How to Make Decorative Pie Crusts




Ruffle Edge


Used for a single- or double-crust pie. Trim pastry 1/2-in. beyond edge of pie plate (1 in. for a double-crust pie). Turn the overhanging pastry under to form the rolled edge. Position your thumb and index finger about 1 in. apart on the edge of the crust, pointing out. Position the index finger on your other hand between the two fingers and gently push the pastry toward the center in an upward direction. Continue around the edge.


Rope Edge


Used for a single- or double-crust pie. Trim pastry 1/2 in. beyond edge of pie plate (1 in. for a double-crust pie). Turn the overhanging pastry under to form the rolled edge. Make a fist with one hand and press you thumb at an angle into the pastry. Pinch some of the pastry between your thumb and index finger. Repeat at about 1/2-in. intervals around the crust. For a looser-looking rope, position your thumb at a wider angle and repeat at 1-in. intervals.


Leaf Trim


Used for a single-crust pie. Make enough pastry for a double crust. Line a 9-in. pie plate with the bottom pastry and trim pastry even with edge of pie plate. Roll out remaining pastry to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut out leaf shapes, using 1-in.- to 1-1/2-in. cookie cutters. With a sharp knife, score pastry to create leaf veins. Brush bottom of each leaf with water. Place one or two layers of leaves around the edge of crust; press lightly to secure. Cover with foil to protect edges from overbrowning. You can also use this technique with other cookie cutter designs such as hearts and apples. Vary them to suit the occasion or season you are celebrating.


Cut Scalloped Edge


Use for a single-crust pie. Line a 9-in. pie plate with the bottom pastry and trim pastry even with edge of pie plate. Hold a teaspoon or tablespoon upside down and roll the tip of the spoon around the edge of the pastry, cutting it. Remove and discard the cut pieces to create a scalloped look.


Braided Edge


Use for a single-crust pie. Make enough pastry for a double crust. Line a 9-in. pie plate with the bottom pastry and trim pastry even with edge of pie plate. Roll remaining pastry into a 10-in. x 8-in. rectangle. With a sharp knife, cut twelve 1/4-in.-wide strips; gently braid three strips. Brush edge of crust with water; place braid on edge and press lightly to secure. Repeat with remaining strips, attaching additional braids until entire edge is covered. Cover with foil to protect edges from overbrowning.






Special Touches for Pie Crust Toppings


Simple embellishments can make your crusts even more beautiful. If a crust is to be topped with sugar, gently brush the crust with water before sprinkling the sugar. (Try these on lattice crusts, too!)




Coarse sanding sugar


Basic egg wash

(egg yolk lightly beaten with
1 teaspoon of water)


Plain egg wash

(egg white lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon of water)


Granulated sugar


Heavy cream


Plain water


Turbanido sugar


Fine sanding sugar




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