Why You Should Never Use Metal To Bake Acidic Desserts

Do you find yourself instinctively grabbing for that family heirloom glass baking dish when you decide to whip up a peach cobbler? That may seem like a simple habit that got its start back when you were a kid, but the truth is, there's science behind it.

When baking deserts, the slightest variation, says CookingLight, can throw off the chemistry. Even the most disciplined bakers among us, meticulous as we are to measure and sift with care, can feel like going rogue when it comes to the seemingly inconsequential parts of the recipe. But, are our sugary treats really that fussy? In short — yes.

Things like adjusting the time and temperature according to pan size are common knowledge. However, according to Food Network, it also matters whether you use glass or metal, depending on the dessert. Metal pans are fine for cakes and cookies, but when it comes to your peach cobbler — or any desserts where the fruit is a star of the show — go glass. Not only will It improve the taste and the texture of your dessert, but it can also affect your pan, and the reasons why may be more serious than you think.

Why you should be baking with glass

When it comes to desserts with fruits that are poured directly into the pan, like this healthy take on a pear and blackberry crumble dessert, the acidity of the fruit can react with the metal — badly. Leaf reported that certain metals react to acidic fruits in a way that then leeches into your dessert, something that will not be a problem with your family heirloom glass baking dish.

Moreover, baking fruit cobblers, crumbles, and crisps in metal pans can make them warp, says The Manual, not to mention leave your fruity dessert tinged with a slightly metallic taste. Metal heats up fast and spreads that heat evenly across the pan — which is great for browning the bottoms of cookies — but that fast conductor of heat is a problem when it's scorching acidic fruit.

Sure, glass is heavy. It is also a slower heat conductor than metal and can be a hassle, says Food Network, but one pro that outweighs that con is the way glass stays warm long after you take it out of the oven. A bubbling cobbler, set down on your table for your guests to ooh and aah over, will be kept toasty warm in that glass dish as you pass around plates for your dessert.