How To Make A Fluted or Crimped Pie Crust

These decorative crust borders that take your pie from good to gorgeous.

Learn how to make a simple but decorative border on your pie by fluting or crimping it. It's easy with these step-by-step instructions.

Photo by Meredith.

1. Follow recipe instructions for making pie crust and lining your pie plate. Save any dough scraps for patching cracks or for building up the edges, if needed. Find top-rated pie crust recipe.

2. Fold the dough under itself onto the flat rim of the pie plate. One of the advantages to making your own crust is that you can build up a higher edge of crust, to better contain the filling (or to hold more filling). Prepackaged crusts are flattened to the edges of the pan, so they don't break in transport.

Photo by Meredith.

3. Use the thumb of one hand as a base, and the forefinger and thumb on your other hand to crimp the crust.

4. Continue working your way around the crust, fluting the edge. If you find a spot where the dough's too thin to work with, tuck a piece of scrap dough underneath. Pinch the patched area to seal it together before crimping.

Photo by Meredith.

5. You can also make a wider scalloped edge by using the back of a teaspoon as a guide instead of your fingertips.

Photo by Meredith.

6. Lightly cover the dough-lined pie pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour. This lets the dough relax and will help prevent it from shrinking in the oven when it bakes.

7. A note about ingredients:

Butter vs. Shortening

  • Shortening (Crisco®) and lard are good for flakiness; they hold their shape better than butter, so your beautifully crimped crust won't sag in the oven. Shortening also makes the dough easier to handle and less prone to cracking.
  • Butter is best for flavor. A combination of the two fats works very well.

Ready to get fancy? Try edging your pie with different textures by imprinting with fork tines or the edge of a spoon, or use cookie cutters to create mini cutouts to adhere to the edges of your crust with a dab of water. You can even make a pie crust braid to press along the edge.


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