Pie is pretty much expected for dessert at Thanksgiving, so how do you make sure it has that surprise-and-delight element? Give your pie a fancy decorative top crust! It's what telegraphs that there's something special awaiting your guests—a true grand finale. Here, we went with a diamond design for our apple pie (it can be used for any double-crust pie): tiles are cut out of our Test Kitchen's Favorite Pate Brisee with a cookie cutter, then half are brushed with egg yolk, and the other half are finished with egg white and sanding sugar. The result is a glittering, golden masterpiece of a top crust. Start by rolling out a disk of dough on a lightly floured piece of parchment to a 13-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer on parchment to a baking sheet and, using a small round cutter or paring knife, cut a 1-inch hole in center. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes, then proceed with our tutorial below.
1. Stamp out pieces of dough with a 2 1/4-inch diamond-shaped cookie cutter, laying them on a piece of parchment. Place in freezer until tiles are very firm, about 15 minutes. Brush half of tiles with an egg-white wash, and other half with an egg-yolk wash. Sprinkle egg-white tiles with sanding sugar.
2. Arrange from center, alternating washes. Lay tiles flush with one another; they’ll shrink in the oven.
3. Use kitchen shears to trim overhang and use trimmed pieces to fill in any gaps. Firm them up in the fridge for 30 minutes, then bake.