I have the best time creating art on my pie tops. It’s pretty easy to do and I feel that I reconnect with the 5-year-old part of me that got to play with cookie cutters and sugar cookie dough. Do you remember how much fun that was?
I’ve collected cookie cutters for years and I’m always on the lookout at yard sales for ones with which would be fun to play. We sure have a good time with them at Pie Camp! You probably have a few vintage ones yourself which I would just love to hear about!
Pie Top Inspiration
My inspiration for pie tops comes in a variety of ways:
- anything special that catches my eye
I’ve made pies-tops with hearts, flowers, sunbursts, rainbows, teddybears, well you get the idea.
For example, yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday. Now, I am not…may I repeat this…NOT, by any wild stretch of the imagination, a follower of sports other than dough rolling!
And, I didn’t watch the game yesterday, but living in close proximity to Seattle, it was nearly impossible not to catch some of the 12th Man fever going that was going around just about everywhere I turned.
So, I made 12th Man Pies—a dozen of them, of course—and gave them away to friends.
My winning game strategy, was even quoted by Rebekah Denn in the Seattle Times:
“Since Kate has not watched any of this season’s Seahawks winning games and has made pies on Seahawks winning game days, Kate should not watch the Seahawks game this weekend but continue to make pies on game day.”
I do like to think that “The Power of Pie” had a little bit to do with yesterday’s historic Seattle championship win. And, you can count on the fact that I will continue to make 12th Man Pies on game days next season!
How to Create a Theme Top Pie
Creating a themed pie top is really fun and easy. You can have an already planned idea or, as in my case, they can sort of evolve.
I take my scraps of extra pie-dough trimmings, lightly squish them together, and roll them out one more time.
Now the fun really begins!
With cookie cutters, and as inspiration strikes, I cut out shapes and designs that please me. As I also have number and letter cutters, I can put sayings on the top of the pies. I’m always inspired by the creations of my pie-sisters and artists Pippi Konstanski and Kelly Cline.
Once I am satisfied with what I have cut out, I carefully lift them off one at a time from my counter and put a teensy bit of water on the back of each as I “glue” them in place one by one to the pie-top.
I give the entire top a brush with an eggwhite wash and follow with a sprinkling of granulated sugar—1 to 2 teaspoons per pie should do it. Then I pop it in the oven to bake as usual.
If my dough has warmed up a bit too much during any part of the process, I just slip it into the fridge until those fats are chilled up nicely again and continue to roll along.
If I want to decorate a custard pie, I find it best to add to an already baked pie as my “art” can sink! I pre-bake my shapes and letters on some parchment paper after brushing them with egg white wash and a sprinkle of sugar. Pop them in the oven at 400F for 10-12 minutes to get the right color. Every oven will slightly differ so you may need to adjust the time and temp a bit.
When they come out of the oven, I let them cool completely before placing them onto the top of the baked custard. Easy!
Now it’s your turn? I’d love to hear about your artistic creations and inspired pie tops!