To cap off our series on homemade pies we've taken videos to show several ways that you can personalize a pie by adding decorative shapes and designs, regardless of your skill level. Play around and have fun! We prefer to make a 1.5 or double recipe of any of our pastry doughs for a larger design so there's more dough on hand.
Below you will find detailed instructions on how to decorate a pie using cut out pastry shapes, how to make a classic lattice top pie, and how to make and apply a pastry braid to the edge of a pie.
Prepare the Base
Lightly flour your rolling pin and roll one pastry dough disc into a circle about 13" wide and approximately 1/8 - 1/4" thick. Grease the pie pan with butter and gently ease the dough into the pan, lightly pressing it into the contours of the pan and making sure there is about 1" over hang all around. If the dough tears or comes away, simply press it back together.
Toss together the filling ingredients according to your recipe. Tip the filling into the base, tucking in loose fruit pieces and mounding the fruit slightly higher in the centre.
Next you can add the top crust to the pie or create a lattice (see further below)
Double Crust Pie
Roll out the second pastry dough disc and gently place it on top of the filling. Use your fingers to press the edges of the bottom and top crust together so they are lightly sealed. With scissors, clean and trim the excess pie dough all around, leaving 1" overhang. Tuck the edges under themselves, pressing the dough gently but firmly against the outer rim of the pie pan.
Using the pastry dough scraps, cut out desired shapes such as triangles, circles, leaves etc, using a paring knife, scissors or a small cookie cutter. Using egg wash to act like a glue, brush the pie first with egg wash before adding the cut-outs.
Double Crust Lattice
Create a lattice by cutting the dough into at least 8 strips, we like a wide strip about 1 1/2"- 2" wide. Lay half the strips vertically and evenly spaced on top of the filled pie. Save the longer strips for the middle of the pie and the shorter pieces for the edges.
Starting on the horizontal strips, lay one strip perpendicular on top of the vertical strips and on the edge closet to you. Lift up every other vertical strip in order to weave the perpendicular strip underneath. Repeat with the remaining strips, weaving them under and over one another to create the lattice pattern.
Braids are a beautiful detail to add to the edges of a pie, especially for a single crust pie. Start by cutting 1/4" thin strips (using a ruler is helpful) and laying them vertically side-by-side in front of you on your working surface. Lightly pinch the top of the strands together at the top. Take the right most piece and bring to the centre, then take the left most piece and bring to the centre. Repeat this pattern, keeping the braid as tight as possible. If a piece breaks or tears, gently press it back together. If the pastry dough is getting too soft to work with, put it back in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to firm up.
Attach The Braid
To attach the braid to the edge of the pie brush the edges with egg wash and lay the braid on top, pressing down gently. Connect the braid ends by tucking the loose strands together.
We hope these videos and instructions help to demystify the process of creating picture perfect pies every time!