9 Different Ways to Crimp Pie Crust Edges with Step-by-Step Instructions

A pie’s just not a pie unless it has a beautiful crust. While of course flavor is ultimate, a pretty pie really does taste better, don’t you think? We’d all love to be true pie crust artists, but the fact of the matter is most of us don’t have the time, patience, or – let’s be honest – the skill to make intricate leaves, shapes or words. Crimping the edge is OUR best solution, and thankfully, there are lots of beautiful options that go beyond the basic fork pressing. Our friends at Food52 are not only sharing NINE incredible crimped pie crusts, they’re also giving us the step-by-step instructions to do them. Read on and learn!

  1. Checkerboard

  2. Let’s start with a crust that’s fun and classic, and also pretty simple. This one works both before and after you fill the pie, but is easier to finish off with filling.

    1. Line the pie plate with dough, leaving 1 inch of excess all the way around. Chill thoroughly, then use scissors to trim the dough flush with the edge of the pie plate.
    2. Gently lift up the edge of the dough, and use scissors to cut anywhere between ½-inch to 1 inch into the dough. Move ½ to 1 inch in either direction from the first cut – remembering that you want an even number of squares at the end – and make another cut of the same size to make a square shape. Repeat this all the way around the pie, making sure you have an even number of squares when you’re finished.
    3. Fill the pie, then begin to finish the edge. Fold one of the squares over the filling. Skip the next square, leaving it sitting on the edge of the pie plate. Then fold the next square over the filling, and continue, folding alternating squares over the filling all around the pie.


    This crust is especially perfect for custard pies!


  3. Foldover

  4. Like the idea of the checkerboard but want something a little softer? Try a really basic foldover!

    1. Line the pie plate with dough, leaving at least 1 inch (and up to 1-½ inches) of excess dough all the way around the plate. You can trim the edges if you’d like – it’ll give you a more precise look! – but it’s also fine as is!
    2. Add the filling to the pie so it’s flush with the edge of the pie plate.
    3. Fold one piece of the dough over onto the filling. Fold the next piece over, allowing it to overlap on the first fold as needed. Repeat all the way around the pie!


    As you might have noticed, this crust is very similar to a galette, but it works really nicely for traditional pies, too!


  5. Rope Crimp

  6. One you’ve mastered the foldover, move up to the rope crimp! It has a similarly flowing look, but is a little more uniform and perky.

    1. Hold your two pointer fingers parallel next to each other at a slight angle. Squeeze the dough between the inner edges of your fingers, raising it up in the center and flattening it a bit on both sides.
    2. Rotate the pie, then repeat the process, being sure to hold your fingers at the same angle as you did the first time. Start the next crimp where the first one ends, and work all the way around the pie. When you’re finished, you can go back around and adjust any misshapen crimps as needed.


    You can also use your pointer finger and your thumb for a one-handed way of making this crust. This two-handed technique will give you that consistent look all the way around!


  7. Scalloped Edge

  8. Your fingers are a great, natural way to decorate pie crust, especially when you need indentations all the same size, like with this scallop edge. The only other tool you’ll need is a paring knife!

    1. Make sure your pie crust is well-chilled. Warm dough will not hold the shape!
    2. Using the pointer finger of your dominant hand, press imprints into the edge of the dough. Start the next imprint where the first one ends, and go all the way around the pie.
    3. Hold a paring knife in your non-dominant hand. Pick one of the indentations, and put your finger back inside it. Press again, but this time, hold the blade of the paring knife in between the indentation you’re working on and the one next to it. Pull the knife gently towards the center of the pie, while pushing outward with your finger. This will help define the rounded part of the scalloped edge.
    4. Repeat all the way around the pie!


    So delicate and pretty! You might also recognize this technique from classic pithivier and other tart crust techniques.


  9. Classic Crimp

  10. Love getting hands-on with your pie crust décor? Us too. Thankfully, one of the most classic edges requires only your fingers: the crimp!

