Introduction: Lattice Pie Crust
It's blackberry season, and nothing says lattice crust like a blackberry pie. The recipe I used for the filling is from a June 1978 Sunset magazine, but any fruit filling recipe will work. I'll assume you know how to make or buy a pie crust (I used the Betty Crocker recipe for a 9" two crust pie), so let's proceed from there.
- Pie crust dough
- Pie pan
- Pie filling
- Rolling pin
- Sharp knife
- Kitchen scissors
- Aluminum foil
- Baking sheet (such as pizza pan)
- Cooling rack
Step 1: The Basics
On a floured surface, roll out half the dough to a circle about 2" larger than the inverted pan, place it in pie pan, and gently ease dough to fit. Trim edge of dough to 1" from rim of pie pan. (1/2"–3/4" will work if you're short on dough).
You can put the filling in at this point, but I usually wait until I've gotten the lattice strips cut and ready to go. Once the filling is in, most recipes will call for dotting the filling with butter, which helps to prevent bubbling over. (Didn't work for me this time!)
Step 2: The Strips
Roll out the rest of the dough to a circle a little larger than the size of the pie pan. It should be about 1/8" thick, but can be slightly more or less. Cut in 10–12 strips, 3/4"–1" wide. You can use a pastry wheel to make them fancier, but I use a sharp knife.
Step 3: Get Ready to Strip
Starting with one of the longer strips of dough, place it near the middle of the filled pie. (In the middle if you plan on 5 total strips; off-center if you plan on a total of 6 in this direction). I used 5. Make sure to save a few of the longer strips for the next step.
Step 4: The Fun Part
Choose a long strip of dough. Starting at the middle, lay it over the top and at right angles (perpendicular) to the other strips. Carefully picking up alternate strips, weave it under and over.
Take a second strip, lay it next to and about 1/2" from the first. Again carefully picking up alternate strips, weave this one under and over, making sure to not follow the same pattern as the first strip. You want a basket-weave look.
Continue with the rest of the strips, till you've reached or are close to the edge on both sides. You may end up using all the strips, or not. It doesn't really matter.
Step 5: Trim and Tuck
Next you want to trim the edges of the strips about even with the overhanging lower crust. Don't worry if some are a little too short for this. Fold/tuck the edges of the dough and strips under to make a fairly even edge all around. If you need to, use scraps to piece together tears or gaps, using a little cold water to fasten.
Step 6: Crimp (or Is It Flute?)
This is just one way to finish the edge of the pie. You can use fork tines if you like, but this way builds up the edge a bit, helping to stop bubble-overs. Place thumb at an angle to the pie crust rim, and pinch a section of the crust rim between thumb and knuckle of index finger. Twist slightly, counter-clockwise. Repeat all the way around the pie.
Step 7: Ready to Bake
My recipe calls for putting the pie on a shallow rimmed sheet to catch drips, and for covering the edge of pie with a strip of foil till about 15-20 minutes before it is done. This keeps it from getting burned. Both of these are worth doing, in my opinion.
Step 8: The Finished Pie.
Good thing I had that drip pan! Next time I might use a little less filling than the recipe calls for. It will still taste great, though.
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