When it comes to the holidays, few desserts are as jaw-dropping (and delicious!) as a fresh-from-the-oven pie. And while a flaky crust and well-balanced filling ensure your pie will taste its best, there are a few techniques that can help your creation look its best, too. One of my personal favorites? Cookie cutter cutouts.
Why use this decorating technique?
Well, for starters it’s super easy. If you’ve ever tried to weave the perfect lattice, you know how frustrating it can be to decorate a pie. But this technique relies on basic tools you likely already have in your pantry. Plus, it’s a great way to use up every single scrap of dough.
What supplies do I need?
In addition to prepared double-crust pie pastry and filling, you’ll need a pie plate, a cookie sheet and a set of cookie cutters. If you’re feeling fancy, there are cutout tools designed specifically for pastry. These pie stamps are available in a variety of themed shapes and sizes on Amazon or at a baking supply store. The main benefit of these tools is that they imprint a detailed design on the pastry in addition to stamping out the shape.
How to Decorate a Pie with Cookie Cutters
This technique is shown on our Autumn Harvest Pumpkin Pie, which comes to us from Stan Strom of Gilbert, Arizona. Feel free to follow along or swap in your favorite recipe!
Step 1: Arrange pastry
Get started by placing your prepared pasty in the pie plate. Trim the edges so that they’re 1/2 an inch beyond the edge of the plate. Your cutouts will need some surface area to stick to!
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Step 2: Cutout shapes
Roll the second bit of pie pastry into an 1/8-inch thick circle. Dip your pie stamps or cookie cutters into some extra flour, then begin stamping out shapes. Continue cutting (re-rolling the dough as necessary) until all of the pastry has been used up.
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Step 3: Place around the edges
For a decorative edge, arrange shapes around the edge of the prepared pie crust, overlapping slightly. Press down firmly but gently, and brush each shape with a little water if you’re having trouble getting them to stick. When you’re finished with the edge, fill the pie crust with your prepared filling and bake as usual.
Editor’s Tip: For this step, you can use the same shape the entire way around. Or, switch it up and use different variations of the same shape. Different leaves, for example, can look very beautiful.
Step 4: Bake the extras
Bake the leftover cutouts on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Editor’s Tip: For a little extra shine, brush each cutout with melted butter and sprinkle on some cinnamon sugar before baking.
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Step 5: Final touches
When your pie has come out of the oven and cooled, arrange the baked cutouts on top. Then, get ready for the ooh’s and aah’s from your impressed guests when you bring this showstopper to the table!
More Design Ideas
Try these other fun recipes that use cookie cutters on the crust.