Tarts have become a favorite among both bakers and diners, so imagine you are all set to make a mind-blowingly popular tart tatin, only your tart pan is nowhere to be found. Keep breathing because what follows is a variety of things you can use as a tart pan substitute.
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The Popularity of Baking
Baking has always been a part of the kitchen repertoire. During the last few years, however, with the popularity of numerous tv shows and YouTube channels, baking has become a treasured and popular family activity. Especially now that the colder months are encroaching, more people find comfort while wrapped in flour, sugar, the sweet smell of something baking, and the delight in creating something the family will enjoy. Baking a tart is no longer reserved for seasoned cooks. Yet, what can you use if you don’t have a tart pan? Luckily a tart pan substitute is probably already in your kitchen.
What is a Tart Pan?
An authentic tart pan is round and just an inch deep. They have fluted edges, which serve to make for a perfectly baked crust. Some tart pans are one piece, but most have two parts – a flat base that is removable and a fluted ring.
Tart Pan Substitute: Where to Start
You have a serious yen for a mouth-watering apple tart. You’ve assembled all the ingredients and are all set to begin, except …
Either you can’t find your trusted tart pan, or you never had one to begin with. Here are some options that are just as good.
If you have a quiche pan around, grab it and go, as it’s your best tart pan substitute, and here’s why: they are usually made of metal, have a removable bottom, and also have fluted edges. The differences are that the quiche pan has a smaller diameter and is somewhat deeper. Otherwise, they are basically the same pan.
A pie pan makes a simple and effective tart pan substitute. A pie pan is more likely to be standard kitchen equipment, and it is safe to use in the oven. However, a pie pan has straight, as opposed to fluted edges, which may make it more difficult to get the crust baked as perfectly as in a tart pan.
Pie pans also slope downward, which is a significant difference from a tart pan.
Another thing to consider is the material of the pie pan. If yours is made of ceramic or glass, you’ll need to add cooking time. Also, pie pans do not have removable bottoms, so your slicing techniques must be perfect so you don’t end up with a tart that has collapsed.
However, with some additional modifications, a pie pan can work well as the housing for your tart. Since the pie pan does not have the fluted edging, you can use your finger or some other kitchen tool to get the same effect. And, as a replacement for the drop out bottom, place parchment paper in the bottom of the pie pan, with the edges of the paper extending outward. This will enable you to remove the tart from the pan in lieu of a drop bottom.
Disposable Pie Pan
The joy of a disposable pan is that it’s a no muss, no fuss option. It’s low cost, easy to use, and since it tends to be shallower than a regular pie pan, it makes a good tart pan substitute.
Another potential tart pan substitute is the springform pan. The big advantage to the spring form pan is that it also has a drop out bottom, just like the tart pan, which makes it simple to remove from the pan and serve. The only issues with using a springform pan as a tart pan substitute are that it is significantly deeper and has smooth edges.
Since the springform pan has smooth edges, you can create the fluted edge effect with your fingers, or, for a fancier effect, you can use a kitchen tool, such as a fork, knife, or spoon, instead. Also, to deal with the difference in height when using the springform pan, use a ruler to measure the correct height and then cut off any excess crust that extends higher than you want.
Because of its removable bottom, the springform pan makes an ideal tart pan substitute.
A cake pan is the most likely baking item anyone will have in their kitchen, and it can work as a substitute tart pan. However, a cake pan doesn’t share any of the features of a tart pan. Specifically, it is a deeper pan, has straight edges, and no drop out bottom. But what it can do is hold and bake your crust!
No worries, here’s how to make a cake pan work. As in the springform pan, when you put in your crust, measure how high you want it and be sure it is even all the way around. And, for the fluted edges, once again, use your fingers or a kitchen tool to create the edge effect. You can also use parchment paper here to line the bottom and edges of the pan to make removing the tart in one piece easy.
A brownie pan can work in a similar way to a cake pan, though you will end up with a uniquely square tart.
You will definitely need to line the bottom and tall sides of a loaf pan with parchment. Yet, it can work.
Large Ring Mold
Now to get really creative, in a bind, you can cook your tart on a baking tray using a large-sized ring mold to support it. Do use parchment paper to line the baking sheet before you put the ring on it. To prevent the ring from sliding around, you can use a few pieces of tape to secure it. When you have done this, put your tart crust into the mold. Once again, you can manually add fluted edges with your fingers or a kitchen tool.
What could be more fun than serving each one of your guests their own mini tart? And these small treats are as fun to make as they are to eat.
You can use a cupcake pan or ramekins in the same way that you would a single mini tart pan. You may have to adjust your baking times, so keep a close eye on the tarts while they are baking.
Small Baking Tray
You could also use a small baking tray, sheet pan, deep dish pizza pan, or jelly roll pan. These are rectangular in shape, so your tart won’t have the traditional round shape, but if you use a parchment liner, you will be all set!
About the Tart Tatin
This classic French dessert is said to have originated as a kitchen mistake where its ingredients were assembled in an upside-down fashion. Its alleged birth was in a railway hotel in a small French town in the north-central part of the country. It was the Tatin sisters who, at the turn of the 20th century, first created this dish to a wildly enthusiastic reception. Since this was the first time anyone made a tart, chances are the sisters had to improvise by using a sort of tart pan substitute.
The Most Popular Tarts in the World
Now that you have your perfect tart pan substitute, you can consider pondering what type of tart to make. Tarts are enjoyed worldwide, and some of the popular ones include the following:
- Melkert: a sweet, creamy tart from South Africa
- Tart Normande: made of shortcrust pastry, apples, and sweet almond cream filling; from France
- Pastafrola: from Argentina, has a buttery, shortcrust pastry filled with quince cheese, dulce de leche, guava, sweet potato, and fruit preserves. These are known by their lattice-pattern top crust.
- Butter Tarts: these beauties are from Canada and are filled with a combination of walnuts, eggs, brown sugar, and butter and placed in small, shallow cups for baking and serving.
- Bakewell Tarts: these tarts are an English treat made with shortcrust pastry and fruit jam.
- Crostata: a sweet Italian delicacy, this tart contains cheese or cream combined with fruit, usually cherries, berries, apricots, or peaches.
- Pastiera: also from Italy, this tart has a delicate buttery crust and contains wheat berries, ricotta, and pastry cream with candied orange peel and orange blossom water for flavor.
- Pastel de nata: this is a traditional Portuguese egg custard tart that is enjoyed by many people in many countries throughout the world.
- Egg Tart: This delicious, flaky egg tart is a Chinese dessert that is a cross between the British egg custard and the Pastel de nata from Portugal.
- Pastel de Belem: Another sweet treat from Portugal, this tart is another egg custard tart and the predecessor to the Pastel de nata.
Tart Pan Substitute Video
Watch the excellent video below for a demonstration of how to use a cupcake pan as a tart pan substitute to make miniature egg tarts. Start at 4:07 to see how the dough fits in the pan.
If you don’t have a tart pan, don’t fret! We bet that you have precisely what you need for the perfect tart pan substitute for your cooking project.