Guerilla Pie Decorating | Bakepedia Tips

Guerilla Pie Decorating

Pie Decorating

Look at that image above. If you are anything like me, you are thinking “why the heck didn’t I think of that”?  Seriously, when was the last time you saw a really new way to create decorative pie crusts? In fact, I don’t think I have ever really think about “pie decorating”, but now I do. Read on. Your mind is about to be expanded. Libbie Summers new book Sweet & Vicious, Baking with Attitude is aptly named. I can’t wait to try the salty, smoky bourbon-laced oatmeal cookies and the Fig & Pig Pies (prosciutto and fresh figs). The techniques below can work with most any pie crust as long as it is well-chilled. Summers’ version, called The Cold Truth Pie Dough, features shortening and butter along with vanilla sugar and a bit of cayenne. Attitude indeed. If you come up with some wild pie crust decorating ideas of your own, let us know. I am officially obsessed. 

SweetAndVicious_cover

Excerpted with permission. Sweet and Vicious: Baking with Attitude by Libbie Summers. Rizzoli 2014 copyright. Photos by Chia Chong.

1. Cork Screw Crimping

pie crust crimp with wine bottle opener

For a 9-inch pie, roll out your top pie dough to an 11-inch round, 1⁄8-inch thick. Drape the dough over the pie plate and turn the overhang under to create a thicker rim around the pie. Use an open corkscrew to decoratively crimp the edges (then open a bottle of wine to enjoy while your pie is baking).

 

2. Measuring Spoon CrimpingPie Crust Crimp with Spoons

For a 9-inch pie, roll out your top pie dough to an 11-inch round, 1⁄8-inch thick. Drape the dough over the pie plate and turn the overhang under to create a thicker rim around the pie. Turn a ½-teaspoon measure upside down to decoratively crimp the rim. Let the circles intersect for an arty look.

 

3. Strand of Pearls Crimping (see top image)

For a 9-inch pie, roll out your top pie dough to an 11-inch round, 1⁄8-inch thick. Drape the dough over the pie plate and turn the overhang under to create a thicker rim around the pie. Using a strand of oversized pearls, push them into the rim of the pie and pull away to reveal the magic.

 

4. Tong Crimping

pie crust crimp with tongs

For a 9-inch pie plate, roll out your pie dough to a 12-inch circle that is 1⁄8-inch thick. Drape the dough over the pie plate and turn the overhang under to create a thicker rim around the pie. Use the tip of a pair of tongs to pinch a decorative pattern around the edge

 

5. Covering in Cutouts

Pie Crust with Cutouts

Using the pie dough recipe for a double-crust pie, roll out the first disc to a 12-inch round, 1⁄8-inch thick. Drape it into a 9-inch pie plate and allow the overhang to extend over the edge. Pile in the pie filling and dot the top with butter. Fold the overhanging dough up onto the filling. Roll out the second disc to 1⁄8-inch thick and cut out whatever shape you choose—I’ve used a maple leaf cutter here (no Canadian chauvinism from me). From the edge of the pie, work around and inward, overlapping the cutouts to form the top crust and using a simple egg wash as a glue (1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon milk or water). Keep adding cutouts until the entire pie is covered in dough. Be sure to leave a few small open areas, or a hole in the top, to let the steam escape.

 

6. Kilroy Was Here Crimping

pie crust crimp hack

For a 9-inch pie, roll out your pie dough to an 11-inch round, 1⁄8-inch thick. Drape the dough into the pie plate and trim away any overhang. Crimp the edge of the pie in a traditional way, pinching with the thumb and forefinger of one hand on the outside of the dough and pushing the forefinger of your other hand into the pinched area. Roll the dough scraps into balls and pinch the front to shape a nose. Use a simple egg wash (1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water) to glue the heads into the “divots” of the crimping. Kids love this one. It bakes up creepy cool, and you can teach them about graffiti art from the 1940s, when Kilroy originated. I like to think of it as an educational crimp.

Comments (3)


3 Responses to Guerilla Pie Decorating

  1. bringamess August 27, 2014 at 10:27 am #

    I just happened to find your site while looking for out-of-the-ordinary ways to prepare pies. So far, I’m enjoying your whole site. Thank you!

    • Dede Wilson August 27, 2014 at 10:42 am #

      Thank you! I love this pearl tip above. Check in tomorrow when we post a tart baked on the grill! Enjoy! You might also want to check out The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book which has a lot of really interesting pie crust techniques – especially for the visuals! Like above, but different yet again!

  2. Mallocup January 3, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

    I am suddenly looking at the objects in my home in a whole new light!
    A small sea-shell, a flower shaped button, the decorative end of my grandmother’s hand-me-down Victorian set of spoons. My Gosh, I even looked with curiosity at the tires on my grandson’s toy tractor! Thanks for the inspiration! I love a pretty pie!