Pie pans vs Tart pans . What’s the difference?

Pie pans vs Tart pans.  What’s the difference?  Which one is better?  When do you need to use pie pans?  When do you need to use tart pans?  This article gives you details about each pan and what to use when.

Pies and tarts are desserts that are filled with sweetness and wrapped inside a crust. However, both of them are distinct in their own right.

You can call pies and tarts close cousins.

A pie is a savory or sweet dish with a filling and a crust.  Its crust is made using cold water, salt and flour.  Generally, a pie has a base and a top.

A tart is a savory or sweet dish that consists of a bottom crust and shallow sides.  Tart dough is made using butter, flour, sugar, and cold water.  Usually, there is no top crust.

They are similar to each other which causes confusion in choosing the right pan. If you are new to baking, you might not be aware that both have individual pans.

The main difference between pie pans and tart pans is the shape and depth of their sides. Tarts are baked in a pan that has a removable bottom while pies are served in the pan they are made in.

Let us discuss pie pans vs tart pans and give you a description about each one of them so that you’ll be able to differentiate between a pie pan and a tart pan easily.


Pie Pans

A pie pan is also known as a pie dish, pie tin, or pie plate. It has a round shape, shallow center, and sloping sides.

The pie plates measure around 9 or 9.5 inches and their depth may vary (1.2 to 2 inches).   Some pie plates are made using Pyrex glass, aluminum, fired clay, heavy black steel, or tin.


Pie lovers prefer pyrex pie plates because they give a more reliable result by evenly browning the crust.  The pie plates that are around 10 inches wide should not be used unless it specifically states in the recipe because the edges of the pies tend to over-bake while the center can remain uncooked.


Tart pans

Tart pans come in numerous sizes and shapes. Tarts pans typically have a removable bottom or a ring on the top of the baking pan.

A tart pan may be rectangular or round and its size may vary from four to twelve inches with a depth of ¾ to 2 inches.

Some cooks even prefer using tart rings for making tarts.  Tart rings are also known as flan rings.  It is a thin circle made up of metal that has a depth of ½ to 1 inch and different diameters. The tart rings or flan rings sit directly over the baking pan, and this makes the crust crisper.

These rings are perfect for sweet tarts that contain a lot of sugar inside their crust.

This is because the ring will brown the sweet crust during baking regardless of how it is made. The round-shaped tart pans are also known as quiche pans. One should take care while forming the tart dough inside the ring.


Pie pans vs Tart pans…Which is the better pan for you?


So which is the better pan for you?  Pie pans vs Tart pans?

The most general answer is to follow your recipe.

Pie pans really are for making pies as they are shallower and the sloped sides make removing the pie easier.  The fact that a pie usually has a top on it the filling doesn’t fall out when removed from the pan.

Tarts on the other hand are an open bake.  The filling is visible and generally part of the decoration.  Tarts can also be cold formed – that is, no baking.  By having a bottom that is removable makes serving much easier.

You can use pie pans in place of tart pans to make your tart, but you cannot make your pie in the tart pan.

So, if you have pie pans you’ll have a more versatile pan and it’ll come in handy if you don’t have tart pans.

If you ask which is better, we think pie pans are of better value as they are more versatile.