Baking Out Of The Box: Decorative Pie Crusts

One of the best parts about baking a homemade pie is making it look just as beautiful as it is tasty. But sometimes traditional pie crusts makes that job difficult. After all, it’s easy to get used to making your pie crust the same way every time. But in reality, there are just as many ways to decorate a pie as there are ingredients to fill it with. Try going above and beyond the typical crimped crust and instead opt for clever cutouts, elegant latticework and stenciled designs for a pie you’ll be proud to show off. An online pastry program can provide you with the skills and know-how you need to perfect any type of decorative crust. Here are a few to try right at home:

Diamond crusted
For this crust alternative, you don’t even need a cookie cutter or a stencil. Top your pie with layered diamond-shaped crust using a ruler and a sharp knife. Create equal sized diamonds and layer them on top of one another until you fill the entire surface of the pie.

Braided edges
Decorate the edges of your crust by braiding the dough before you put it into the oven. Cut 12-inch long and 1/4-inch thick strips of dough, braiding them together. When you’ve finished, simply brush the edge of the crust or the bottom of the braids with water.

Cutout shapes
Take all of your cookie cutters out of storage and pick your favorite design to use on your pie. Simply push the cutter of your choice into the dough and then attach the cutouts shapes to the pie using water to make them stick. For autumn, use large maple leaf cutters, and for winter, try using snowflakes or trees.

Decorative holes
Instead of putting shapes on top of your pie crust, you can cut out parts of the crust to create a design instead. Use a mini-heart cutter to create beautiful vent holes in your pie. Then you can use the shapes that you cut out to place on the rim of your pie crust.

For a unique honeycomb pattern, you can use a round aspic cutter to slice perfectly sized holes all over the top of the crust. Simply fold the remaining crust of your pie over the top, and seal with your fingers.

Letter press
Stationery isn’t the only material you can press letters onto. For a lyrical pie topped with anything from “happy birthday” to “once upon a time,” use stencils to gently press whatever letters you would like into the top of your pastry.

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