Fern Pie Crust Tutorial

Bring summer to life in a pie topped with leafy greens! Er…buttery, flaky greens? We gave this pie a summery twist by making ferns out of pie crust and placing them over a refreshing key lime filling. You can make your own filling, or even use a boxed mix.

How To Make A Fern Pie Crust

The key to this pie is filling the pie with a pre-cooked filling, topping with the pie crust ferns, and then baking so that the crust gets nice and browned but the filling doesn’t bubble. This will keep the top of the filling smooth and glossy while not changing the shape of the ferns on top.

What You Need

How To Make A Fern Pie Crust

Makes one 8-9 inch pie

  • One 8-9 inch pie dish
  • 1 recipe pie crust dough (recipe below)
  • Flour, for dusting
  • Pie filling (You choose the flavor—canned or homemade work great. Key lime looks beautiful underneath the pie crust ferns!)
  • Large leaf cookie cutter
  • Sharp knife
  • 1 Egg, beaten well
  • Basting brush


How To Make A Fern Pie Crust

Step 1
Divide the dough in half. Roll one half into a ball and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Dust lightly with flour and cover with another sheet of parchment paper. Roll dough into a ¼” thick round. Cover pie dish with the round of dough, pressing dough gently into the dish.

Pour your pie filling into the crust-lined dish and smooth the top of the filling into an even layer.

How To Make A Fern Pie Crust

Step 2
Trim excess dough from the sides of the dish with a sharp knife.

How To Make A Fern Pie Crust

Step 3
Place the other half of the dough in between two sheets of parchment paper and roll to a ¼” thickness.

Cut large leaf shapes out of the dough with a leaf cookie cutter. Make even larger leaf shapes by setting the cutter on top of the dough and cutting around the cutter with a sharp knife, leaving ½” to 1” between the cutter and the cuts you make with the knife.

How To Make A Fern Pie Crust

Step 4
Peel away excess dough and discard.

How To Make A Fern Pie Crust

Step 5
Cut small lines down the sides of each leaf shape with a knife. Make sure to not cut through the center so that the ferns stay intact!

How To Make A Fern Pie Crust How To Make A Fern Pie Crust

Step 6
Place the dough ferns on top of the pie filling and around the crust edges.

How To Make A Fern Pie Crust

Step 7
Brush the tops of the crust ferns with beaten egg.

Bake at 375 degrees on the middle shelf of the oven for 30-40 minutes. Move to the bottom rack of the oven and bake an additional 10 minutes. Remove before the filling bubbles (this can disrupt the fern crust) and let cool before serving.

Pie Crust Recipe


Makes enough crust for one covered pie.

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening
  • 12 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • ¼ cup + ice water


Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until combined. Add the shortening and butter and process until the mixture is crumbly. With the food processor running, drizzle in ice water, one tablespoon at a time until the mixture forms a firm dough. Press dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. If not using immediately, store in the fridge.

How To Make A Fern Pie Crust