Once you've mastered the basic method for crimping a pie crust, you can start experimenting with more decorative edges. In this video, you'll learn how to make three different decorative edges for your pie crusts: one with big wide scallops, one that looks like a twisted rope, and one that looks like a shaft of wheat, an especially nice touch for Thanksgiving pies. You can create any of these edges in less than 5 minutes, and none of the edges require any special equipment beyond a pair of kitchen shears.
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To start, line your pie plates with dough, and roll the excess dough under itself so you have a nice high-rolled edge on each of them.
How to make a scalloped edge pie crust:
The scalloped edge crust is the most similar to our basic crimped crust, except that you'll make wider crimps. Form a curve with your index finger and press it gently against the inside edge of the dough, using your thumb and index finger of your other hand to shape the dough from the outside.
Repeat this motion all the way around the pie crust. Be sure that you're not pushing the scalloped edge so that it hangs out over the rim of the pie plate, it should always rest on the pie plate.
How to make a roped edged pie crust:
Another simple way to dress up your pie crust is with a rim that looks like twisted rope. To do that, use the side of your thumb to press gently into the dough edge at a 45-degree angle to the pan. Meanwhile, keep the index finger of your other hand on the outside edge of the crust so it doesn't bulge out past the rim.
Repeat every 1/2 to 3/4 inch all the way around the pie. You can also use the flat edge of a table knife to make a slightly sharper impression, but in either case, make sure you don't press all the way down to the pie plate because you could sever the dough.
How to make a wheat edged pie crust:
Finally, the wheat edge: it looks the most complicated, but is actually quite simple. To make a wheat edge, just take a pair of kitchen shears and snip the edge diagonally at a 45-degree angle every 1/2 to 3/4 inches. Work your way all around the pie.
With your fingertips, pull each segment in opposite directions, so they flare out from the center line. As you go, pinch the tip of each segment into a point and smooth it out, so that it's almond-shaped.
Chilling your crust
With all of these edges, be sure to chill the crust for at least an hour before they go into the oven. This will help prevent the crust from shrinking and slumping into the pie plate while it bakes, and will help the crusts keep their beautiful shapes.
If you're hungry for more pie (and expert instruction), see Abby Johnson Dodge's 10-part video series: Pie & Tarts. For more how-to videos and hundreds of Thanksgiving recipes, including our new interactive Create Your Own Recipe and Create Your Own Menu builders, visit our Thanksgiving Dinner Guide.
Also, CooksClub members should check out Pie Dreams: How to Make the Perfect Pie Crust for Nicole Rees' secrets to achieving flaky, buttery perfection.