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How To Make Decorative Pie Edges

If you've ever found yourself daydreaming about pies that not only taste like heaven but also look like edible works of art, you're in for a treat. Today, we're diving deep into the delightful realm of decorative pie edges – because why settle for ordinary when you can have extraordinary?

As we embark on this delicious journey, get ready to roll up your sleeves, dust off your rolling pin, and discover Taste of Home's secrets to crafting pie edges that will have your guests ooh-ing and ahh-ing before they even take the first bite. From classic flutes to intricate braids, we've got a repertoire of techniques that will elevate your pie game to new heights. So, let's sprinkle a dash of creativity, a pinch of patience, and a whole lot of love into our pastry adventures – because when it comes to pies, the crust is just as important as the filling!

Fluted Edge

The fluted edge stands out as one of the most popular finishes for pies, and the good news is, it's a breeze to execute. This technique works seamlessly for both single- and double-crusted pies.

To achieve a fluted edge, start by trimming the pie pastry to approximately half an inch beyond the pie plate's rim (extend it to a full inch for double-crusted pies). The excess dough is then neatly folded under to shape the edge.

Begin fluting the crust by positioning your index finger outward along the edge. Next, place your thumb and index finger from your other hand on the outside of the edge, pinching the pastry around your finger to create a V shape (for a clearer visual, check out the accompanying photos!). Repeat this process around the entire perimeter of the pie, and voilà – you've mastered the art of the fluted edge!

Roped Edge

Moving beyond the simplicity of a basic fluted edge, roped edges add an extra layer of charm to your pie crust. Whether you're working with a single-crust or double-crust masterpiece, this technique is versatile and visually appealing. Similar to fluting, the process involves trimming the pastry to about half an inch for single-crust pies and leaving an inch of excess for double-crust pies.

To achieve the roped effect, form a fist with one hand and press your thumb at an angle into the pastry. Pinch sections of the dough between your thumb and index finger, repeating the process at approximately half-inch intervals around the crust. If you prefer a more relaxed, loosely woven appearance, adjust your thumb angle to a wider position and repeat the pinching at one-inch intervals. This subtle variation in technique allows you to customize the look of your pie's edge, turning it into a delicious work of art.

Braided Edge

Elevate your pie game with a charming braided edge, and for this, you'll need to double up on your crust recipe, reserving the surplus for the plait.

Start by laying the foundation – line your pie plate with the bottom pastry, trimming it to align seamlessly with the pan's edge. Take the remaining pastry dough and roll it into an impressive 10×8" rectangle. With the precision of a ruler, slice 12 quarter-inch-wide strips, using a sharp knife or even a trusty pizza cutter. Then, with a steady hand, deftly braid these strips together.

Add a touch of moisture magic by brushing the crust's edge with water, introducing the braided ensemble, and gently pressing to secure it in place. Repeat this delightful process with the remaining strips, attaching additional braids until the entire perimeter is adorned. To ensure your edible masterpiece emerges from the oven with the perfect golden glow, remember to shield these artful edges from over-browning by covering them with a layer of foil. Now, sit back and watch as your pie steals the spotlight with its beautifully braided border!

Shaped Trim

Elevate your pie presentation by incorporating a charming decorative edge using small cookie cutters. Opt for shapes that suit your theme or fancy, ensuring they fall within the one to two-inch size range for optimal visual appeal. Similar to the braided crust method, it's wise to prepare additional pie pastry for this creative endeavor.

Roll out the surplus dough thinly and use the cookie cutters to fashion your chosen shapes. To prevent sticking, lightly dust the cutters with flour. For added intricacy, use a sharp knife to incorporate details such as leaf veins or pumpkin contours by making gentle indentations.

To affix these delightful shapes to the pie crust, apply a brush of water to the bottom of each and gently press them onto the crust's edge, allowing for a slight overlap between shapes. For an extra decorative touch, consider baking a few spare shapes to scatter atop your pie, but keep a vigilant eye on the crust to prevent over-browning – a trusty foil pie guard can come in handy once again.

Reverse Scalloped Edge

Achieving a reverse scalloped edge for your single-crust pies is a straightforward yet elegant touch. Start by lining your pie dish with the pastry and neatly trimming it to align with the plate's edge.

Next, employ a measuring spoon to create scallops along the outer perimeter. Eliminate and dispose of the excess cut pieces. Opt for a larger measuring spoon if you desire more pronounced and defined scallops, allowing you to customize the decorative finish to your liking.

Pastry Cutout

Extend your creative pastry adventures by employing the cookie cutter technique to blanket the entire surface of your pie's top crust. With a larger canvas at your disposal, feel free to choose cookie cutters of various sizes for added visual flair.

To assemble the decorative layer, lightly brush the bottom of each cutout shape with water and arrange them over the pie's top. Gently press to affix the shapes to the edge and each other. Once assembled, proceed with the baking process as usual. This fuss-free method ensures a beautifully adorned pie top without the intricacies of lattice work.

Reverse Cutout

Alternatively, if you're crafting a double-crusted pie, try a reverse approach to the previous method. Begin by rolling out your top pastry just as you would normally. Next, employ a medium or small cookie cutter to delicately remove specific sections of the crust. Be mindful not to position these cutouts too closely.

Once you've adorned your pie filling with these whimsical cutouts, carefully lay the crust over the top. Finish the edges by crimping and styling as your creative instincts guide you. This playful twist adds a charming touch to your pie, making it a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds.

In the delectable world of pie making, mastering the art of decorative edges adds a delightful finishing touch to your culinary creations. Whether you've embraced the timeless elegance of fluted edges, experimented with intricate braids, or sprinkled charm with cutout designs, your pies are now not just desserts but edible masterpieces. Happy baking!


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