How to Crimp Pie Crust Perfectly

Decorative Edges Seal the Filling Inside

  • 01 of 06

    Crimping Pie Crusts Adds Style

    Homemade apple pie with lattice crust
    JMichl/Getty Images

    Messy, ugly pies can still taste good, but beautiful pies dress up a table and make festivities festive. And you know the saying, "We eat with our eyes first." The key to a beautiful pie, besides a good crust baked long enough to properly brown, is a decorative edge made by crimping the top and bottom crusts together. Crimping the pie crusts not only seals the edges of double-crusted pies, but also makes the crust edges picture perfect, or at least really quite pretty.

    There are five different ways to crimp the edges for your pie crust recipe. Choose the method and final appearance that suits you best—and then practice. Your first efforts at evenly crimped edges may not turn out perfectly—but keep at it, and soon you will be pleased as pie! 

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  • 02 of 06

    Classic Scalloped Pie Crust Crimp

    MinI-scallop pie crust crimp
    Molly Watson

    This classic scallop crust is fairly easy to master. Use the index finger of one hand to push the inner edge out while pinching the outer edge in with the thumb and index finger of the other hand. Repeat around the entire edge of the pie. The result is a dainty little scalloped edge that looks just like your grandma (or the corner bakery) used to make.

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  • 03 of 06

    Large Scalloped Pie Crust Crimp

    Large scallop edge crimp on a pie crust edge
    Molly Watson

    For a slightly more modern look, choose this large scallop edge. Bend the index finger on one hand and use the middle knuckle of the bent finger to push the inner edge out while the thumb and index finger of your other hand push the outer edge in. This creates large, pretty scallops. Repeat around the pie for a slightly minimalist take on the classic crimp.

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  • 04 of 06

    Rope Pie Crust Crimp

    Crimping a pie with the rope edge technique
    Molly Watson

    Not interested in the classic scallop method? A simple pinch, when done right, can create an elegant rope-like effect. Pinch the pie crust gently between your thumb and index finger, doing so at an angle and gently pulling up the outer edge of the dough with each pinch. The effect should look like the edges of a rope running all the way around the pie crust.

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  • 05 of 06

    Simple Angled Pie Crust Crimp

    Simple angled pie crust crimp
    Molly Watson

    A relative of the scallop edge, but with a slightly less dramatic effect, the simple angled crimp adds a little flair to any pie. To achieve this look, push down and out with your thumb while pushing in against the outer edge with the index finger of your other hand to make an angled, even pie crust crimp that seals the pie without being too showy.

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  • 06 of 06

    Fork Pie Crust Crimp

    A fork yields perfect crimps on a pie crust crimp
    Molly Watson

    Just in case the other methods extend beyond your interest or inclination, you can always just use a fork. Simply press down on the edge of the crust, using the tines of a fork to both seal the dough together and leave a homey decorative pattern all around the pie. This is a great method if you are looking to get the kids involved—or they are begging you to help.