Give Your Piecrust Edges a Professional Look

Add some flair to your pies with these eye-catching ideas for fluting and finishing a pie crust like an expert pastry chef.

A slice of pie with a perfectly flaky and buttery crust and a warm berry filling (and a scoop of ice cream) can be many people's favorite way to end a meal. Whether served as a sweet dessert or a savory main dish, adding a homemade pie to your menu makes everyone feel warm and cozy. To really make an impressive display, a decorative piecrust takes your presentation from standard to standout. Start with our Test Kitchen's expert tips on how to flute a piecrust, then move on to other easy designs. As a bonus, most of these will require nothing more than your hands or ordinary kitchen tools.

Easy Ways to Make Decorative Piecrust Edges

These piecrust edges will work for recipes calling for a single-crust pastry. If you're making a fancy piecrust, such as a braid, circle, or leaf shape, make an extra half batch of dough for the cutouts—you don't want to run out mid-decoration. For covered pies and lattice piecrusts, you'll use a double-crust recipe. Once you roll out the crust, trim the pastry to ½ inch beyond the edge of the pie plate ($5, Bed Bath & Beyond). After trimming, use your fingers to fold the pastry under, so that it's even with the edge of the pie plate. From there, proceed to one of the following edges.

fluted pie crust edge
Jason Donnelly

Fluted Piecrust

Pies with a generous amount of filling—which is most pies, really—will benefit from the classic fluted edge. Here's how to flute:

  • Place an index finger against the inside edge of the pastry.
  • Using the thumb and index finger of the other hand, press the pastry from the outside onto your finger.
  • Continue around the rest of the pastry's edge.

Pressed flute edge: Follow the above steps for a fluted edge, but make the flutes a tiny bit larger, then flatten them slightly. Press the inside flutes with the tines of a fork. Try this edge on a berry fruit pie or chocolate pecan pie.

Caramel-Pecan French Silk Pie
Mark Thomas

Cutout-Edged Piecrust

For a decorative pie edge, save your pastry scraps and use them to make cutouts. To make the cutouts:

  • Roll out the pastry scraps until the dough is very thin.
  • Use a fluted pastry wheel to cut the dough into tiny squares. You can also use a mini cookie cutter to create small circles, or other desired shapes. (Match the season by using maple leaves for fall or star shapes for the Fourth of July!)
  • Flatten the edges of the pastry shell slightly and brush them with water.
  • Arrange the cutouts on the edge of the pastry shell and press lightly so they adhere.

Test Kitchen Tip: To protect the crust's edges from over-browning, fold a 12-inch square of foil into fourths. Cut 3½ inches off folded corners; unfold to reveal a 7-inch center hole. Loosely mold the foil over the pie edge before baking.

Crisscross Piecrust

The crisscross edge is one of the easiest edges to make and it works well for both single- and double-crust pie recipes. After trimming the pastry to fit the pie plate, follow these steps:

  • Flatten the edges slightly.
  • Hold a fork at a slight angle to the edge of the pie.
  • Lightly press the tines into the pastry.
  • Continue around the pie, switching angles at every other pressing.

For a variation on the crisscross edge, hold the fork perpendicular to the edge of the pie instead of at an angle when pressing the tines into the pastry. The simple edge works nicely with nut pies like this pumpkin-pecan pie.

Creating a scallop edge on piecrust
Peter Krumhardt

Scallop Edged Piecrust

The scalloped edge is ideal for an old-fashioned double-crust fruit pie or a single-crust custard pie. The scalloped edge starts with a fluted edge, but the flutes are rounder, which gives a softer, more casual look to the pie. To make a scalloped edge:

  • Follow the steps above for a fluted-edge pastry, but make the flutes a bit larger than you would for a simple fluted edge.
  • Press the bowl of a spoon lightly into the center of each flute.

Try this edge with a double-chocolate mascarpone raspberry pie.

Sweet Potato Pie
Andy Lyons

Tabbed-Edge or Weave Piecrust

A tabbed edge is an easy way to give a professional-looking finish to pies. Use kitchen shears ($12, Target) to snip ½-inch slits into pastry about a ½-inch apart along the edge. For the woven edge, press every other tab in the opposite direction.

Creating a rope edge on piecrust
Peter Krumhardt

Rope-Edged Piecrust

The rope edge is a variation on the traditional fluted edge, and gives a down-home, country-style look to any double-crust fruit pie. To make a rope edge:

  • Crimp around edge of the pastry by pinching it.
  • When pinching, push forward on a slant with a bent finger and pull back with your thumb.
Caramel Apple Pie
Jason Donnelly

Braided Piecrust Edge

For a polished finish to your edge, try using the braided technique. If you want to use this method, you'll definitely want to have at least an extra half recipe of pie dough in order to cover the whole pie.

  • Cut the rolled-out pastry into long narrow strips.
  • Lay three strips next to each other and braid.
  • After first brushing with water or milk, using a pastry brush, ($10, Target) attach the braid to the pie's edge.

With all these easy designs under your belt, you can decorate your fall pies and holiday pies beautifully. Trying to perfect that flaky piecrust? Use our Test Kitchen tips for making delicious single-crust pastry or an all-butter piecrust.

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