Lattice Pie Crust: First Attempt

I felt like making pie the other day and my sister suggested that I make one with a lattice crust. I’d never made one before and I thought it would be difficult but it was a lot easier than I thought.

The end result came out tasting like a pie should but aesthetically speaking it could have been better, but for a first attempt I was happy. I’m going to try again soon and I know where I made mistakes the first time.

I thought it would be difficult so to practice the lattice pattern I used pre-made shortcrust from the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

This crust tasted fine and it saved a lot of time. I like to bake on week days if I can and this was really helpful.If you’re using pre made pastry skip to step 3 below.
Sugar Dusted Apple Pie
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cups shortening
4-6 tbs cold water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 flour
3/4 tsp cinnamon
dash salt
6 cups tart apples (I used 4 big Bramley apples)
2 tbs butter
1tbs water
1 tbs sugar
1. Heat oven to 425 F. Mix 2 cups flour and 1 tsp salt. Cut in shortening using 2 knives. Sprinkle in water 1 tablespoon at a time until flour is moistened.
2. Divide pastry into balls, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes until cold.
3. On a floured surface roll pastry with a rolling pin, press firmly into pie plate
Leave a half inch overhang around the dish for a lattice topping (no overhang is necessary for a regular top). The bad thing about the pre made stuff is it came in a rectangle. I think next time I would use a rolling pin and shape it to be round.
4. In a large bowl, mix sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Stir in apples. Spoon into pastry lined pie plate. Cut butter into small pieces, sprinkle over apples
My pie at the end looked a little bumpy. I think a berry pie would suit a lattice pattern better. Berries would lie flat more easily than apples.
5. To make a normal pie covering: Roll other round of pastry and place over filling. Gently roll top under the lower edge. Brush top crust with 1 tbs water and sprinkle with 1 tbs sugar. Using a sharp knife cut slits in the middle. This allows steam to escape.
For a lattice topping roll out your pastry into a rectangle, so the length of the strips will reach across the pie pan. Any excess can always be trimmed. Measure strips about 1/2 inch thick and cut using a pastry cutter, sharp knife, or pizza cutter.
I did not measure (another mistake) as I wanted to practice the weaving part but I would recommend thinner strips and measuring for a pristine look.
Place the first 4 strips vertically across the pie folding up every other strip
Then lay the other strips across folding back the other strips. At this point I found that once the basic pattern was in place it was easier for me to very gently finish weaving over-and-under to make sure that one strip was over and the one next to it was under.
The 1/2 inch excess around the bottom should be folded over the ends of the strips. I think I should have trimmed a bit more as the edges are too thick and lumpy. You can see from this picture that the strips are not laying flat as the apples underneath are bumpy. Next time I would make the pie with a few more thinner strips.
6. Cover the edge with 2-3 inch strip of foil and remove during the last 15 minutes of baking (this prevents the crust from burning). Bake 40-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and juice begins to bubble. Cool on a rack for at least 2 hours.
This pie may not be my finest achievement but I have definitely learned a lot about baking pies from this first attempt and hope to improve on my second attempt.
Lessons learned from this first try:
1. Roll dough into correct shape for top and bottom piece
2. For a lattice crust measure the strips carefully
3. Ensure the filling is even and not overly bumpy
I think a strawberry pie would be great for summer and good for attempt #2!
UPDATE: Make sure to check out the second attempt!

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