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Winter is the perfect time for pie making, whether you’re whipping up a dessert for a holiday party or baking a delicious dish to serve at home. But if you find your pies aren’t so pretty, use these simple tricks to produce pies that are as beautiful as they taste.

Use a cookie cutter for decorative crust.

For a decorative top crust that stands out from the crowd at holiday parties, use a cookie cutter to cut decorative shapes from extra pastry, then layer the shapes on top of your filling using a small amount of water to stick the cookie cutter pieces together. A snowflake design is perfect for winter parties.

Serve your pie in a pretty plate.

Infrequent bakers might turn to disposable pie tins during the holiday season, but this ceramic pie plate can go straight from the oven to the table. The decorative pie plate comes in five colors and has a deep fluted edge that adds a decorative touch while supporting substantial pies.

Protect your crust.

When you picture a beautiful pie, flaky golden crust comes to mind. But if you find your pie crust is dark or dry you may need a pie crust shield. You can fashion a shield out of aluminum foil or use a reusable silicone shield during the last 15 to 20 minutes of baking so your crust stays the perfect color and the filling is cooked through.