Baking pies on Pizza Stones

Discussion in 'Professional Pastry Chefs' started by alexia, May 21, 2002.

  1. alexia

    alexia

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    I have lately taken to baking all my pies on a pizza stone on the floor of the oven (sometimes moving it higher, depending on the pie/tart). At first I did it only for "rustic" style pies, then decided it might benefit the bottom crust of other pies and tarts. And I think it does.

    Also, I generally preheat for about 40-50 minutes at 25-50 degrees hotter than the recipe calls for, turning it down to the recipe temp when I put the tart into the oven. I think this compensates for the heat loss from the open door and it seems to gives the bottom crust a little extra push. At least since doing this, my bottom crusts turn out much flakier and more tender.

    Also, I generally refrigerate my formed pies before baking so that they are cold when they go in.

    Here are some issues I'd like to raise for your thoughts on this technique:

    1. Generally I keep a piece of foil or parchment between the pie and the stone. I don't notice any problems doing this, after all, if I did these more conventionally on a sheet pan, they'd have even less direct heat. This way I don't get butter soaked into the stone.

    2. But, when I make a fruit tart or pie that I think may overflow or a custard that I think may spill when I'm moving it, I put it on a sheet pan before putting it on the stone. But I wonder if doing this doesn't act as an insulator.

    3. I have avoided putting any glass pie plates directly on the stone for fear of shocking the pyrex into breaking. Anyone have any experience with this? It's been okay when I have it on a sheet pan before putting it on the stone.

    4. I use a gas oven, but will soon be also using an electric. Any tips on how to use a stone when there's an exposed heat coil on the bottom? Assuming that it is to be put on the bottom shelf above the coil, can it also be left in the stove all the time? Does anyone do this?

    5. Does anyone put anything other than pastries, pizza directly on the stone?

    6. Am I right in assuming that one should not put a silpat directly on a stone?
     
  2. jill reichow

    jill reichow

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    Alexia, I can't begin to answer all your questions, but I have a large baking stone. I leave it in the oven all the time on the bottom shelf. It doesn't affect it at all being in the oven. I have, even though they say not to, left it in during the self clean cycle of the oven. The first time was by accident...after that I just like the way it cleaned my stone.

    I have a friend that bakes all her french fries on the stone and swears that they come out crispy like oil fried fries. I make a a rustic bread that comes out very nice off the stone......

    I have put pyrex on the stone with no problems. It wasn't cold out of the fridge, however......
     
  3. alexia

    alexia

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    Jill, thanks for the info - especially about the pyrex which I avoided using directly on the stone.