When it comes to desserts, more specifically pastries, there are so many different utensils that you are going to have to purchase and invest in, even for one single dish. There are various kinds of bowls and cutters, as well as other containers and molds that you will have to use to achieve the shape you want when you are creating desserts that every one of your friends and family will love. With that being said, if you are someone who enjoys cooking desserts, this can mean that your kitchen can become cluttered quickly with all the different utensils that you will have to use.
Whether you have moved to a new temporary location, such as a hotel room, or you do not want to invest in even more pots and pans for your baking habits, there may come a time when you find that you want to make a particular baked good, but you do not have the pan that is “required” to achieve the shape it needs. Unless you are presenting the food in front of a judge, there’s a good chance that you will be able to get away with having a dessert that doesn’t have the perfect shape.
While it certainly matters how a dessert looks, even if you are avid about the appearance and presentation in your meals, there are some situations where you can afford to cut a little bit of slack in the area of making sure that everything comes out exactly the way it is supposed to. A good example of this is that, if you are planning on making tarts, they don’t necessarily all have to be perfectly circular.
One common complaint about tarts is that many people believe that they require a tart pan to be made. It is absolutely true that tarts will retain their classic appearance when you choose to use a tart pan to create that appearance on its own, but there are other ways that you can achieve the same style without necessarily needing to add to the pots and pans you already have in your kitchen.
No matter what your reason is for not having a tart pan, you shouldn’t get discouraged about the idea of making tarts. Instead, you can focus on all of the different substitutes there are for your brand new tarts.
Figuring Out the Size and Shape of the Tart
Of course, in baking, size matters tremendously. You cannot bake a tartlet in a 10” pie pan. It simply will not be feasible.
This means that before you go searching for your substitute to a tart pan, you are first going to need a good idea of what size tart you are making. Some tarts are quite large and can actually fare quite well if you choose to use a small pie pan as the base for it. Other tarts may do better in a muffin tin or something similar.
Another aspect that you will need to keep in mind is that, depending on what you choose to be the tart pan, you may realize that you are making tarts that are not necessarily the traditional tart shape. Whether or not this is a problem depends on why you are making the tarts, but it is something that you are going to need to factor into the equation when you are searching for a substitute.
With these factors in mind, you will be ready to tackle the idea of finding a tart pan replacement for your missing tart pan. There are more than a few different solutions that you can consider, with some of them being more applicable to specific variations of tarts, such as tartlets, than others.
Finding Out What Works
Now that you are beginning to search for what you need, you should consider what type of pan would have the most similarities to a tart pan. While the size might be completely different, springform pans and tart pans have one thing in common: the bottoms are removable. With this being a key feature in both tart pans and springform pans, this can make them good substitutes.
If you have a spare springform pan laying around, you can consider using that as a replacement for your tart pan. The one difference that you will have to keep in mind is exactly how high up the crust should go in relation to the springform pan. In most cases, you will want to keep the crust at about one inch in height in the springform pan. This might take some maneuvering to complete but it will be well worth it when you can have your tarts ready.
Pie plates may not have a removable bottom, but they can be used in a similar way to springform pans. On top of that, both pies and tarts are quite similar in appearance and style, and this similarity helps immensely when you are planning on using a pie pan to create your tarts. If you are concerned about your ability to remove the tart from the pie pan, you can usually fashion some parchment paper to act as a handle to lift the tart from the pan when it cools down.
Very similar to the pie pans, you can consider using a quiche pan for this same purpose. Quiche pans fit nicely into the space between pies and tarts, as they both rely on a crust at the bottom to give it a defining taste, but quiche pans often have fluted edges and a bottom that makes it easier to remove the tart from, just as you would remove a quiche from the pan.
Quiche pans tend to be a little bit deeper than your traditional tart pan but they are also slightly shorter in diameter. This means that you do not have to alter the recipe that you are working with, but you may want to increase the cooking time of your tart slightly to accommodate for the additional filling that you might need. It might take some practice to get exactly right, but quiche pans make quite the substitute for tart pans in a pinch.
Finally, if you are planning on making mini tartlets, one of the best options that you could consider if you do not have a tartlet pan (or a tart pan) are muffin pans. You will want to make sure that the muffin pan is made from a suitable material to go into the oven for as long as it will need to. You can also use the same parchment trick as you would with the pie pans with these miniature tartlets as well.