How to Make Fancy Pie Crust Toppers
Decorative leaves and other pastry cut-outs take pies to a new level.
Decorate the top of your pies with seasonal shapes and other pastry flourishes. It doesn't take much time, and it makes everyday pies look like award winners!
1. We made our leaf-and-berry motif with leftover pastry, egg wash, and cinnamon sugar. Begin by re-rolling scraps of dough into a small rectangle. Brush with egg wash, and sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the surface, leaving about a half-inch edge clear to seal the log.
2. Roll the dough into a tight cylinder.
3. Use a sharp knife to slice the dough into thin wheels; they will look like tiny cinnamon rolls. These circles can be dotted on the latticework crust or used along with other decorations.
4. Cookie cutters are a great tool to use when making decorative shapes out of pie dough. If you don't have the desired shape of cutter, make stencils out of heavy paper or thin cardboard, and cut out your designs with a sharp paring knife.
5. We used a circle cutter, then cut the circles in half to look like leaves. If no cookie cutter is available, the rim of a glass can be used to cut circles.
6. Brush the cut out shapes with egg wash.
7. Use the back of the paring knife or a butter knife to press veins into the leaves. The lines remain light-colored as the pie bakes, while the egg-washed surfaces darken, creating a nice effect.
8. Brush the surface of the pie's crust (lattice-topped or standard) with egg wash, then arrange the decorations to your liking. Do not layer the shapes on too thick or the crust may not bake evenly. For added sparkle, sprinkle coarse sugar or granulated sugar over the pie.
9. Get creative! Mini cookie cutters make excellent decorative shapes. Apples and leaves look terrific on an apple pie, while hearts or flowers are lovely on the first rhubarb pie in spring. Pastry holly leaves garnished with sugared cranberries are an elegant touch on holiday pies.
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