    1. Form a V shape with the pointer finger and thumb of your non-dominant hand. Your dominant hand’s pointer finger will be doing the bulk of the action, and your non-dominant hand will be providing the shape.
    2. Start anywhere on the pie. Push down and slightly outward from the inside of the pie with your dominant pointer finger, and let the V shape of your non-dominant hand form the crimp shape from the outside edge of the dough as you push.
    3. Start the next crimp where the first one ended, and work your way around the pie. When you’re finished, you can go back around and adjust any misshapen crimps as needed.


    The great thing about this one is that since you’re using your hands only, you have total control over the crimps. The wider your fingers, the wider the shape. You can also press inward with the V shape for a steeper crimp, but do so only slightly; the main action should come from your dominant hand.


  11. Crimp ‘n’ Fork

  12. Want to take that classic crimp to the next level? Combine it with another classic: the forked edge!

    1. Begin by doing the classic finger crimp, but in reverse: use your dominant pointer finger to work from the outside of the pie, and your non-dominant pointer finger and thumb to press the V shape from the inside. Start anywhere on the pie. Push down and slightly inward with your dominant pointer finger, and let the V shape of your non-dominant hand form the crimp shape as you push.
    2. Work your way all the way around the pie, leaving some space – usually about ½ inch – between the finger crimps so you’ve got room for the fork crimps.
    3. Once you’ve crimped the pie all the way around, use your pointer finger to press the excess dough in between crimps flat to the edge of the pie plate. This makes it easier to make the fork crimps.
    4. Press floured fork tines onto the dough you just flattened in between each crimp. Press firmly, but not so hard you hit the pie plate. Continue all the way around the pie.


    We love the way this one combines the classic fork pressing we all know with a little extra flare!


  13. Crosshatch

  14. Prefer to use just your fork but still want something a little special? We’ve got two great options for you! First up: the crosshatch!

    1. Flour a fork and start by making a traditional fork crimp all around the pie, holding the fork tines vertically along the dough. Press firmly, but not so hard you mash the dough down and hit the pie plate.
    2. Press around the pie again, this time holding the fork tines horizontally. Press with just the edges of the fork, then start the next press where the last one ended. You’ll end up with little boxes of crosshatched dough!
    3. If pressing with the fork causes the dough to become uneven – a common effect – chill the crust after you do the crosshatch, then use a paring knife to cut the excess dough away, holding it flush to the edge while you cut.


    This one gives the pie a rustic look, don’t you think? It’s also a great option for double-crust pies.


  15. Fork Chevron

  16. The chevron pattern is so popular right now, and it’s actually REALLY easy to make on your pie crust. Just grab your floured fork and:

    1. Hold the fork at a 45-degree angle toward the right, to make diagonal lines on the pie. The tine furthest to the left will make a long line and the tine furthest to the right will make a short line. Press firmly into the dough, but not so hard that you mash the dough and hit the pie plate.
    2. Rotate the fork to hold it at a 45-degree angle, this time toward the left. This time, you’ll make diagonal lines the other way. Press firmly into the dough.
    3. Repeat this process all the way around the pie, first by angling right then again by angling left.
    4. If pressing with the fork causes the dough to become uneven – a common effect – chill the crust after you do the crosshatch, then use a paring knife to cut the excess dough away, holding it flush to the edge while you cut.


    Lovely! What’s great about this one, too, is even if you mess up or can’t quite get the lines to line up into the pattern like you want, it still looks really cool!


  17. Spoon Scallop

  18. Forks aren’t the only utensil you can use for crimping your pie crusts! This pretty scallop edge is made with a spoon!

    1. Dust a spoon with flour. Choose your spoon according to how you want the scallop to look: rounder edges for a “swoopier” look, more pointed edge for a sharper look, etc.
    2. Coming from the outside of the pie, press the edge of the floured spoon into the dough, close to the inner edge of the pie plate’s edge. Repeat all the way around the pie.
    3. Press the spoon into the dough again, this time just below the impressions you made the first time, making two little scallop shapes.
    4. If the dough becomes a bit uneven at the edges of the pie, chill the crust, then hold a paring knife flush to the edge and cut away the excess dough away.

So many great options! Thanks again to our partners at Food52 for sharing them with us! Be sure to visit them for even more pie crust tips. What do YOU think of these crimped edges? Do you consider yourself a pie crust artist, or are you a novice crimper? Any simple ideas we missed?