Photography Credit: Irvin Lin
One of my favorite kitchen tools is a simple pastry wheel.
Also called a pastry cutter wheel or a ravioli cutter, this tool costs less than $12, takes absolutely no skill whatsoever to use, and makes all of your pies look like you spent $40 at the neighborhood bakery.
Recipes and techniques can be acquired if you have determination and time. Practice makes perfect, as folks often say.
But what elevates something from “homemade” to bakery-style or professional are the details: that little swoosh of a sauce, the perfect dollop of cream, the artfully sprinkled herbs over the dish that folks love to post on Instagram. Those little skills take practice to acquire.
But you know what doesn’t take practice to acquire? Cutting out ribbons of pie crust. And it’s not how many weaves you create with those ribbons that makes a pie crust look like you bought it at a professional bakery; it’s the fluted sides of those ribbons.
The fluted wheel is what you’d use to make scalloped edges for a woven top pie crust. And lest you think this is a one-trick-pony sort of kitchen utensil, I reach for my pastry wheel to make crackers, to hand cut pasta and ravioli, and to trim handmade and store-bought pastry to fit into the baking pan I’m using.
But yes, mostly I use it to make my pies pretty.
The minute you make a pie that has a woven crust where the lattice strips have scalloped edges, you’ve taken your pie to the next level. And that alone makes this tool worth having in my kitchen.
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