A Visual Guide to Pie Glazes & Washes

published Nov 25, 2015
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(Image credit: Karen Biton-Cohen)

Whether you just rolled out a flaky, homemade buttery pie crust, or took a store-bought one out of the freezer (no shame in that!), there’s one more crucial step before you pop that pie into the oven and wish it well: brushing the dough with a glaze. But which glaze gets you the result you want? What does whole egg do to create a burnished finish? Cream? Sugar?

We decided to test out a few popular glazes on pie dough strips and see how they make that pie crust pop!

(Image credit: Karen Biton-Cohen)

Cream Wash

With a matte finish and only slightly deeper in color than the control, it’s pretty difficult to pick out which has cream on it and which doesn’t.

(Image credit: Karen Biton-Cohen)

Egg White + Coarse Sugar

Slightly glossy and deep brown color with caramelized flavors and added crunch. The egg whites serves as a “glue” to adhere the sugar to the dough.

(Image credit: Karen Biton-Cohen)

Whole Egg + Cream

Glossy, golden color and an even coat because of the diluted egg mixture. This wash spread nicely on the dough and was less “eggy” in flavor than just the egg or egg yolk.

(Image credit: Karen Biton-Cohen)

Whole Egg Wash

Glossy finish with a bright orange-yellow color. When applied, the mixture was a bit streaky, causing some darker areas.

(Image credit: Karen Biton-Cohen)

Egg Yolk Wash

High-gloss coat with a deep golden-orange color. The mixture is thick and harder to brush on the dough.

What’s your go-to pie glaze and why?