“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.”

Napoleon Bonaparte

Egg Wash

An egg wash is used to make pastry (such as a pie crust) shine, and aids in browning.  An egg wash is also used to bind parts together (such as when patching holes or cracks in your crust, or to seal the edges of the top and bottom crusts together, or to add fancy cut-outs), or to moisture-seal the bottom crust when blind baking so it doesn't get soggy when the pie filling is added.

An egg wash is just beaten egg and maybe a little bit of liquid (usually milk or water), which is mixed together and brushed (or "washed") onto the pie dough's surface with a pastry brush.  

Be careful not to brush it on too thickly, or it can dribble down between your crust and the pie pan, essentially gluing them together.  And if it's too thick and goopy, whatever you're trying to seal won't seal, it will just get mushy.

Egg wash is an all-purpose elixir for sealing edges, preventing leaks, adding sheen, and generally sprucing things up and impressing people with your pie artistry


The basic rule of thumb is 1 tsp of liquid per egg.  You can experiment with adding spices to your egg wash, such as cinnamon or nutmeg, for added flavor and added color.  The part of the egg you use and liquid you add to your egg wash will determine the finished look of the pie crust.

For this result:

Make an egg wash with:


whole egg, salt

Faint Shine

whole egg, milk

Matte, golden-brown

whole egg, water

Shiny, golden-brown

egg yolk, water

Shiny, golden-brown

egg yolk, salt

Shiny, dark

egg yolk, cream

Crisp, pale

egg white

Matte, golden-brown

heavy cream or half & half

Faint shine, golden-brown

olive oil