Gallery: Sweet Technique: How To Shape Pie Crust

Let your creativity flow
Let your creativity flow
A pie crust can take so many different shapes and forms, there's really no limit to what you can do. Click through the slideshow to learn just a couple of popular techniques you can employ, ranging from easy to tricky.
Preparing to make decorative edges
Preparing to make decorative edges
For most edge designs, I like to start with a neat, uniform piece of dough. I do this by trimming the edge one inch beyond the pie plate.
Folding the edges
Folding the edges
Once you've trimmed the edges, fold them under to make the edge thicker.
Classic crimped crust
Classic crimped crust
To make a classic crimped crust, gently push a fold of dough out towards the edge of the plate with the index finger of one hand, and pinch the fold between the thumb and index finger of your other hand. For bigger crimps, you may also use your thumb to push out.
Classic crimped crust
Classic crimped crust
After you've gone around the pie once, you may want to go around a second time, just to firm up the crimps. Chill the shaped crust for at least 20 minutes before baking.
Crimped and scalloped
Crimped and scalloped
For a fancier crimped crust, use your thumb to make larger crimps, then accent them by pressing the tines of a fork into the divots.
Crimped and scalloped
Crimped and scalloped
Once you've gone around the whole pie with your fork, allow the pie to chill at least 20 minutes before baking.
Staggered fork pattern
Staggered fork pattern
For a simple decoration, press the tines of a fork into the crust. One option is to stagger the impressions by leaving a fork's diameter of space between them. The results are simple and rustic, and a great technique to use on hot days when you are concerned about melting, because this one takes just seconds.
Fully forked edges
Fully forked edges
Or, if you prefer, press the tines of a fork all the way around the edges of the pie.
Scalloping with a spoon:
Scalloping with a spoon:
For an easier scalloped pattern, make end-to-end deep and shallow indentations with a spoon.
Cutout crusts:
Cutout crusts:
For a more dramatic crust, cut out shapes with a cutter or pairing knife and arrange them around the perimeter of the pie plate.
Cutout crusts
Cutout crusts
Apply egg wash, if necessary, to help the cutouts stick together (but do not wash the exterior until it's time to bake).
Braided crusts
Braided crusts
This is definitely the most difficult technique, because it takes a lot of patience and some shifting from fridge to workstation. Cut three thin strands of dough and gently braid them. Try your best not to rip the dough.
Braided crusts
Braided crusts
Once you've braided enough strands to reach around the pie, gently press them into the edge.
The importance of using egg wash
The importance of using egg wash
Applying egg wash right before you bake a pie creates a slightly shiny, golden brown finish to pie crusts. Strive to apply a thin even coat to the surface of exposed crust. Do not apply the egg wash before you rest the pie or the crust will get tough from the additional moisture.
Cutout tops
Cutout tops
For a top crust with shapes cut out, cut the shapes out on a flat, floured surface before applying the top crust to the filled pie.
Cutout tops
Cutout tops
Carefully drape the top crust over the top of the filled pie shell.
Finishing a pie with cutout top
Finishing a pie with cutout top
Trim the edges to 1/2 inch past the edge of the pie plate.
Finishing a pie with cutout top
Finishing a pie with cutout top
Carefully brush just the edges of the crust with egg wash.
Finishing a pie with cutout top
Finishing a pie with cutout top
Arrange the cutout scraps around the perimeter of the pie to make a decorative and waste-free crust.
Starting a lattice crust
Starting a lattice crust
Using a knife or pizza cutter (recommended) cut a sheet of rolled and chilled dough into even strips.
Starting a lattice crust
Starting a lattice crust
Arrange strips at an equal distance apart vertically across the pie.
Making the lattice
Making the lattice
Fold back every other strip at the halfway point of the pie.
Get weaving
Get weaving
Lay a strip perpendicular to the others, across the top of the pie.
Lattice magic
Lattice magic
Replace the folded strips over the perpendicular strip.
More weaving
More weaving
Repeat the process, alternating which strips you fold up with every new perpendicular strip of dough.
Completing the lattice
Completing the lattice
Try to space the strips as evenly as possible for a uniform appearance.
Lattice edge
Lattice edge
Trim the edges so they hang just 1/2 inch over the side of the pie plate.
Finishing the lattice crust
Finishing the lattice crust
Pinch the top and bottom crusts together, then shape or decorate as desired. And, as with all other pie designs, be sure to chill before baking and apply egg wash if desired just before placing pie in the oven.