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Serving Food Attractively: Pies And Pastries
ANIMAL COOKIES OR CRACKERS: Cut gashes in the pastry used for the top crust of a blackberry pie before baking, so that there will be one, two, or three openings in each wedge. Just before serving the pie, place small blackbird cookies in the gashes. Lay or stand animal crackers on a custard or chiffon pie.
CANDIES: Scatter colorful decorative candies over meringue or whipped-cream topping. Arrange dragees in a design on each wedge of a pie before baking. Hard candy hearts or gumdrop candies in many shapes may be used to form designs, such as hearts, clubs, diamonds, flowers, or other objects on the surface of a pie.CHERRIES, CURRANTS, AND GOOSEBERRIES: Arrange a cluster of fruit with leaves next to each pie wedge on serving plate. If the whole pie is served at the table, a cluster of fruit may top the center of a two-crust pie or be arranged artistically on the rim of a glass pie dish.
CHEESE: Mold processed cheese into a small apple and sprinkle one side of the "apple" with paprika. Insert a whole clove at the blossom end and a crabapple stem at the stem end. Serve on apple pie. The cheese may also be molded into the shape of a pumpkin. Mark ridges on the pumpkin with the dull edge of a knife and insert a whole clove in the stem end. Serve on pumpkin pie.
GRAPES: Swirl meringue or whipped cream on top of the pie so that there will be a swirl on each wedge. Place 3 whole grapes in each swirl. Place each wedge of pie on a serving plate and arrange a small cluster of grapes with mint leaves over the crust.
MERINGUE: Press meringue through pastry tube to form rosettes, dividing lines, or other designs on pie. Top pie with white meringue and cover with white or tinted coconut. Scatter chopped or shaved nut meats over meringue. Top meringue with berries or slices of fruit.
NUT MEATS: Press nut-meat halves in top piecrust before baking. Form designs with nut-meat halves on custard pie after baking.
PASTRY CUTOUTS: Cut chickens, rabbits, hatchets, shamrocks, or other objects out of unbaked piecrust; place a cutout on each pie wedge, then bake.
Trace a unit of cherries with leaves on the piecrust, then cut out the design with a sharp knife. Place a cherry unit on each serving of an open-faced cherry pie before baking. Trace then cut three large maple leaves from piecrust. Place on top of fruit pie, then bake. After baking, place in the center a few pieces of the fruit that was used in the pie-whole berries or other small fruit or a few slices of larger fruit.
Cut oak leaves and an acorn out of piecrust. Mark the veins on the leaves with the tip of a knife. Place one unit on each serving, then bake. For variation, leaves may be cut out of 1/4 -inch slices of American cheese. Trace the leaves on paper or cardboard, cut out, and use as patterns. Mold the acorn and acorn cap from processed cheese and attach the cap to the acorn. Dip the cap in chopped nut meats or nutmeg. Place the cheese acorns and oak leaves on individual servings of apple pie or other 2-crust pie just before serving.
Trace then cut strawberry leaves from piecrust. Sprinkle leaves with green sugar and bake. Top each serving of cream pie with strawberry leaves and a fresh whole strawberry with or without hull.
Roll pastry about 1/3 inch thick; cut into the shape of a star. Make a hole in the center of each star large enough to insert a candy candleholder. Bake. Just before serving place the candleholder with candle inserted on top of pie wedge.
PINEAPPLE: Arrange pineapple wedges in a flower design, with a half or a whole cherry for the center, on top of a baked pineapple custard pie or in the design stenciled on top crust of a two-crust pineapple pie before baking.
SPICES: Sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, or any other suitable spice over custard pies, or over whipped cream on pie.
SWEETENED CRUMB MIXTURE: Prepare cookie or cake crumb mixture by rolling dried cookies or cake. Scatter over meringue or whipped-cream-topped pies, or sprinkle over design in cardboard stencil. Hold stencil slightly above the pie topping to prevent its touching the soft whipped cream or meringue.
WHIPPED CREAM: Top entire pie with white or tinted whipped cream. To tint whipped cream add fruit or vegetable coloring to the cream before beating.
Top whipped cream with jelly or any of the following fruits: bananas, prunes, dates, figs, plums, or cranberries.
Scatter grated sweet chocolate, chocolate shot, chopped nut meats, or white or tinted coconut over whipped cream.
Using pieces of fruit, form flower designs on whipped cream in individual servings. Force whipped cream through pastry tube to form design on pie or pastry. Top with chopped pistachio nut meats.
Arrange nut-meat halves in a design on top of whipped cream.