Creative pie crusts are having a moment. With everything from an elegant wide lattice to fall leaves to bold chevron stripes popping up on pies, Thanksgiving is the time to add some decorative flair to your favorite holiday pie.Start with this simple all-butter pie crust shell (it’s easy, I promise!), and then let your creative side shine through with a little custom decor! Head below for a simple recipe, pie shell decoration ideas, and five more gorgeous pie ideas.
All-Butter Pre-Baked Pie Crust with Decorative Details
Makes: one 9-inch pie or four 4-inch mini tarts with decorative detail
Prep time: 15 minutes, plus time to chill
Cook time: 25 minutes
1 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
9 tablespoons ice water
1 egg, lightly beaten
- Set the butter and ice water in the freezer while you assemble the ingredients.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, and sea salt together with a fork. Use a large gauge grater to grate in the butter and then blend into the flour with your fingertips. Drizzle in the ice water, turning and kneading gently, just until the ball holds together. (If you’re a novice, feel free to add a little more water.)
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather into two balls, one large and one small. Press each into a disc and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or as long as five days ahead of time.
- When ready to bake pie shells, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch pie pan.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the large disc out into a 12-inch round, or 4 6-inch rounds if using mini tarts pans. Press dough into prepared pie pan. Leave a 2-inch overhang and trim any excess dough, flute the edges, and poke holes all over crust with the tines of a fork. Chill pie crust in the fridge while you roll out decorative crust.
- To add a leaf decoration, roll out the smaller disc of dough into an 8-inch circle and cut 1-inch leaves out with a sharp knife. For twists, roll dough into a narrow 12-inch rectangle. Cut long, thin strips, and then twist the strips together (you may need to attach several twisted segments). To attach decorations to crust, brush leaves or twists with beaten egg and press firmly into fluted edges of the pie crust. Set pie crust into the fridge to chill until oven preheats.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Carefully line the pie shell with foil and fill with pie weights, or dried rice or beans. Set pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet and slide into oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then carefully remove foil and weights, and bake for another 5 – 7 minutes, or until crust is a very light golden brown (go slightly darker if using a no-bake filling). Remove from oven and cool.