Truthfully, pie doesn’t have a reputation as the prettiest of desserts. Sure, it has a charming, homespun quality, but it doesn’t approach the polished sophistication of, say, a beautifully decorated cake. However, this doesn’t have to be the case, as proven by this collection of pies which are prettied-up with decorative pie crust. These pies go above and beyond the typical crimped crust, employing beautiful latticework, clever cutouts, and even stenciled designs for a polished and professional looking finished product.
Lattice entertain you: If you have a recipe that calls for a double crust, consider using a lattice crust instead. With its basket-weave texture, it allows some of the filling’s color to shine through, offering a pleasant color contrast.
Photo via CakeSpy
Of course, you could always shake things up and get creative with your lattice crust, as in these examples:
By simply varying the widths of the strips of dough used for the lattice, and crossing the strips perpendicularly rather than diagonally, this crust attains a preppy (in a good way) plaid look.
Photo via Restless Chipotle
Twisted lattice crust:
For a lattice with a lot of visual appeal that will certainly inspire “oohs” and “aahs”, you could also twirl the strips of dough to form a twisted lattice crust. It’s sort of like lattice pie crust meets maypole!
Photo via La Receta de la Felicidad
Cookie topper lattice crusts:
Or you could could shrink your lattice and use it in a creative and unexpected way. See that lattice crust sitting atop a mug? It’s actually a pie crust cookie topper, and a delicious complement to any number of hot beverages. It would be lovely to dip that tasty morsel into your hot chocolate or warm apple cider.
Clever cutouts: Using pie dough to create cutout shapes can be a clever way to trick out your crust. Here are some very pretty examples:
Photo via The Story of Kat
Leaf pie crust:
For an extremely striking look, one baker rolled out some pie crust, cut out a multitude of leaf cutouts, and then applied them in a stacked dome atop the filling. The result allows the filling to “breathe” when baked, but adds up to an impressive result.
Photo via CakeSpy
Star pie crust:
While the method is similar to that of the leaf pie crust above, the style is different on this star pie crust. Arranged in a more free-form way, the stars are more like a cluster of crust-constellations. The filling poking through areas of negative space in the crust offers a casual chic finished look.
Photo via Miss Make
Sunburst pie crust:
Using tapered strips of dough and applying them shining out from one center point, such as on this crust, creates a seeming sunburst effect, with rays of light shining out.
Cutouts and perforations:
A clever way to perforate a top crust! Once the top crust is rolled, cutting out heart shapes adds a pretty look to the venting. This baker cleverly kept the heart cutouts, though, and adhered them along the edge of the crust and at intervals on the pie’s face, making for a lovely finished effect with red berries poking through the heart design.
Quilt-like pie crust:
For a charming country-style look, the top crust was rolled and cookie cutters were used to cut out shapes before applying it to the pie. But cleverly, the cutouts are also used, placed in reverse alignment over the negative space from the cutout. The result is a pretty, almost quilted-looking result.
Cutout within a cutout:
For a pretty garnish for mini pies, consider the example of these lilliputian treats by Mini Empire Bakery . They cut out “coins” of dough, and then from the center of the circle, cut out another shape (in this case, a heart). It makes the pie look as if it bears an official seal of love.
Photo via Bluprint member Serial State
Intricately shaped cutout pieces:
On this pie, which is actually savory, hand forged shapes are layered to form beautiful poinsettia-type decorations, which are framed by a rope-like textured side crust.
Of course, these shapes and cutouts are just a few examples. Similar effects could be created with a polka dot design, diamond-shaped cutouts...you could even break out a unicorn or dragon shaped cookie cutter for a storybook effect, or use letters to spell out messages on your pie!
Stencil Your Crust!
For a very easy and extremely impressive result that will have people asking “how’d you do that?”, consider a pie stencil. They’re used similarly to a cake stencil : place it on top of your decorating surface, sift or paint through the perforations, and lift the stencil for a stunning design. Here are some pretty samples of pie stencils:
Photos via PieTops Designer Stencils
In the example on the left, a darker topping such as cinnamon or cocoa is sifted through the perforations on the stencil. In the example on the right, colored sugar or royal icing is “painted” on top of the perforations. Both make for a very pretty pie!
It’s not just pie in the sky: a delightful and beautiful crust is easily attained! These ideas are a fantastic start on pie-o-neering your own beautifully decorated pie.