A pastry crimper is a useful kitchen utensil, particularly if you enjoy making double crust pies. The crimper looks like a small pizza cutter, usually featuring a handle of wood or plastic, and a metal wheel with flutes or insets that pushes the crusts together, and provides that professional crimped look on the outer crust. Occasionally you’ll find two-headed varieties of the pastry crimper, one with a straight round blade and one with a fluted round blade so you can either cut crust or crimp it.
Of course, it isn’t always necessary to use a pastry crimper, and you can instead use your forefinger and thumb to pinch crust together in a pretty shape. You really do need to make sure a two crust pie is sealed well because a good pie can be ruined if the pie filling leaks out between the crusts. Some like to use a crimper on single crust pies also, so they can get that pretty fluted edge that looks so professional.
Yet the pastry crimper is not just for piecrusts. You may also see these utensils advertised as pasta cutters. They are just the right shape for creating individual raviolis, providing the raviolis with the lovely crimped and fluted edge. Crimpers can be used to cut sheets of pasta into lasagna noodles, or in a variety of other shapes.
If you enjoy sugar cookies, you may also make use of a pasty crimper to separate rolled out cookie dough into any shapes you like. Crimpers and pasta cutters are exceptional for this purpose, especially if you have trouble making cut out cookies from molds. Simple triangles, diamonds or even circles are easy to make with this tool, and add a pretty touch to the end of each cookie.
It’s fairly easy to find a pastry crimper, and they are inexpensive. You may want to look for one with a plastic handle that can go in the dishwasher. Those with wooden handles will degrade over time and may not be dishwasher safe. Cost for a simple crimper averages about $5-10 US Dollars (USD), and they’re readily available in kitchen supply stores, department stores, and on a host of Internet sites. You may pay a little more for double headed types, and these may be a little more difficult to find.
Some people feel the double-headed types, especially since the flat blade is somewhat sharp, are a bit difficult to manipulate. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have a pastry crimper and a flat blade cutter. Since both are reasonably priced, they fit into most people’s budgets easily, and are a significant help for a variety of cooking applications.
For folks with children, any child who enjoys playing with clay may really enjoy playing with a pastry crimper. You can find some with plastic heads that aren’t sharp at all, allowing kids to practice the art of pastry safely, or just draw pretty designs on their clay.