Pie is pretty much expected for dessert at Thanksgiving, so how do you make sure it has that surprise-and-delight element? Give your pie a fancy decorative top crust! It’s what telegraphs that there’s something special awaiting your guests—a true grand finale. Here, we went with a diamond design for our apple pie (it can be used for any double-crust pie): tiles are cut out of our Test Kitchen’s Favorite Pate Brisee with a cookie cutter, then half are brushed with egg yolk, and the other half are finished with egg white and sanding sugar. The result is a glittering, golden masterpiece of a top crust. Start by rolling out a disk of dough on a lightly floured piece of parchment to a 13-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer on parchment to a baking sheet and, using a small round cutter or paring knife, cut a 1-inch hole in center. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes, then proceed with our tutorial below.
- Stamp out pieces of dough with a 2 1/4-inch diamond-shaped cookie cutter, laying them on a piece of parchment. Place in freezer until tiles are very firm, about 15 minutes. Brush half of tiles with an egg-white wash, and other half with an egg-yolk wash. Sprinkle egg-white tiles with sanding sugar.
- Arrange from center, alternating washes. Lay tiles flush with one another; they’ll shrink in the oven.
- Use kitchen shears to trim overhang and use trimmed pieces to fill in any gaps. Firm them up in the fridge for 30 minutes, then bake.