Bakes with Dragons – Handmade Pie Plate/Casserole/Serving Dish


I’m currently mired in the middle of making sculpture for some upcoming shows and commissions, but I wanted to pop in a pic of a piece I made several months ago.

This is a handbuilt, food-safe stoneware pie plate/casserole/serving dish with a pair of dragons on each handle.  Oven, dishwasher and microwave safe.  Perfect for a Game of  Thrones season finale party, a Smaug-y pot luck or just to make any occasion special.

You can find it on my Etsy shop.  It’s available in several colors, or ask me about a custom order!

Dragon Pie Plate/Casserole/Serveware by Zanda Panda

Dragon Pie Plate/Casserole/Serveware by Zanda Panda



Check out my Etsy shop for more handmade bakeware, serveware and cookie molds!


Make Any Day Valentine’s Day with Embossed Hearts on a Cherry Pie

Spicy Upside-Down Cherry Pie with Embossed Hearts

Why wait for Valentine’s Day?

Upside-Down Cherry Pie with Embossed Hearts for Valentine’s Day or Any Day

Any day’s a good day to tell someone they’re special, right?  So here’s an idea for just that.  I enjoyed making the Upside Down Apple Puppy Pie so much, that I had to make this one.  I used canned cherries, which were pretty bland, so I spiced them up a little with some balsamic vinegar and cinnamon.  If you’re the adventurous type, you could add a touch of finely ground cayenne to heat things up.  I used this tart dough recipe:

Tart Dough

2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup chilled butter, cut into small chunks
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

Thoroughly mix salt, sugar and flour. Cut chilled butter into flour mixture. Add ice water a tablespoon at a time. Roll into a ball and chill for 2 hours.

You’ll also need:

Kaleidoscope Heart Mold
Can of cherry pie filling
1-3 tsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
Cinnamon (optional)

I used the Kaleidoscope Heart Mold and baked the pie in it.  If you wanted the embossed look but wanted to use a special pan, you could always use it as a topper for your top crust only. Directions for that can be found on the Strawberry Butterfly Topper Pie post.


Divide your dough roughly in half.  Roll out a circle of dough large enough to fit in the mold (Gauge this by putting mold upside-down over dough, there should be extra dough all around).

Press dough into mold, being sure to press completely into the design.  Press up along sides.

(Optionally) Add balsamic vinegar, a teaspoon at a time, to taste and a dash of cinnamon and to one can of cherry pie filling.

Fill mold with cherry pie filling.

Roll top crust large enough to fit mold, place on top of filling and crimp edges of top and bottom crust together.

Crimp edges of top and bottom crust together

Crimp edges of top and bottom crust together

When crusts are sealed, cut small vents in top center of pie.

Upside-Down Kaleidoscope Heart Cherry Pie in Mold, Unbaked

Bake pie at 350 degrees F /180 degrees C / Gas mark 4  for about an hour.  Pie is done when filling begins to bubble out and crust has browned.

Upside-Down Kaleidoscope Heart Cherry Pie, Baked and ready to  flip.Upside-Down Kaleidoscope Heart Cherry Pie, Baked and ready to flip.

When pie has cooled, place serving plate over mold, invert plate and mold together and gently remove mold from pie.

Demolding-Flipping the Upside-Down Kaleidoscope Heart Cherry Pie

Demolding: Flipping the Upside-Down Kaleidoscope Heart Cherry Pie


For more ideas, visit “12 Ways to use your Kaleidoscope Heart Mold” on the ZANDA PANDA website.

Upside-Down Pie

Deep Dish Apple Pie – Pretty Please with a Puppy on Top

Deep Dish Apple Pie with a Puppy on top!

Deep Dish Upside Down Apple Pie with a Puppy on Top!

Nick and I had a craving for apple pie.  I really wanted to use the Puppy Mold and he really wanted to use the Peeler/Corer/Slicer Contraption because it was much more fun than cutting apples into chunks (see below).

