Want to make the next pie you bake really stand out? Then, go beyond the basics! Once you have the right pie plate and a tried-and-true pie crust recipe, you can gussy up any plain-looking pie with some simple decorating techniques. From braids and twists to cut-outs and layers, you can make your homemade pie the star on any dessert table.
Classic Pinch Pie Crust
Give your pie a picture-perfect finish with a classic pinch pie crust. Place your dough in a pie plate and fold the crust under until the top is resting on the rim of the pan. Then, using your fingers, pinch the dough around the rim, which will give you a lovely fluted edge.
Braided Pie Crust
If you’re making a single-crusted pie (like a pumpkin pie), you can add a little creativity to it with a braided edge! While this decorative design might look complicated, it’s an easy way to add your personal stamp to a homemade or store-bought pie.
To create this braided beauty, double your crust recipe. Using this extra dough, cut three ¼” (6 mm) wide strips with either a pastry or pizza cutter and braid the strips. Then, attach the braid to the rim of your pie shell with a beaten egg or water.
Leaf Pie Crust
Not sure how to decorate your pie? Use a small cookie cutter to form a chic decorative edge. We used a leaf cookie cutter for our fall pie, but you can use any cookie cutter you want as long as it’s 1–2” (2.5–5 cm) in size.
To make it, roll out some extra dough with a rolling pin and cut shapes out with your cutters. If they’re sticking, give them a quick dusting of flour. Then, brush the bottom of each piece of dough with a bit of water and press them onto the edge of your pie crust. Each piece will puff and brown as it cooks, leaving you with an impressive edge.
Scalloped Pie Crust
Whether you’re making a double-crusted fruit pie or a single-crusted custard pie, a scalloped edge adds the perfect finishing touch. After you put your pie shell in your pie plate, press the rounded tip of a spoon firmly into the edge of the crust. It will leave a definitive and decorative impression. Continue this process all the way around the pie crust for a sweeping scallop design.
Polka Dot Pie Crust
Show off the delicious filling inside of any double-crusted pie with this unique technique. Roll out your top pastry on a pastry mat and punch out tons of small circles with a round piping tip or small circle cookie cutter, leaving roughly 1–1½” (2.5–4 cm). After you place this pastry on top of your filled pie plate, seal the crusts and line the edge with the small cut-out circles using a beaten egg or water. Slightly overlap the circles to give it a nice staggering look.
Imprinted Pie Crust
If you really like the scalloped pie edge, you’re going to love the imprinted pie crust because it follows the same easy process. You can give your pie a more rustic look by pressing the tines of a fork or the whisk of a mini whipper around the edge of the pie crust.
Using this technique, you can also create a cute chevron design by slanting the lines or a pretty pattern by leaving a small gap between each fork-tine imprint.
Modern Checkerboard Pie Crust
Want to really knock the socks off your holiday guests without breaking a sweat? Add a checkerboard edge to your pie crust. To make it, press your dough into your pie plate and cut around the edge of the pie in ½” (1-cm) increments with kitchen shears. Then, after you pour in the filling, fold over alternating tabs to create a stunning checkerboard pattern.
X-Marked Pie Crust
You can achieve a nice crosshatching pattern on your pie with another easy imprinting technique. Just score small “X” shapes around the pie crust edge with a fork, knife, or cake tester. You’ll be left with some beautiful crosshatching, which will add a nice vintage vibe to your pie.
Whimsical Pinwheel Pie Crust
Give your homemade pie a fun, quirky twist by adding a whimsical pinwheel design to it. With nothing more than a rolling pin and a Mix ‘N Chop™, you can create an elegant look that also creates small vents so steam can escape and prevent your filling from bubbling over. To create an adorable pinwheel design, roll out your second layer of dough and press the Mix ‘N Chop™ into it. This will create little pinwheels in your dough. Make as many or as few pinwheels as you want!