 9-inch one is specified, the pan size is 9 1/2 inches. Rimmed or rimless will depend on the recipe.
Why do I have a glass 10-inch pie plate? I bought it many years ago to bake a crème brûlée recipe that said to use an 11-inch pie plate! Go figure.
25 thoughts on “Making Sense of Pie Pan Sizes”
I have a hand-written recipe card that belonged to my husband’s grandmother. It makes 3 of the BEST pumpkin pies I’ve ever eaten. It calls for a large, 29-oz. can of pumpkin, 2 large cans of evaporated milk, plus 2 cups of whole milk, and calls for 2 9-in. regular pie plates, and one 10-in. regular pie plate. It’s the only recipe I use it for.
Thanks so much for sharing this with me.
What SIZE PAN do I use, to make HALF of a regular pie recipe? My Dad and my Mother-in-law, both love my coconut cream pie, but giving each senior citizen an ENTIRE 9” Pie is crazy. I’d like to make one FULL recipe, divide in HALF (in two appropriate sized tins or pans) and give each parental unit: HALF of pie. Thanks so very much!
If the recipe calls for a 9 inch pie pan then the area of the pie pan is 63.62 sq. inches multiplied by whatever the depth that is called for, usually 1 inch. So the volume would be 63.62 inches cubed. Divide that in half and you need two pie tins with a volume of 31.81 inches cubed. That means that if the pie tins are 1 inch deep you will need a pie tin that is 3.63 inches across.
DOING THE MATH CORRECTLY… PIE TINS WOULD HAVE A “RADIUS” OF 3.181″ TIMES 2 FOR “DIAMETER”= 6.363″, OR A 6″ PIE SHELL 1-1/8” DEEP.
I had this question, too, and found the answer: 6 inches
6*6/9*9 = 36/81 = .44 = slightly under half
You’ll have the right amount for both parents, plus a little extra. Perfect!
Thanks for this article. I’m trying to figure out which size of round cake pan I need to make a piecaken – a pie baked into the middle of a cake. If I were to drop a standard 9-inch pie into the a cake pan, I would want to make sure it fit nicely, but not so snugly that the edges of the pie crust need to be cut off. Tricky, tricky. I guess the safest thing to do is go to the store and physically hold the pans up together.
Haha, the thing about figuring out a half size pie… I used a recipe a while back that I didn’t notice was for two 32 cm (12 1/2 inch) pies. It took me a while to figure out how I ended up with FOUR 9 inch pies.
isnt there any spices it the pumpkin recepie?? as I want to make a good pumpkin pie, as I love pumpkin, please reply, the recepie above has no spices at all, is that right?
Oh Ms. Adams, I wish you would share the rest of that recipe! I have some pumpkin pie lovers in my family who are always up for trying another “best” pie!
Madame Quiche’s Quiche au Fromage calls for a 10-1/2” pie plate so I used my 10” and baked the extra filling in a ramekin. Pie plates are tricky business!
I had extra filling for a fudge pie, chocolate chess pie, that I put in a ramekin. I ended up with the best small hot chocolate soufflé ever.
How clever! How yummy! Thanks so much for letting me know.
No matter how many times you fail, you must face life and be full of hope
it would be really cool to cool to follow this with what size circle to cut for each size pan. I see a lot on the 9 inch and still searching for the smaller ones. Perhaps I should just find one in a local store and measure the base diameter the wall length and the lip distance.
Great idea. I bought 8- and 9-inch parchment circles from King Arthur, and they usually were just a tad too wide.
I just started making pies and began with a 9.5 inch opening Pyrex and fitted a smaller one (9 inch opening on top rather than using pie weights.) This meant that it was hard to get my crust to really spread over that widish lip on the 9.5 inch pyrex. Any solutions?
I’m not sure how to answer your question. Can you send pictures of your set-up?
It seems like it would be easy enough to increase the ingredients required for a graham cracker crust from a 9″ pie plate to a deep dish 10″ pie plate. I couldn’t find a recipe with the information so have tried several “eyeball” it trys, but I was left with too much crumb mixture or not enough. Do you have a recommendation of what to try? I usually just use graham cracker crumbs, butter, touch of cinnamon and sugar. I’m open to any idea. Thank you. CC
See if increasing amounts by 1/4 does the trick. Let me know!
My question is how large do you roll out the crust for a 9 inch pie (10 inch circle). If it’s a 10 inch pie (11 or 12 in circle)?
For a 9-inch pie plate I roll the pastry to a 12-inch circle. For a 10-inch pan, a 13- to 14-inch circle works.
Thanks so much for your great website and helpful information! I recently purchased a ceramic / stone wear 9” pie dish but it is deep dish (Emile Henry). I noticed last night that my recipe took longer to bake than my prior use of the Pyrex, clear 9”, just like yours. Is a longer baking time normal for deep dish ceramic? It was about 8-10 minute difference between the 2 pie dishes, using the same recipe. Thank you in advance! Gary
Yes, it’s normal for pies baked in those heavy ceramic dishes–as pretty as they are–to require more time in the oven.If baking a pie to serve at home, I always use my trusty Pyrex pan.
I want to use a ceramic piece because they are great looking. my problem is I am a novice and don’t know how to adjust cooking times or know when I should. I see plates in too many sizes and I am confused. will a pie plate with 10-11” dimensions be about 9” inside, and will that be considered a 9” pie plate even though it is actually bigger ? I wish I knew what I was doing ;-(
Try the pan you want to use and see if you’re happy with the pie you get. Happy Baking!