Why Pie Plates are my Favorite Kitchen Accessory
Ok...you guessed it...this is the humble pie plate (If you didn't get the hint from the title, you must need another shot of espresso this morning...) Anywho....not only is this a humble pie plate, but it is arguably my favorite dish in the kitchen. Now while I like a pie as much as the next girl, these pie plates are rarely holding pie. In fact, more often than not they are holding veggies, or leftovers or bread or some other fine job. Join me as I give you a glimpse into the magic life of a pie plate in Amy's house.
First things first...see that wonderful little ridge on the edge of a pie plate. It is fantastic because it stays JUST cool enough in the microwave (NOT IN THE OVEN...don't try to grab it out of the OVEN!) that you can quickly grab the plate without burning your hand. A glass bowl...not so much. I have 5 of these little pie plates (maybe more?) and there is always at least one in the dishwasher because I use them constantly.
Secondly, they are easier to store and easier to wash. My pie plates stack into a small little pile that is maybe 6 inches tall. They fit easily in a cabinet and they fit even more easily into the dishwasher. Ever try to fit 4 glass bowls into a dishwasher? They take up the whole top rack! Fitting 4 pie plates in? No biggie...they take up little more space than 4 dinner plates in the bottom rack.
Here are my favorite uses for a humble pie plate:
#1 Hands down the number 1 use for these pie plates in our home is frozen veggies. One pie plate fits a good bag of frozen veggies. Throw it in the microwave to add to the roast chicken or rice or whatever else we are having. Some days two bags of veggies are thrown in two different pie plate...we like to live on the wild side... The reason these are great for veggies is three fold...as mentioned before, I can grab them bare handed by the ridge and the wide surface area cooks veggies faster than a more vertical bowl. Thirdly, you can use two pie plates (one as a lid seen below) to steam veggies for faster microwave cooking. Make sure the "lid" is set to the side just a bit to allow steam to escape.
#2 Cobblers. As opposed to pie, cobblers are super NON labor intensive. I through a bag of frozen fruit in the pan (notice a trend here?), douse it with lemon juice and little sugar and mixy mix. Top it with a little mixture of either oats, butter and brown sugar or sugar cookie batter and you have an easy cobbler in 3 minutes...thank you pie plate! (Cook your cobbler until the fruit gets bubbly in the oven -- about 30 minutes and do NOT grab a pie plate out of a regular oven without an over mitt....I'm going to regret telling you these can come out of the microwave with bare hands aren't I? I feel like a bad bloggy mommy or something...leading y'all into danger...what a shame...)
#3 Leftovers. If I serve veggies in a pie plate then I just pile on the leftovers and have an easy meal for the kiddos lunch the next day. I typically will wrap the pie plate with plastic wrap, but you can also use a SECOND pie plate to cover your leftovers. This isn't super stable, so I wouldn't recommend leaving two plates upended like this in the back of the fridge for a long time, but it works really really well for something like deviled eggs where you need a cover for a short period of time so the dish doesn't dry out and you don't want wrapping to touch the top of the food.
#4 Last but not least, I love pie plates because they are the perfect size to stand in as lids. They fit perfectly on my stockpots, so whenever I make a big batch of soup, I just plop a pie plate on top right side up. It serves the same purpose as a lid flipped over on your pot except you haven't taken your lid out of commission until the soup is gone and you don't get the handle all dirty from dipping it in the soup. Set on top like this, you can stack other foods on the flat bottom of the pie plate as well for a super full fridge. Be careful though - make sure you remove the pie plate before warming up your soup...it will get too hot to lift bare handed.
So you want a pie plate? They are sold everywhere! Check out Walmart or Target for a strong glass plate...it doesn't need to be expensive, but it should feel strong. Pyrex and Anchor are both good, cheap brands. I wait until they go on sale (usually right about now after the holidays) and stock up. I actually waited until I saw a stack at Target for 75 % off and bought the whole stack. I am mean like that when I see a fabulous Target clearance deal...oh please act like you don't do the same thing!!
If you would rather save the time it takes to obsessively stroll the Target Clearance aisles, you can support this blog by buying it through the Amazon link below. Make sure you order enough stuff to get the free amazon shipping...it is always so sad to have $24 worth at amazon and having to pay that shipping just $1 away from FREE! Arg.
If that link sells out and goes generic, here is a pack of 6 for $20...another good deal!