Use Pie Dough Cut-Outs to Top Pies

One of our favorite pies in last month's great Best Pie Bakeoff was Deb's Cherry Berry Pie, and this was partly because of her creative use of pie dough cut-outs to create a top crust.

We like doing this too; in fact, we look forward to making our fancy shapes at the end of filling our pie crust! It's the fun part.

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Deb's pie, pre-baking.
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Deb's pie, after baking.
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Here are a few tips for making pie cut-outs.

• Make sure your dough is well chilled. Even if it's chilled enough to get into a pie pan, it may not be stiff enough to roll out again and cut into fancier shapes.

• Cut the shapes to an even thickness so they bake evenly.

• Use large cookie cutters to cut out shapes; we've found that smaller shapes bake faster and often will brown before your pie is finished baking.

• Cover the top with foil to keep the pie shapes from browning, once they've baked.

• Don't forget your egg or milk wash; brushing these with beaten egg or a little milk will help them get shiny and golden.

And if you have too many cut-outs to use, make these Apple Cinnamon Mini-Tarts!

What are your favorite shapes for pie crust cut-outs? Any more pretty pie pictures to show us?

Related: Best Pie Tip: Brush the Crust with Egg

(Images: Reader Deb; Faith Durand)