We decided to make a deep dish upside down pie.  You also could make just a Puppy ‘Topper’ for your pie and use a standard pie pan, as with the Butterfly Pie.

You can find the basic pie crust recipe on the ZP website.  We doubled the crust recipe and used about six or seven medium sized apples.

You’ll also need to mix up about 2/3 cup of flour with 2 or more teaspoons of  cinnamon and 1 to 2 cups of sugar (depending on how tart your apples are and how big your sweet tooth is).  You’ll use this to sprinkle on the apples.  You’ll also need a little butter to dot on the top before adding the top layer of dough.

Peeler/Corer/Slicer contraption, mounded apples, top layer of crust, baked pie, inverted Upside Down Puppy Pie

Peeler/Corer/Slicer Contraption, apples, top layer, baked pie, Upside Down Puppy Apple Pie

Dust your mold lightly with flour.  Once you’ve made your dough, roll out a circle and fit it into the Puppy Mold – or just press dough into mold in an even layer into the bottom and up the sides.  Be sure to press the dough completely into the Puppy design – you will probably need to add extra pieces of dough in the deeper areas of the design to keep the crust an even thickness.  If needed, moisten dough slightly with water to stick pieces together.  Dip your fingertips in flour before pressing the dough in and be sure that the bottom and side crust are not too thin.

If you’ve used the Heart Mold for pies, this might be a little bit fussier, as the Puppy Mold doesn’t have a flat bottom.  You will get a little ‘bounceback’, but it’s not hard to do at all.

Once you have a shell of dough covering the interior of the mold, sprinkle a little of the flour/sugar/cinnamon mixture on the bottom, then sprinkle more between layers of apple until you have a slightly mounded top (see images above).

Dot the apples with little cubes of butter, then roll out the top layer of dough (which will become the bottom crust of your upside down pie), place on top, crimp the edges and cut several small vents in the top layer.  Bake at 375 to 400°F (200 °C) for 50-70 minutes.  Tent with foil if top layer of crust browns too quickly.  Pie is done when filling begins to bubble out.

Allow to cool for at least 30 to 40 minutes.  Place serving plate over mold, flip plate and mold over together, then gently remove mold from pie.

Deep Dish Upside Down Apple Pie with a Puppy on Top

Deep Dish Upside Down Apple Pie with a Puppy on Top

Deep Dish Upside Down Apple Pie with a Puppy on Top

Deep Dish Upside Down Apple Pie with a Puppy on Top

I will try to show the Kaleidoscope Heart design soon, maybe as a spicy cherry pie – I think it has to be red filling even if it isn’t Valentine’s Day yet.  Hearts – like puppies – are welcome at any time of the year 🙂

Strawberry Butterfly Pie

Strawberry Pie with Embossed Kaleidoscope Butterfly Crust

Strawberry Pie with Embossed Kaleidoscope Butterfly Crust

Summer isn’t summer without berry pies.  Lots of berry pies!  Here’s a twist on a traditional favorite.  Visit the Strawberry Butterfly Pie page on the Zanda Panda website for a demo and recipe!

Butterfly Brunch

How to make a Butterfly-Themed Garden Party/Tea Party


Butterfly-Themed Spring/Summer Tea Party!

Butterfly-Themed Garden/ Tea Party!

Yes, I had to wait patiently for the apple tree to bloom for this shot – and for a sunny day!

Jump over to the Zanda Panda website to see how to make all the goodies pictured above, such as butterfly cake and cupcake toppers, embossed tea sandwiches, Kaleidoscope Heart and Butterfly mini sandwich cookies and port wine cheese butterflies on crackers!

I didn’t have room to show the iced tea with little butterfly ice cubes (just freeze colorful fruit juices in the Butterfly mold, then add to iced tea). Beautiful stoneware pottery courtesy of the very talented Ria Lira Levine.


Easy, fun ideas for spring or summer entertaining – and a really tasteful way to tell Mom how much you love her this Mother’s Day!

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