1. Give it a wash
A wash is essential to give pies a burnished crust. You can always use a whole beaten egg mixed with a little water for a medium-gold gloss. Or try one of these alternatives:
Heavy cream leaves a natural, light-golden color with a matte finish.
Egg yolk contains more fat and less water than a whole beaten egg, resulting in a rich, dark color and a dramatic sheen.
Egg white has more water than fat, which provides a pale-golden color and a lustrous glaze.
2. Sprinkle with sugar
After applying a wash, scatter sugar over the top to add sweetness, texture, and shimmer. Different types provide different effects. Here are our favorites:
Sanding is an all-purpose decorating sugar, used for a medium crunch and a sparkling finish.
Turbinado (or raw) is quite coarse and jewel-like; it’s for dramatic crunch and a deep, amber shine.
Granulated is the finest, most subtle option and results in a delicate crunch and a clear, gentle gleam.
Watch our Kitchen Conundrums expert Thomas Joseph demonstrate each finish: