If you are in charge of making the pies this holiday season and want to make your pies more beautiful, here are 5 EASY ways to do it! If you can use a cookie cutter, a pizza cutter, or know how to braid three strands then you can easily make your pies more beautiful! I’m talking compliment worthy, amazing, beautiful looking pies!
First, let’s start off with a super easy homemade pie crust! ~ Please feel free Pin this for later
Do not be afraid of making a homemade pie crust! I have a great recipe that I got from my sister-in-law Sarah. It is so easy and turns out every time! I’ve always used this crust in every pie contest I have entered and it has always won an award!
*2 cups flour
*3 shakes of salt (VERY scientific, can you tell? ha ha!)
*Optional (add 1 tsp. cinnamon, or 1 tsp. pumpkin spice, or 2 TBS. sugar to the dry ingredients-based on what kind of pie you are making)
*1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
*1/2 cup warm water
(Makes 2 crusts)
If you have an electric mixer, toss all those ingredients in and beat it until well combined. It will likely be flaky and not staying to together well, that is okay, wash your hands and knead the pie dough by hand until it sticks together. If you don’t have a mixer, no worries, it isn’t hard to do it by hand. If I am making an apple pie I toss some pumpkin pie spice into the dry ingredients. It give s subtle extra flavor that is well received! If I am making peach pie, I add cinnamon. If I am making strawberry rhubarb pie, I add cinnamon sugar. It just gives the crust a lovely flavor! Here is a video of me making the pie crust from start to finish!
You can coat your counter in flour and roll out the crust, but I prefer less mess so I use two sheets of parchment paper or wax paper. I have found parchment works best if I have both on hand and can choose. Put 1/2 of the pie crust in between the two sheets and roll it out big enough to fit into your pie tin. Carefully peel away the paper on one side. Lay the pie tin upside down on the pie crust. Slide your hand underneath the paper covered side of the crust and put your other hand on top of the upside down pan and flip! Peel off the other side of the wax/parchment paper which is now on top. This allows you to get it into the pie tin without folding or potential tearing. Using a butter knife, trim any excess from the edges along the pie tin. Super easy right? It takes me about 6 minutes plus rolling time to make 2 pie shells! No need to be scared! Next up is how to top that pie to make it more beautiful!
First, a confession. I have been making pies for about 9 years and I have always made them with a fake lattice top crust-I didn’t even weave it. The thought never occurred to me that I could do anything else! I literally just used a pizza cutter to cut strips and laid them on top of the pie. It wasn’t until last month that I realized I could make my pies even more beautiful thanks to simple tools I already had in my kitchen!
Idea #1 on how to make pies more beautiful: Twist it!
Using the same technique I have always used to make my fake lattice pies, I rolled out my remaining pie dough and cut strips with a fluted pastry cutter (*like this one just in case you aren’t sure what a fluted pasty cutter is!*) but you can use a regular pizza cutter too! Then I took my strips and twisted them. I think the easiest way to describe it, is when you take a piece of hair and twist it around your finger, it looks rolled kind of…that is what I did here. Starting on the outer edge, I took my strips, twisted them, and connected them. That. Was. It. The result was this GORGEOUS PIE. For the edging, I took a regular ‘ol spoon, turned it upside down, and pressed near the inner edge. Then using the same spoon I pressed near the outer edge! To finish it off, as I do with ALL my pies that have a top crust. I dabbed it with milk and sprinkled sugar on it!
Idea #2 on how to make pies more beautiful: Braid it!
For this idea, I am still sticking with what I know best…lattice! This time though, I cut them out with my pizza cutter, braided 3 strands together and turned that into my lattice crust! It was so easy and the pie turned out beautifully! For the center and outter roses, I just use my apple corer (*like this one*) and cut out 3 little circles. I pressed the those circles together near the bottom of the previous circle. Then rolled them up like a cinnamon roll. I cut it in half and it creates these pretty little rose buds! SO EASY!
To achieve the fluted edge. I just pressed my left pointer finger one the edge and used my right pointer finger and right thumb to pinch the dough around my left finger. I did it all the way around. Don’t forget to sprinkle with milk and sugar!
Idea #3 on how to make pies more beautiful: Use Cookie Cutters!
This one could not be more simple! Roll out your top crust, remove the top parchment paper, and using a circle cookie cutter or an apple corer in my situation, poke dots into the pie crust before you place it on the pie! To make it even more fun, I used a leaf cookie cutter, added some detailed leaf veins and put little dough balls on at random! I didn’t have a leaf cookie cutter so I borrowed my friends, but I do *plan to buy this set before Thanksgiving!
Here is another cookie cutter pie I’ve made this month! Just cut out some hearts, line them up and I have this super beautiful pie! The outer edge was done with that neat spoon trick too!
Idea #4 on how to make pies more beautiful: Combine it!
For this pie (that I entered into a contest last week and took 1st place with-wohoo!) I combined the previous methods! First I rolled out my top pie crust. Then made polka dots in it with my apple corer. I carefully transferred it on my pie. Cut off the excess, rolled it out again and used cookie cutters to make some fall shapes. Then I rolled the remaining crust out again, cut strips and braided them. I added them to the edging of my pie crust. Pressing them down firmly so they wouldn’t fall off once baked! I’m not sure why I didn’t take a final baked picture of this one, but it was lovely!
See…..you totally got this. You can really amp up your pies this holiday season and blow the socks off your guests by easily making your pies more beautiful! If you make one using these tips, I want to see! Post a picture on our Facebook page! Thanks for reading-feel free to share this post with your friends…or whoever is making pies if you’re not! 😉
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