Use Cookie Cutters To Put The Finishing Touch on Your Pie

October 20th, 2009 by Beth Somers

There’s no doubt about it, autumn has arrived. With cooler air and changing leaves, I am always reminded of pies. Lots of people eat pies year-round – lemon chiffon in the spring, cherry or peach in the summer, pecan or chocolate cream in the colder months. For me though, pie is very seasonal, and that season is now.
apple pies
This weekend I made a couple of apple pies, using fresh apples from the farmers market near my house. I chose Granny Smith and Fuji varieties for my filling, and I kept the flavors traditional with cinnamon, nutmeg, and just a touch of allspice for warmth.  It smelled so amazing on the stovetop as it cooked!

baked apple pie cutouts

I used the Wilton Harvest Mini Metal Cutter Set to finish off the top of my pie. After I had trimmed the edges of my crust, I rerolled the scraps to 1/8″ thick, and used the cutters to make little apples (naturally!) and leaves. I brushed a little egg wash (just an egg beaten with a little water or milk) over the top of my pie to help it brown, and to help the small apples and leaves adhere. Then the apple and leaf cutouts got a little egg wash on top, too.

baked apple pieYou can use this technique on top of pumpkin or pecan pies, too. Just add the cutouts halfway through baking, when the filling is already partially set. Whether you make your own pie pastry or you use refrigerated store-bought dough, this is an easy way to customize it. When the pie is baked, the cutouts really pop! What kinds of pies will you try it on?

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Beth Somers Beth Somers is the Senior Test Kitchen Manager and has taught at the internationally acclaimed Wilton School of Cake Decorating and Confectionery Art in Darien, IL. As a competitor on the Food Network's Cupcake Wars, she shined as a champion during season 6. Before joining Wilton, Beth honed her pastry skills at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago. Beth loves showing people how fun and easy it can be to bake and decorate amazing sweet treats with Wilton products.

15 Replies

  1. angela says:

    I think this is a never seen before wonderful addition to a pie as decorations to add to the season.

  2. Beth Somers says:

    Thanks Angela – I’m glad that you like it. I always have scraps of dough left over when I make pie, so this is a great way to use them up and make the pie look special. Let me know if you try it!

  3. Brandie says:

    I have done this many of times and it really adds that extra touch. I have cut out leaf shapes and trimmed the entire rim of the pie (instead of pinching or fluting the edges) overlapping the leaves and turning every other one just a bit to the inside or towards the outside of the pie so you can see the leaf detail – this works best on a pie that does not have a top crust such as pumpkin – people seem to be impressed with easy details such as this!

  4. angie says:

    My grandmother did this, my mother and now and yes the pies do look very attractive as well

  5. Beth Somers says:

    Brandie, I love the idea of doing an entire edge with cut outs. That sounds so dramatic. Thanks for the idea!

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  7. Kirana says:

    Great idea, Beth! May I have apple pie recipe?

  8. Debby Nofal says:

    I was wondering Beth, When I make my pumpkin pies and pecan pies for Thanksgiving this year, I’m going to do a rope trim and add a leaf cut-out to the middle. When I do the leaf cut-out, should I add it to the middle of the pie after I bake it? And do I bake the leaf before hand? I’ve never done this before so I am so excited!

  9. Beth Somers says:

    Debbie, if you’d like to use a cut out on a pumpkin pie, I would add the raw dough cut out about 1/2 way through your baking time. That way the filling will be set enough and it won’t sink in, and it won’t be in the oven long enough to burn.

    Kirana, there’s a great apple pie recipe here: http://www.wilton.com/idea/Autumn-Apple-Pie

  10. Mimi says:

    Would like to put together a kit for my daughter for making pies. I see there are pie pans and a Roll & Cut Mat, but what else does Wilton carry that would be a good choice? And is it something I can get at any Michaels?

  11. Beth Somers says:

    Mimi, a pie-making kit is a great gift idea! I might just have to borrow it from you! In addition to a pie pan and Pastry Mat, I would include these items, all available at Michael’s:

    A Rolling Pin. Great for keeping the dough cool while rolling! – http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=F5BA9A30-423B-522D-F7829342232E9BAE&killnav=1

    A Pie Server. That first piece is always so tricky to get out of the pan!
    http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=F6554FC8-423B-522D-FEB44A1A6675B55C&killnav=1

    Dessert Decorator, or pastry bags and a 1M tip. These make gorgeous decorations easy to do on whipped cream or meringue- topped pies.
    http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E30D6AD-475A-BAC0-5FB5C8A02A57ED0B&killnav=1

  12. Mimi says:

    Tonight while I was looking at toys at WalMart I noticed the cake decorating section and saw none other than Wilton products!! I was thrilled, but saw no pie stuff. Headed further into the home products and found a rolling pin and a pastry mat.

    They didn’t have the pie pan or a server. I’ll check into those when I’m at Michael’s on Friday! I think the cut outs are a great idea. I always just used a knife to cut out leaves and an apple. :)

    If you ever want me to review these products on my blog I’d be more than happy to do that!

    Happy Thanksgiving,
    Mimi

  13. What great ideas…my daughter does everything she can think of to do with a cookie cutter, so she’ll love this!

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