A springform pan is a type of cake pan with removable sides, designed specifically for baking delicate desserts like cheesecake that cannot be turned upside down when removing them from a pan, like plain cakes can be. These pans are great to work with, but the seals around the bottom of the pan aren’t usually that tight, which means that these pans tend to leak. Many people have problems with batter leaking out of their pans, and with water from water baths (particularly common with cheesecake-baking) leaking into their desserts. Usually, this problem is solved by wrapping a thick layer of aluminum foil around the base of the pan, but some manufacturers are now trying to develop a better pan that won’t leak at all.
An example of these next-generation springform pans are Kuhn Rikon’s new Leakproof Push Pans. These pans do not have the adjustable ring that your typical springform has. Instead, the bottom can simply be pushed up and out of the pan. The base is lined with a silicone ring that makes an airtight seal between the base of the pan and the sides, eliminating leaking and eliminating the need for additional rings of foil. An additional bonus is that, unlike with springform pans, the sides of the pans are very sturdy and unlikely to warp during cleaning or storage.
The pans are also nonstick and made of carbon steel, which should help products brown well as they bake. It might not be worth tossing all of your old springforms (unless they are warped, in which case they should be replaced), but these are well worth a look if you love to bake cheesecakes, quiches or other treats that are typically baked in springform pans and want a pan that makes the process a little easier.
raineyJuly 10, 2012
I can well remember the apprehension I had the first time I used a springform more than 40 years ago. But, having pushed past that, I don’t get the bad rap the pans get. Maybe eventually someone will come up with something better but, for now, all anyone has to do is buy a quality piece of equipment. It won’t leak. It won’t warp. What it will do is reliably remove from the sides of tall and perhaps fragile cakes and deep dish pies. And I have pans that have a variety of bottoms that create flat or molded surfaces or even create a ring-shaped cake.
I don’t bake my cheesecakes in a bain marie (I use a long slow bake and then a rest in a cooling oven with the door open) but if I did I might use a piece of aluminum around the outside for insurance. No big deal. Other than that, in 40+ years of baking I have NEVER had the contents leak out of a springform pan so I’m not planning to replace any of mine any time soon.