Looks beautiful, bakes evenly cooked pies, and goes directly from freezer to oven.
It’s opaque, so you can't see the bottom crust to judge its doneness, and because the dish is clay, there’s a potential for chipping. It's a little pricey, too.
This is a good pie dish that’s far prettier than metal or Pyrex; and if you lack fluting skills, it gives you the fancy look of a fluted edge with zero effort.
For some of us, pie was a special-occasion dessert Mom would cut up in the kitchen and serve already plated, with a scoop of ice cream. But these days a beautiful pie is like a table centerpiece, something you unveil at the end of dinner to get oohs and aahs from your guests. There are some great-looking pie dishes out there, but few have a more distinctive look than the fluted-edge clay ones from the 160-year-old French company Emile Henry. It's more than appearance: Clay is totally different to bake in than metal or glass because it heats slowly and evenly. We spent some time making pies in the Emile Henry 9-inch dish to see how it would work with some classic American recipes.
The Emile Henry 9-Inch Pie Dish is made in France of natural Burgundy clay. It comes in tons of appealing color options (ours is called Citron—we got it at Sur La Table), some with a white glaze on the interior, some without. Scalloped edges are the signature design feature; the same design is available both smaller (4 1/2 inches in diameter) and larger (11 inches). It can go directly from the freezer to the oven (up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit) or microwave, and you can toss it in the dishwasher when the pie’s gone. It comes with a 10-year warranty against factory flaws.
To test, we baked three pies with different fillings and tops: a double-crust apple pie, a peach pie with streusel, and a lattice cherry pie.
Results: All three pies baked up beautifully—bubbly and evenly browned, even on the bottom. That said, the thing that Pyrex does that a clay pan can’t is let you peek underneath to see what’s going on with the bottom crust, so you know when it’s done. And while Emile Henry says its clays and glazes are resistant to chipping, that’s always a risk—and nobody wants a chipped pie dish, especially one you dropped $40 on. Apart from the dish looking good, it's really easy to wash by hand because of the glaze, even with a messy, baked-on filling. Maybe the best thing is how forgiving this dish is if you don’t have a lot of pie experience: Since the rim is already fluted, the pressure’s off to make a perfect edge, something that might reduce your stress over the cost, too.
Photos by Chris Rochelle