Creatively decorating the edge of a pie or using pastry cut-outs on the top of the pie are really very easy and can make your pie a blue ribbon winner! No matter whether you make a two-crust apple pie or a single-crust pumpkin or lemon meringue pie, you can use your imagination for creating decorative pie crusts once you master some of the basic techniques. Remember to use the basic butter Pie Crust recipe.
Here are some easy ways to decorate the edge of a pie.
Fluted or Ruffled Edge
No special tools are needed.
1. Trim crust so it hangs over the edge of the pan approximately 1 inch. Fold the edge of the pie crust under and pinch the edge to make the crust edge even and so it stands up.
2. With the thumb and index finger of one hand, pinch the edge of the crust. Press down between the two fingers with the index finger of the other hand.
3. Repeat this process around the edge of the pie at about ½-inch intervals.
(This looks similar to the fluted edge but I think it is easier. This is the decorative pie crust edge I usually make.)
1. Trim pie crust so about ½ inch hangs over the edge of the pie pan when you make a single-crust pie. If you make a double-crust pie, consider letting about 1 inch of pie crust hang over.
2. Fold the edge of the pie crust under and pinch the edge to make it even and so it stands up.
3. Make a fist with one hand. Working from the top and the outside of the pie crust press your thumb at an angle into the pie crust edge. I push the crust down slightly on the pan edge.
4. Repeat this action at about ½-inch intervals all the way around the edge of the pie.
(Only a simple tableware fork is needed. This is the easiest technique to use for a decorative pie crust edge. It works best for a single-crust pie.)
1. Trim the pie crust so it is even with the edge of the pie pan.
2. Using the tines of a lightly floured fork, press the edge of the crust to the edge of the pie pan.
Note: A variation of this technique is to press a lightly floured fork into the pie crust, but at 1 inch intervals all the way around the crust.
(Use small cookie cutters to cut out pastry to decorate the edge of the pie, such as leaves, hearts or apples. This technique is best for a single-crust pie.)
1. Prepare a double-crust pie crust recipe. Roll out the first crust and place it into the pie pan. Trim the crust so it is even with the edge of the pie pan.
2. Roll out the remaining dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out shapes, using 1-inch to 1 ½-inch cookie cutters.
3. An extra decorative touch is to cut veins in the leaves. Draw lines with a paring knife on the leaf cut-outs. Be careful to not cut through the dough.
4. Brush the edge of the first pie crust lightly with water. Lay the leaves, overlapping slightly, onto the crust edge and press down gently.
5. Cover the pie crust edges with foil or a pie shield so the edges don’t over-brown.
Perfect a creative technique for decorative pie crust. It will be your special touch and with practice it will be as easy as pie!