This Tinfoil Hack Will Shrink Your Baking Dish

Unless you have an incredibly well-stocked kitchen that would make even Ina Garten jealous, there's a good chance you've come across a recipe that you don't quite have the right size pan or dish for. This may not make much of a difference when you're crafting something like a casserole, but for baked goods, pan size actually does matter — it can be the difference between perfect, moist brownies and brownies baked in a too-large dish that come out looking like flattened pancakes.

Luckily, Food52 has an incredibly simple hack that can help you get the exact size baking dish you need without having to go to the store to buy a whole new item for your kitchen. All you need for this hack is a rimmed sheet pan and a piece of tinfoil.

Simply fold a piece of tinfoil until you have a thin strip that is about equal in height to the sides of the pan. According to World of Pans, you'll want to fold the tinfoil at least three times so that it's strong enough to withstand the dough. Then, you simply use the existing sheet pan's edges for three sides of your tart, and place the tinfoil wherever you need to create the fourth side. With this easy hack, you can turn a regular old sheet pan into an elegant, narrow rectangular pan or a larger square-shaped pan.

A few more tips to consider

The trick is best used for tarts, as tart dough holds its shape rather well (and obviously, it'll only work for square or rectangular tarts, not round ones). You may not be able to recreate the gorgeous scalloped edges that some tart pans have, but you'll still create a showstopper. Best of all, you no longer have to restrict your recipe-searching to tarts that are the same size as the one tart pan you have. 

You'll also want to consider fridge space. As Bakealish writes, bakers will often chill their tart dough both before it's rolled out and after it's been positioned in the pan. That means even if you're making an incredibly narrow tart, you'll have to find room in your fridge for the full sheet pan so the tart dough can chill.

Also, while this tinfoil hack will work with many different types of batters and doughs, it's not 100% foolproof. As The Washington Post explains, some batters for light, spongy cakes need extra room to rise. So, you may want to fill your hacked baking dish only halfway (rather than ⅔ full) to ensure the batter won't simply spill over your tinfoil barrier and flood the rest of the sheet pan.