How to make decorative pie crusts

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A pie just isn't ready for the oven until you've finished off the crust with a beautiful edge or cut out design. Here's Lauren Chattman from Pillsbury to show you three ways to make decorative pie crusts.

How to make decorative pie crusts Herringbone Pie Crust Technique

  1. Start with two refrigerated pie crusts. Place one pie crust, which will contain the pie filling, into the glass pie pan.
  2. Roll the second pie crust out onto the top of the pie filling.
  3. Tuck both pie crust edges underneath all the way around the pie. This creates a thick edge.
  4. Take a fork and press the tongs into the edge of the pie crust on a diagonal angle. Moving around the entire pie, alternate the direction of the diagonal with each press. The alternating diagonal angles make "V" shapes around the edge of the pie, which creates the beautiful herringbone pattern.
  5. Using a paring knife, cut four to six thin slits into the very top of the pie crust. These will allow steam to escape as the pie bakes in the oven.
Tip: If your fork gets stuck in the crust, dip the fork into a little flour. The flour will prevent it from sticking.

Scalloped Pie Crust Technique

  1. Repeat steps 1 through 3 of the herringbone technique.
  2. Place your index finger and thumb on a section of the outside edge of the pie crust. With your index finger on the other hand press into that section from the inside of the pie crust.
  3. Continue all the way around the pie to complete this scalloping technique.
  4. Using a paring knife cut four to six thin slits into the very top of the pie crust.

Cut Out Pie Crust Technique

  1. Start with two refrigerated pie crusts. Place one pie crust, which will contain the pie filling, into the glass pie pan.
  2. Place the other sheet of refrigerated pie crust on a cutting board or counter top. Using a small pastry cutter, cut out little circles in a random pattern. Place the cutouts to the side and reserve. Remember that when the pie filling is juicier it is better to cut out more circles to allow for better ventilation.
  3. Place the cut-out pie crust on top of your pie filling.
  4. Tuck under the edges of the pie crust all the way around.
  5. Take the cutouts and place them anywhere you like on top of the pie. These will bond to the top of the crust during baking.
  6. You can now scallop the edge of the pie all the way around.

Before you put any of the pies into the oven, place a pie shield (aluminum foil strips work as well) on top of the edges of the pie crust. It will protect the edge from burning while the rest of the pie bakes. Remember to remove the shield, however, 15 minutes before the recommended baking time is up to allow the edges to brown.
meet theexpert
  • Lauren Chattman

    Lauren Chattman Cookbook Author and Pastry Chef Lauren Chattman is a former pastry chef, a cookbook author, and an ardent home baker. She has made a career out of translating upscale food trends into easy recipes that can be made at home, realistically and without stress. more about this expert »

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