Building a perfect crust involves more than you think – but before you throw in the apron, remember we’re here to make your life as easy as… well, pie! Firstly, we have heaps of filling inspiration, from saucy, sweet fruit, to classic meat pies and veggie parcels. Then, we have video guides for all kinds of techniques, from making puff, choux or shortcrust pastry, to rolling, blind baking and rubbing butter and flour together. Once you’ve mastered the basic art, what’s the best way of turning your bake into something spectacular? Our in-house baking expert Cassie Best gives us 10 easy ways to finish off your pie.
Roll out the pastry on a well-floured sheet of baking parchment . Use a small biscuit cutter to stamp out shapes – try using a heart cutter, little circles or diamonds or flower shapes. Brush the pie edge with egg, then slide the pastry lid on top. Trim the edge with scissors and decorate the rim as you like (read on to discover ideas for easy crimps).
Roll out the pastry, then stamp out your chosen shape, or simply cut the pastry into odd-shaped pieces. Cover the top of the pie with the pieces of pastry, leaving gaps for the fruit to bubble through. We used a flower and leaf cutter for the pie pictured on the right, adding balls of pastry to the centre of each flower and creating veins on the leaves with a small knife.
Four steps to the perfect lattice
Use a fluted pasta or pastry wheel cutter for a wiggly edge or stick to straight edged strips – and follow the steps below.
Arrange the pastry strips on top of your pie, with space between each one. Fold back alternate strips from the centre, then lay a strip across the middle, near the folds.
Flip the folded strips back to cover the middle pastry strip.
Fold back the strips that are woven under the middle piece.
Lay another strip across the middle, and flip alternate strips back again. Repeat until you have a woven pattern.
Pile the fruit into the centre of the pie – a domed pie looks more professional.
The Midas touch
Whisk leftover egg white from making the pastry with a fork until frothy and use this to glaze the pie. If you want the pie to have a nice golden colour, whisk in a little caster sugar too.
Six snazzy edges…
Simple forked finish
Create a classic look by pressing down on the top sheet of pastry with a fork.
Squeeze the pastry edge around the top of your index finger, using your thumb and other index finger. Work your way along the pastry edge to give a professionally fluted finish.
Plait together three thin strips of pastry and place around the edge. This can be fiddly, so do it in four or five sections and then join them up on the pie.
In the deep
Press the back of a teaspoon into the pastry to create depressions.
Use stamped out shapes for a pretty design – here we used autumnal leaves but the sky’s the limit!
Sprinkle the edge with granulated sugar to add sparkle once baked.
Watch and learn
Want to see it for yourself? Watch our video guide on how to decorate a pie:
Not enough pie prowess for you? You’ll find loads more pie recipes and cooking tips around our site, plus general baking advice and recipes in our cakes & bakes section.