Heeeeeeeere's Johnny Pie!

Posted on November 07 2016

Here's Johnny Pie

Heeeeeeere's my final entry in the Spooktober Month of Spooky Pies! I'm very happy with how this one turned out - it's a technique I've employed before, but augmented with a bit of extra doughy embellishment. Here's how I did it:

Time to create:

  • half hour to make the stencil
  • half hour to make the top design
  • 5 minutes to make the pie bottom
  • 45 minutes to bake


  • Pre-made filling
  • Pre-made pie shell
  • Pre-made roll out crust
  • Flour
  • Egg white
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon 
  • Pastry brush
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Parchment paper
  • Scissors 
  • Exacto knife
  • Pencil
  • Reference image / computer

Step 1 - Create the stencil

Create the stencil

There's no shortage of great shots of the iconic moment where Jack Nicholson's character busts through the bathroom door... Find one that is to your liking and open it in Photoshop.

Create an 8" diameter circle and place the face inside. Then follow these steps to get the image stencil-ready:

Go to Image -> Adjustment -> Threshold. Diddle with the slider until you are relatively happy with the black and white image.

After that, go to Filter -> Filter Gallery (or "Artistic" in older versions) -> Cut Out. Diddle with these sliders to smooth out the areas of your stencil-to-be.

Finally, using the paintbrush tool, clean up any "islands" (areas of white fully enclosed by black) by either painting them out completely with a black paintbrush, or creating a little "peninsula" of white to connect them to the rest of the stencil.

Step 2 - Trace the stencil

Trace the reference image

Using a *dull* pencil (don't damage your screen) trace the outline of just the head on a piece of parchment paper.

Then *carefully* trace all the black areas on a separate piece of parchment.

Tip: make sure your parchment curls towards the screen, otherwise when you try to paste down the stencil it'll curl up on you.

Step 3 - Cut out the stencil sheets

Stencil sheets

Cut out stencil

Exacto fine details

Ready to use

Using sharp scissors and an exacto knife, cut out the head shape, and the stencil shapes.

Step 4 - Cut out the head shape in dough

Cut out face shape

Place the head shape on your dough and trace around it with your knife.

Step 5 - Paste on the stencil

Egg wash


Adhere stencil

Using a *leetle* bit of egg white, give the head a wash and then tap down the stencil. It should be tacky but not wet. If it is too wet, your stencil will just curl up and you'll have to make a new one (pain in the butt!)

Step 6 - Sprinkle on the powder

Sprinkle powder

Pour a bit of cinnamon into the cap and use your fingers to sprinkle powder over the whole stencil. Don't shake it on directly or you'll end up with waaaay too much, and it'll be a chore to get rid of the excess.

Step 7 - Tap down the powder

Tap in powder

Tap down the powder around all the stencil edges, and let it sit for a minute. Then with your finger or a small brush, carefully sweep all the excess powder off the stencil. 

Step 8 - Peel off the stencil

Peel off stencil

Slowly peel off the stencil, making sure that any excess powder gathers and falls away from the "clean" areas of your design.

Step 9 - Create the rest of the pie design

Add to pie bottom

Create the bottom of your pie, then careful lift the face on top. If you are having trouble keeping the face horizontal, use a knife to help. This will ensure no powder falls where it shouldn't.

With your remaining dough, cut out some "door shrapnel" pieces and place around the face. I left the edges ragged because I liked the look, but feel free to finish however you prefer!

Step 10 - Pop it in the oven

Door frame detail

Give the "wood bits" a final egg white wash, then pop it in the oven. I baked mine at 425 for 15 minutes, the at 400 for another 30, but every oven is different. Just make sure the crust is golden brown and the filling bubbling.

Step 11 - DONE!


Done! All ready to serve at your next Shining movie night, or 4 year old's birthday party (if you have a 4 year old like mine.)

If you liked this recipe/tutorial, please tweet, pin, instagram, etc. with the buttons below, and leave me a comment. As always I love to hear your feedback, ideas for future pies, and if you take a stab at making this design or something else with this technique, lemme know and I may feature you on the Ins-pie-ration page! 


Thanks for reading, and see you next Wednesday :) 

π > ∞

Jessica (aka @ThePieous)



1 comment

  • Tom: November 10, 2016

    Looks great!

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