Learn how to make a lattice pie crust design to add a fancy touch to your next dessert. These simple tips for rolling, cutting, and weaving will help you customize your favorite fruit pie recipe.
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Making a freshly baked homemade pie is a labor of love but worth the effort. A simple double-crust is always stunning. However, a lattice top allows for creativity and customization. It only takes a few extra cuts to make your design unique.
These step-by-step tips will ensure success for adequately preparing and chilling the dough. Use it for fruit fillings like strawberry, apple, and cherry pie. Friends and family will think you went to culinary school. Let’s get started.
I use a pie crust recipe that yields enough for a top and bottom crust, like my apple pie recipe. It’s a classic Pâte Brisée, made of flour, butter, salt, and water. However, my recipe has a higher ratio of butter to achieve a super flaky crust. I break the butter into coarse pieces, about the size of a pea.
I create two 1-inch thick discs and refrigerate them for a minimum of 4 hours. However, overnight is ideal to allow the gluten in the dough to relax. Rolling out the dough too soon after mixing results in a tougher bite.
Make the bottom crust
Roll the bottom crust first, about ¼-inch thick. This ensures a sturdy base layer when slicing. Ease it into a 9-inch pie dish, pressing the sides and edges. Trim the excess dough but leave a ½-inch border to fold over the top crust later. Chill the dough while making the lattice.
Cut the strips of dough
Using the top crust portion, roll out a 13 by 10-inch rectangle. Cut it into 10 strips of dough that are 13-inches long and 1-inch wide. You can make thinner ½-inch thick strips if desired. I find a long ruler and a pizza cutter work well for creating the strips. Chill or freeze them to make it easier to weave, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Weaving the lattice design
Add the desired pie filling into the bottom crust. Lay 5 parallel strips evenly over the filling, then weave the remaining pieces. I like to have 1/2-inch of crust overhang the edges to press together with the bottom, fold over, and crimp.
Egg wash and baking
Right before baking, brush the crust with whisked egg. It will enhance the golden brown color and make for a shinier appearance. I also like to sprinkle on a bit of cinnamon and sugar for extra sweetness and texture. Sanding sugar works well too. Bake according to your specific pie recipe directions. The assembled pie can also be covered and refrigerated one day before baking.
Venting the pie
A standard double crust requires you to cut a hole for venting. However, a lattice crust has built-in ventilation with the openings from the weave pattern. Not only do they look pretty, but those openings allow excess steam to escape from the fruit, concentrating the flavors and thickening the filling over time.
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How to Make a Lattice Pie Crust
- 2 pounds pie dough, for top and bottom crust
- 1 large egg, whisked for egg wash
- Allow the top and bottom crust to sit at room temperature for about 10 to 15-minutes. This process will make it easier to roll. If still too hard, let it sit at room temperature until more pliable.
- Dust the counter and the top of the dough with flour. When rolling out, make sure to rotate and dust with flour underneath and on the top. This will prevent it from sticking and make it easier to transfer to the pie dish. Roll the bottom crust into about a 12 to 13-inch circle, about ¼-inch thick.
- Place the rolled out dough into a 9-inch pie dish and gently press up against the sides and bottom. With a paring knife, trim the excess dough, leaving a ½-inch overhang to fold over the lattice crust edges later. Place the prepared pie dish in the refrigerator to keep cold.
- Roll out and trim the second piece of dough into a 13 by 10-inch rectangle. Cut it into 10 strips, 13-inch long by 1-inch wide. Alternatively, cut them into thinner ½-inch strips. Separate slightly and freeze them on a baking sheet until very firm, about 20-minutes or refrigerate for 30-minutes. Freezing the dough makes it easier to weave the strips together without tears or breaks. It also helps the lattice maintain its shape during baking.
- Using the chilled strips, lay 5 parallel pieces evenly over the filling. Weave the sixth strip in the opposite direction, lifting the other pieces as needed to facilitate weaving. Continue with the remaining 4 strips, one at a time.
- After letting the strips thaw and soften for a few minutes, trim the overhanging edges to 1/2-inch. Press the edges of the bottom crust and lattice strips together and fold over the edges. Crimp evenly around the pie crust edges using your fingers.
- Brush the crust with egg wash and sprinkle with other toppings like sugar or cinnamon if desired.
- Bake according to your specific pie recipe, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day before baking. Bake until the crust is golden brown on the top and sides.
- Topping: Granulated or sanding sugar can be sprinkled on top for extra crunch. Ground cinnamon can be mixed with the sugar to add warm spice flavor.
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