Create Cut Designs On Pastry Crusts by CatieB

Catie B


When catering, and having a cooking and nutrition education business, classes took all forms. Some were for fun, some nutrition, some new ideas on how to cook up a great meal for everyday, or special occasions. And some took a less about food, but more about creative fun in the kitchen direction.
Playing with pastry was one of those. When you want to step it up with your baked goods, it isn’t always hard to do something special to make your work stand out. Making a design in pastry is easier than it sounds, and the results can be beautiful and dramatic. Having fun is the number one rule!

pinch tips: How to Make a Pie Shell & Lattice Top



depends on amount prepared


30 Min


No-Cook or Other


top pie crust
patterns, stencils, cut out forms from cardboard, etc.
whatever you want to use to create a design
a chopstick, wooden stick with a pointed top, whatever will make a line for design on pastry crust without cutting.
a roller pastry cutter, or a small paring knife
parchment paper best, can use wax paper, but harder to work with and not as sturdy.

Directions Step-By-Step

After rolling out your pastry to desired circle, cut away the extra that will be beyond the drawn circle on your parchment paper. It will keep your design centered and clear as you work.

Take a piece of parchment paper, (larger than your pie plate by about 6 inches for room), and draw the circle of your pie size (if decorating to the edges, add 1/2” to turn under your bottom crust to crimp and seal).
With the paper on a table, or on the counter, (not on the pastry) Free hand draw, draw around cookie cutters, pieces of thick cardboard shapes you have cut out, a piece of lace or a doily, (put down lace over the paper, like a doily, and trace a simple part of the pattern on it), or whatever works for you in your design choices. After you decide, and have all your equipment ready, with a pencil, draw a design on your paper. Mark the places where you want to cut and remove, by cross hatching (striping) the parts that cut out, to be sure as you cut, you do not cut out the wrong piece of the design. (Taping it all back together is a pain!) Then remove the cookie cutters, doily, stencil or whatever, and cut out the holes that you will cut out on the pastry.
Place the parchment design over your pastry. Position the paper, align your marked circle over the 10” or 12” circle that will be your pastry for the top of your pie. For stability, you can even use a light tape to tape the paper on your pastry board over your rolled out pie crust on the board. If desired, take a pointed utensil, ( use can use a wood, clean, cuticle stick),or a chopstick is good, and lightly trace the pattern on the pastry. Do not cut through the pastry yet. BE SURE TO MARK THE PORTIONS OF PASTRY YOU WILL REMOVE FROM THE TOP CRUST.

You have a choice of two ways to cut out your design, whichever is more comfortable for you.
1.You can trace it on the pastry, so you have lines by which to cut out your design.
2. You can keep the parchment paper over your pastry, secured, and simply cut out the pieces of pastry which are exposed by the cut outs on the paper.
Remove the paper if you have traced your design on the pie crust. Leave it in place to use as a guide if you did not transfer your design onto the pastry.

With a rolling pastry cutter, or a small paring knife (easier for small cuts) cut out and remove the chosen pastry pieces to create your design.
Take your roller and from one edge of the pastry. gently roll the prepared pastry around the rolling pin. Place over the edge of the pie plate, and unroll as you gently lay the pastry over your pie.

Crimp the edges as desired, and Bake.
You can also take the extra pieces, create a leaf, or flower, or bird, etc., and with a bit of egg white, or milk, attach them in various places to create a 3-D design. Just watch as it bakes, and if the top pieces are browning too quickly, loosely top with foil.
It only takes patience to create some really nice pastries for special events. Good Luck! :)

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