Easy Pie Crusts and Designs That Change the Game
Eating a pie always sounds like a delicious idea, but having to make the crust often doesn't. Fortunately, making pie is fun — and dare we say relaxing? — when you use ready-made pie crusts from your local Food Lion. With premade crust, those finicky dough recipes are a thing of the past, and another big benefit is that they're fun to customize, too. Check out these easy pie crust decorating ideas and learn some creative ways to fill them, too.
Easy Pie Crust Designs
You eat with your eyes first, so why not create a pie with some fun details your diners can enjoy before everyone digs in? You can make many of these designs with tools you already have in your own kitchen, and they'll only add a minute or two to your prep time. Perfect your pie presentation with these techniques:
- Crimped crust: Want to master the basics first? Learn how to crimp a pie crust the traditional way. To attach the top layer of dough to the bottom, pinch your right thumb and index finger together along the outer perimeter of the crust. Use your left index finger to press the dough layers together into your pinched fingers. They'll act as a guide to crimp the crust.
- Squiggly crust: Add curly crimps to your crust by gently pressing a wine corkscrew into the perimeter of the dough. You can also use tongs to create rounded, half-moon shapes or alternate these two designs.
- Rope edge: This striking crust only requires your thumb. Leave about a half-inch of the pastry dough hanging over the pie plate. Holding your thumb and index finger at a 45-degree angle, pinch the pastry at half-inch or one-inch intervals. The angle of your thumb creates a twisted rope effect.
- Braided crust: This one takes a little more time, but it's definitely worth the effort. Cut pie dough into long, thin strips about a quarter-inch wide. Braid three strips together at a time, leaving the ends free. You may need to make three or four of these braids. Lay them gently around the edge of the pie crust and attach the ends for a continuous braid.
Extra-Fun Finishing Touches
You have some decorative ways to use pie crusts under your belt; now it's time for embellishments that add that extra something — and a homemade touch. Try some of these fun pie-decorating ideas to top your crusts:
- Create a smooth and shiny crust with an egg wash. Beat an egg yolk with a teaspoon of cool water and lightly brush it over the dough.
- Add a sprinkle of sanding sugar after applying the egg wash for extra sweetness.
- Use cookie cutters to trim dough into fun shapes you can put on top of the pie. These add an extra layer of interest to single- or double-crust pies.
- Sprinkle cocoa powder or powdered sugar onto the crust after the pie is done baking.
- For a crisper crust, brush the dough with plain water.
Creative Uses for Pie Crusts
A tangy berry pie sure makes a perfect dessert, but pie crusts aren't just for the sweeter things in life. Try these creative and decidedly savory recipes with your premade pie crusts.
Empanadas: Prepare your favorite taco meat. Using a small bowl as a template, cut your premade pie crust into large circles. Stuff each circle with a few spoonsful of taco meat and add cheese, peppers, corn, or any zesty fillings that you like. Fold each circle in half and seal the edges with a fork. Brush each empanada with egg wash. Bake these on a cookie sheet at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes or until the crusts are golden brown.
Sandwich Pockets: Grilled sandwiches are great, but these hot sandwich pockets take the lunchtime favorite to the next level. Cut the pie dough into triangles or circles. Layer on your favorite deli meats. Combinations like turkey and ham work well, and you can add some Italian flair with pepperoni and salami. Add shredded cheese. For a veggie option, add precooked diced vegetables like broccoli and mushrooms. Place another pie crust shape on top and seal up the edges. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces — think pizza sauce for a pepperoni pocket or honey mustard for turkey, ham, and Swiss.
Pot Pies: Use a premade crust for your favorite pot pie recipe. This is a great option to make the day after you roast a chicken. Just dice up the leftover meat and toss in diced carrots, peas, green beans, and any other veggies you like. Add a bit of jarred gravy and bake according to the directions that came with the crust for a filling weeknight dinner your family will love.
Are you ready to put these tips into motion? Check out Food Lion's Fresh Ideas Blog to find fanciful fillings and other great pie-baking tips. From a Fourth of July-ready cherry surprise to a tasty apple-and-plum combination, our recipes can help you build your pie-brary in no time.