How to Make Decorative Pie Crusts


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.



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.

Remember—the larger the spoon, the bigger the scallops.



Fluted Edge

Use for a single- or double-crust pie.

The pastry should be trimmed to 1/2 in. beyond the rim of the pie plate for a single-crust pie and 1 in. for a double-crust pie. This overhang is then turned under to form the built-up edge.

Position your index finger on the edge of the crust, pointing out. Place the thumb and index finger of your other hand on the outside edge and pinch dough around the index finger to form a V shape. Continue around the edge.



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.



Pastry Cutout

Use for a single- or double-crust pie.

To make cutouts, roll out dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut out with 1-in. to 1-1/2-in. cookie cutters of desired shape. With a sharp knife, score designs (if desired) on cutouts.

For a single-crust pie, bake cutouts on an ungreased baking sheet at 400° for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire rack to cool. Arrange over cooled filling on baked pie.

For a double-crust pie, brush bottom of each unbaked cutout with water and arrange over top crust of an unbaked pie. Press lightly to secure. Bake pie according to recipe.



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 your 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.




Special Touches for Pie Crust Toppings

Simple embellishments can make your crusts even more beautiful, as shown in the examples below. You can try these ideas on lattice crusts, too!

Note: If a crust is to be topped with sugar, gently brush the crust with water before sprinkling the sugar.


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