How Do I Choose the Best Torte Pan?

Anna B. Smith
Anna B. Smith
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Woman holding a book

Choosing a torte pan depends on the personal preferences of the baker, which may include the type of non-stick material, how easily it is cleaned, how evenly the material cooks the torte, its price and aesthetic value. Most bakers will agree that the best torte pan is one that has been made from porcelain. Other torte pans available on the market are frequently made from composite non-stick metals or tinned steel. Porcelain dishes are easily to clean, naturally non-stick, and cook food evenly without burning it. They may be used to bake a variety of other desserts and main dishes other than tortes and tarts. These dishes are typically hand painted, and can be displayed when not in use.

A torte pan may also be known as a tart pan, a pie dish, or a quiche baking dish. It is typically between eight and nine inches (20.32 to 20.86 centimeters) in diameter, and surrounded by a low rising rim that is no taller than one to two inches (2.54 to 5.08 centimeters). This rim is fluted, creating the signature look of undulating waves frequently associated with the crusts of tortes and quiches.

As its name suggests, this type of dish is designed to expertly bake tarts, tortes, and quiches. These dishes are shallow and wide, requiring that all food bake evenly across the surface and through the center of the food. This type of even and penetrating heat distribution can be difficult to achieve, leaving baked goods flat, sunken, or undercooked if prepared in the wrong type of pan.

Most types of torte pan are made from composite non-stick metals, tinned steel, or porcelain. Both non-stick metals and tinned steel pans provide the added benefit of a removable bottom. Not all metal torte pans include this feature. The removable bottom spans the whole surface of the bottom of the dish, and slides easily away from the fluted rim. This provides support for the delicate center of the baked dish, and allows it to be transported easily to a serving platter.

The exterior metals, from which the pan has been shaped, are designed to distribute heat evenly across the bottom of the dish and up through the center. Tinned steel tends to conduct this heat more efficiently than composite materials, though it scratches easily and can sometimes cause foods to stick to the interior if it is not cared for properly during cleaning. If cared for properly using only wooden or plastic utensils and hand washed immediately after use, tinned steel is the better torte pan when compared with composite metals, and is the material used by professional pastry chefs around the world. This type of material is not suitable for use when baking other dishes, however, and usually produces the best baked product when used for pastry type shells.

A porcelain torte pan, however, though it does not possess a removable bottom, is often a better choice, when available, than tinned steel. This cost of this type of material is often two to three times that of its metallic counterparts. The dish is heavier and can break if dropped. Its glazed surface, however, makes it resistant to scratching and easy to clean. Porcelain torte pans are beautiful and can be used in home displays because they are typically decorated with a hand painted china pattern, and many are rimmed in gold or silver.

The fired ceramic has the ability to conduct heat evenly across all areas of the baking food. Crusts do not burn easily when cooked in this type of dish, and food slides away evenly from all sides without the use of greasing agents. The center of each prepared dish cooks evenly through to the center without burning, cracking, or sinking. The versatility of this material also allows the dish to double as a pie plate for traditional pie crusts and fillings, and it is not limited exclusively to the production of puff pastries, quiches, or tarts.

Discussion Comments


@heavanet- I have made tortes with all types of pans, including non-stick torte pans. I can tell you that the non-stick varieties do work very well, but some people are concerned about the safety of the non-stick coating.

I don't think that you need to switch to non-stick torte pans. I think that by greasing your other torte pans before using them, you should not have any trouble with your tortes sticking.


I was wondering if anyone has experience using non-stick torte pans. I like to make tortes and have several different types of pans, none of which are the non-stick kind. My tortes frequenting stick to the bottom of the pans, which makes baking them very frustrating. Do the non-stick pans really work?

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