Every year my church hosts an event called Western Day, and one of the main attractions is the pie baking contest. As of this date, I have never won, but in all fairness there are some pretty amazing bakers to compete with!
The pie baking contest is a great motivator to try something new though, and this year my mind went to painted pastry. A few years ago I experimented with a similar technique for painting sugar cookies prior to baking, but I didn’t like the result once the cookies had puffed up slightly and cracked that surface. My theory was the pastry would give a better finish since it technically doesn’t rise, and I was right.
Pastry paint happens in the egg wash stage, and involves only a egg, some water, and some food colour paste or spray. To make this pie, I used both; The leaves and flowers were all painted but the blue flowers were sprayed with an air brush food colour I picked up. I just loved how vibrant all of the colours were! Added to it, were sugared cranberries and pecans, because I love the rustic look of fruit and nut garnishes.
It’s important to remember that the painting happens before baking because we’re using egg – I laid my cut and painted pieces on a cookie sheet and assembled them afterwards onto my pumpkin pie. The “glue” and clear glaze that was used for finishing, was just a bit of icing sugar mixed with water. The glaze gives all of that extra pastry a nice flavour that you can enjoy on it’s own (if that much pastry on your pie seems like overkill).
Here’s how I put this particular pie together. Have fun with your own creations!
The Pastry Paint – Recipe
Place the egg in a glass and whisk with the water for about half a minute. The water will break down the egg and make it less gluey. Divide your egg mixture between the mixing cups.
Using disposable toothpicks, add colour to your egg wash and mix pots of colour.
Paint your pastry! Be liberal with your egg wash, it will soak in. Bake the pieces until browned on the bottom and remove from the oven. The size of your pieces will make the cooking times vary, but these particular pieces were baked for 10 minutes at 350F.
Assemble your pie using a glaze mixed with icing sugar and water. Once it dries it will harden slightly and help hold everything in place. It also makes a nice all-over glaze for shine and flavour.
Post your creations online and use the hashtag #creativelybee so I can see your work! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Click here for my tutorial on making your own Pie Crust!