We are taking on decorative pie crust ideas today. Yes, you heard that right. We will be giving the basic pie crust a facelift.
I will be sharing some fancy crust ideas, from making a classic lattice top and stylish braids to cutting out fun shapes. I will also be sharing some tools to help you achieve the prettiest pastry crust decoration.
Making a fancy pie crust might seem a little intimidating for most people. Still, today we will overcome that thought process because embellishing your favorite pie is pretty easy than you think. I am going to be sharing some decorative pie crust tips with you; more about that below.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, stressing about dessert shouldn't be on your radar. You want to spend less time baking and decorating that pie, don't you? You want your guest asking what bakery you got dessert from, right? Me, too. So, let's play around and fancify that basic, tired-looking pie crust. After all, you eat with your eye first. Am I right?
First of all, let's start with making the pie pastry. It's effortless to make your favorite pie if you know how to whip up a good pie crust for any filling. Seriously, you can't have a soggy, half-dunked pie with a fancy-looking edge or top.
I learned from my dad a long time ago that the key to having a great pie is its delicate flakiness.
It's crucial to chill the dough in the refrigerator for up to 30 minutes before rolling it, as it makes the dough easy and flexible to handle. Cooling the dough helps retain more moisture, allowing the butter and shortening to firm up, preventing shrinkage while the pie bakes.
*See the recipe card below to make the perfect pie crust*
Now that we've gotten the crust out of the way, let's talk decorative edges.
The key to making the ultimate edges for pies or tarts lies in your imagination. You'd be surprised at the endless possibilities you can create using basic tools around the house.
For instance, I use mini cookie/vegetable cutters, Pie pastry cutters, stencils, tire of a play truck, corkscrew, building blocks, bottle caps, pencils, scissors, icing nozzles, utensils; the list is endless. It's never a bad idea to look around the house for inspiration.
* This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that if you care to purchase any of the products with the links listed, I make a small commission. It does not change the price in any way. Thanks for the continuous support.*
Here are some creative ways to adorn your pie using decorative pie crust ideas
Crisscross scalloped Lattice top with leafy edge
- To make a criss-cross lattice top, double the crust the pie calls for, making sure there is enough crust to cover the top.
- Roll out the pastry for the top crust on a lightly floured surface of about ¼ inch. Create a flat shape, depending on the structure of the pan.
- Using a pastry cutter (Like this easy to use and affordable one here), roll over the dough, and cut as many strips as you’d need. Save extra crust for the leafy edge.
- Place half of the strips over the filling crosswise or slantwise (see picture), about ¼ inch apart or smaller. Weave every other strip over and under the first strip until the top is fully covered. Clip the hanging pieces evenly.
- Using a leafy pie crust cutter or cookie cutter, cut out shapes from the remaining dough. Press firmly to cut the edges, then push the spring to release the shapes etched with intricate detail.
- Layer the shapes atop the pie. Brush the bottom of the shapes with egg wash, water or milk to enable it to stick to the lattice top. Brush the top of the pie with egg wash and bake as required.
I find the scalloped edge cutter easy to use because it cuts out even, perfectly shaped strips without measuring with a ruler.
**Space the strips as you desire. Lay the strips vertically, horizontally, or slanted. Let your creative juice flow.
- Roll out a rectangular shape pastry on a lightly floured surface about ⅛ of an inch thickness.
- Use a ruler to measure the strips, depending on how thin or thick you want the strips. Cut out each strips using a knife, pizza cutter or pastry cutter.
- Make a pile of three strands, pin the top and begin braiding.
- Take the middle strand over the outside stand, then take the right strand over the middle. Repeat step: Over the middle, under the outside. Pinch the strands at the end.
- Adhere the braids with egg wash atop the pie. Brush the top of the pie with egg wash and bake as required.
CUT OUT EDGES
The cutout edges are one of my favorite decorative pie crust idea. It's so simple yet stylish, and you get to play around with fun cutters.
To make the decorative pie crust cutouts, cut out different shapes to decorate the edges or top of the pie. Create shapes using cookie cutters or pie cutters. I love this one here because it creates an intricate detail with less effort. You can also use a cookie cutter use the blunt end of a knife to create charming details.
- Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface about ⅛ of an inch in thickness.
- Cut out shapes using a cookie cutter. Press firmly to cut the edges, then push the spring to release the shapes etched with elaborate detail.
- Brush the bottom of the shapes with egg wash, water, or milk to adhere to the edge/top of the pie. Brush the top with egg wash and bake as required.
This decorative pie crust edge is another good one. The best part is the way it looks once you've finished baking.
- To make twisted roll edges, divide the dough into different equal-sized balls, about an inch. Roll the dough back and forth between the palm of your hands or a flat work surface to form a rope. Roll the dough until you reach the desired length.
- Twist two ropes of dough around each other to create the twisted edge.
- Adhere each end with water.
- Place the twisted strands over the pie filling or edge of the pie.
FORK CRIMP EDGE
If you are a novice baker and are wondering how you decorate the top of a pie, this easy fork crimp edge pie crust idea is an excellent place to start.
- Use a flat pie dish surface for this step. Firmly press a fork prong (teeth) on the flat dough surface all the way around. Be careful not to poke through the dough.
- Fun tip: press down the fork prong vertically and horizontally, repeat the step all the way around.
- Leave an extra crust hanging on the side of the dish. With the pie filling in place, Use your thumb and index finger adjacent to each other at a slanted angle to crimp the edge of the crust all the way around.
Use a floured spoon to create an imprint around the edge of the pie crust.
- Press down the inverted tip of a spoon into the edge of the crust to create an imprint. Move the spoon directly below the first imprint and repeat the process. Continue all the way around the edge.
There are many more decorative pie crust ideas out there. I will be adding more to this list. Keep refreshing the page. There you have it. I hope you try one of these decorative ideas this holiday period.
**Top tip: If the pie requires over 30 minutes of cook time, carefully cover the pie edges with foil or a pie shield to avoid them from browning.
Are you looking for easy, delicious desserts to wow your guests at your next gathering? Try this classic tiramisu here. Don't forget to pin this recipe for later. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@worldlytreat), where we share a lot of behind the scene preps.
Do you make pie crust from scratch, or do you buy a pre-made sheet? Please share with us in the comments below.
To my lovely readers in the United States, have a safe and joyful thanksgiving. Don't count the calories; count the blessings- just for turkey day. Wobble gobble!!!
Peace & Love
HOMEMADE BUTTERY FLAKY PIE CRUST
- 2 ½ all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 6 tablespoons cold butter cubed
- ⅓ cup vegetable shortening
- 5 tablespoons ice water
- In a bowl or food processor, combine the flour, salt, and sugar until well incorporated. Add the cubed butter and shortening, pulse or mix with fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the food processor still running, add the ice water slowly through the feeding tube and pulse/mix until the dough begins to form. Divide the dough in half and form a disc on a floured surface, wrap in a cling film. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Roll out each dough on a lightly floured surface about ¼ inch, turn the dough as you roll to create an even circle. Roll out crust loosely around the rolling pin and place on pie pan or dish of choice. Spread out the crust towards you and release into the pan. Using your fingertips or fist, press the crust firmly to the sides and bottom of the pan. Trim the edges hanging out of the pan. At this point, you can make desired decorations with the pie crust (see post). The pie crust is ready to use. Follow directions on the recipe to use the crust.
- **PS: Carefully poke the bottom of the crust before baking. This recipe is for two 9” pie crust pastries.