We don’t always think of pies as “pretty” or “fancy,” but with just a little extra TLC, they can be! By adding some simple decorative touches to the crust, you can transform your pie to an Instagram-worthy treat.
Here are 10 incredibly easy ideas for jazzing up your pie crust edges.
Before you run, you’ve got to learn how to walk. Fluting is one of the most basic methods for prettying up a pie crust, but it’s important to learn to do it well.
To flute a pie crust, hold one hand on the outside of the crust edge, with your thumb and index finger almost touching. Hold your index finger on the other hand on the inside of the crust. Press your inside index finger into the crust, and “catch” it with your thumb and index finger on the outside. Repeat this little movement all around the perimeter of the crust.
Align your fingers on a diagonal to create a rope-like finish (pictured above) to the edges of the pie. You can also create this finish by pressing a finger at a diagonal into the dough to make indents along the edge of the crust.
Rounded versus angular fluted crust
Depending on how tightly you hold the fingers together on the exterior of the crust, you can create a more angular or a more rounded shape with your fluting. Experiment with your hand position to see what you like.
2. Spoon scallops
This method is incredibly easy and it results in a seriously fancy pie. To create this elegant scalloped edge, gently press a spoon (facing down) along the edge of the pie dough edges in regular intervals. Add a second inner row of scallops for a pretty finish!
3. Pie crust cutouts
Cookie or fondant cutter are your friends in making striking finished pies. Simply cut out a series of shapes and lay them on the edges of your pie crust before baking, either side by side or layered a bit, as pictured above. Keep an eye on the crust while baking: You may have to tent the edges with foil to keep the cutouts from browning too rapidly.
4. Fork chevrons
Using the tines of a fork to indent the edges of pie crust is nothing new. But by aligning the fork at an angle, you can create a brand new (and trendy!) look.
To create this chevron-edge pie crust, simply align the tines of a fork at an angle and press. Then align the tines in the opposite diagonal direction and press again. Repeat, alternating the direction of the tines, until you’ve indented the entire perimeter of the pie crust.
5. Braided edge
A braided edge will get an “OMG” reaction — and your fans don’t need to know how easy it is to make.
For the easiest version, cut out two long strips of pie dough and alternately overlap each strip to form a braid. You can make your braids more involved by incorporating more dough strips. Since the circumference of a 9″ pie is about 28″, it may be easiest to work with two separate 14″ or 15″ braids, joining them before placing them on the pie.
6. Twirled edge
Start by cutting out two long strips of dough. Then stacking them on top of one another (this adds more stability so it won’t wilt during baking). Finally, twirl the dough strip as you wrap it around the perimeter of your pie for a pretty twirled edge.
7. Free-form decoration
If your leftover pie dough amounts to odds and ends, simply cut them into little strips and arrange them into squiggles along the edges of your pie. It’s easy, creative and always results in a one-of-a-kind pie!
8. Dough beads
For an easy, preppy finish, roll leftover pie dough into tiny balls, and use the beads to line the edges of the pie. For best results, slightly moisten the pie dough edges and the bottoms of the tiny balls with water or an egg wash to help them stick and stay put during baking.
You can also experiment with different shapes, such as little spirals or other easy-to-mold shapes.
9. Dough stripes
To create a simple-but-striking pattern on your pie crust, reserve a small amount of pie dough, roll it out and cut it into strips, and then cut each strip into small (about 2″) lengths. Place them at regular intervals around the crust, and then press the edges under the outside of the crust to hide them (since you’ll be filling the pie, no need to worry too much about the inner edges).
10. Sprinkle edges
Add a little magic and delight to your next pie with sprinkles on edges! Use water or an egg wash to moisten the dough, and then carefully line the edges with sprinkles.
Because the sprinkles can melt during extended baking times, this edge tends to work best with pie shells that are blind baked before being filled, since the bake time tends to be more brief. Fill the finished shell with pudding, custard, or ice cream for a festive and tasty pie!
What’s your favorite decorative pie crust edge?
Bake More Impressive Tarts!
Join pastry chef Gesine Bullock-Prado in a one-of-a-kind baking experience created in partnership with TODAYFood. With Gesine’s friendly guidance on a few key techniques, you can easily master three classic French doughs that open up a whole world of tempting pies and tarts.