Pie Crust Basics – Part 3: The Lattice Top Pie

Today I’m going to finish up my Pie Crust Basics series with this final tutorial on making a lattice topped pie. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 for information and techniques on making crust for single and double crust pies.

I think lattice crusts are one of the most beautiful ways to top a pie. They give depth and texture to the top, plus they give you a peak at the delectable filling inside.

To make a lattice topped pie, you need to start out with a blind baked bottom crust, as described in the tutorials in Part 1 and Part 2. The edges on that crust can be scalloped or just left gently pressed down, after rolling under, to give a flat edge for the lattice strips to attach. I made a flat edge for my pie then pressed it with the tines of a fork to give it a little texture.

While the crust is cooling, make your filling then roll out the top dough between two sheets of waxed paper, just like you would for a double crust pie. Make sure to roll it out in a circle large enough to cover the top of your pie. Usually lattice crusts are rolled a little thicker than your normal top pie crust.

Remove one side of the waxed paper then lay the paper back on the dough. Flip it over and remove the other side of the waxed paper. You do this to make sure the dough doesn’t stick to the bottom waxed paper and tear your strips when you go to remove them.

Now you can cut out your strips of dough. The width of lattice strips is usually between 1/2″ and 3/4″, although I have seen some with very thick strips. It really just depends on the look you want for your pie. You can use a toothpick and a ruler to measure and mark your dough, then use a pastry wheel to cut out the strips or you can do it my way. I use a tool, from my cake decorating supplies, called a ribbon cutter. The thing I love about this tool is that you can adjust it to the width you want and switch out the cutting wheels to either straight or wavy then just roll it along your crust, no need for measuring anything. I start with one strip then, for the second strip, I place one of the wheels in the cut edge of the first strip and use this as my guide for cutting the next strip.

Now you can fill your pie and start attaching the strips. Begin by placing a strip in the middle of the pie then spacing two more strips evenly on each side of that center strip and continuing until the whole pie is covered with strips in one direction.

Fold back every other strip in half so that it lays on top of itself. Be careful when doing this not to tear the strips or let the tops of them fall into the filling.

Take another strip and lay it in the center of the pie, going the opposite direction of the previous strips. It should cover the strips that are laying flat on the pie. Now unfold the folded strips and lay them back down over the strip you just added.

For the next strip you are going to do the same thing except this time you will pull back the opposite strips that you pulled back last time.

Lay down another strip, evenly spaced and on the side of the first strip, then lay the folded strips back down again.

Continue doing this until you have completed one side then do the same for the other side.

This is what the top should look like once all the strips have been added.

Use some kitchen shears and trim the strips so that they line up evenly with the edge of the bottom crust.

With a pastry brush, brush some beaten egg or egg glaze on to the bottom crust and gently press the edges of the strips against the crust to adhere them. Egg glaze is made by mixing one egg yolk with 1-2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. I will usually use the glaze to attach the strips if I am planning on glazing the top of the pie afterward. If I’m not going to glaze the pie then I will just beat an egg and use that for my “glue.”

If desired, finish off the pie by brushing egg glaze over the strips. It is a little bit trickier adding glaze to a lattice top than to a regular pie crust top because you have to be sure that your pastry brush doesn’t touch the pie filling and spread filling over your crust. Make sure to use a small pastry brush and dab the glaze on the strips.

Bake the pie according to your recipe directions. Keep an eye on it. If the edges start to get too brown remove it from the oven and add strips of foil to cover them (as mentioned in Part 2) then return to the oven and continue baking.

Allow to cool before eating.

There you’ve got a beautiful lattice crust pie.

Doesn’t it look yummy?

I hope this series of pie crust basics tutorials has given you some helpful tips and made you feel confident in your ability to make your own homemade pie crust. Once you get the hang of it you’ll never want to buy premade crust again.

Until next time, God Bless and Sweet Dreams.

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