A lattice pie crust is a beautiful and impressive way to top off a homemade pie. It adds a decorative touch to your pie and allows the filling to peek through, creating a visually appealing dessert. Making a lattice crust may seem intimidating, but with a few simple steps, you can easily create a lattice pattern that will have everyone thinking you’re a pie-making pro.
To begin, you’ll need to make your pie dough. You can use a store-bought dough if you’re short on time, but making your own dough from scratch adds a personal touch to your pie. Combine flour, salt, and cold butter in a food processor, pulsing until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add ice water until the dough comes together. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a disk. Wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Roll out one of the dough disks on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 1/8 inch thick.
- Using a sharp knife or a pastry wheel, cut the dough into long, even strips approximately 1/2 inch wide.
- Place half of the strips vertically on top of the pie filling, spacing them evenly.
- Now, fold back every other strip halfway and lay a horizontal strip across the unfolded strips.
- Fold the strips back down, and fold back the alternate vertical strips.
- Repeat this process, alternating the folding of the strips until a lattice pattern is formed.
Once the lattice is complete, trim the excess dough and crimp the edges of the pie to seal. Brush the lattice with an egg wash and sprinkle with sugar for a golden, shiny finish. Bake the pie according to your recipe’s instructions and enjoy the satisfaction of creating a visually stunning lattice pie crust!
Choose the Right Dough
All-Butter Dough: An all-butter dough is a classic choice for lattice pie crusts. It has a rich, buttery flavor and a tender texture. The high fat content of the butter helps to create flakiness in the crust. This dough can be a bit more fragile and may require some extra care when handling.
Pate Brisee: Pate brisee is a French-style dough made with a combination of butter and shortening. The addition of shortening helps to give the dough some extra stability and makes it easier to work with. Pate brisee has a slightly flaky texture and a neutral flavor that pairs well with a variety of fillings.
Whole Wheat Dough: For a healthier twist, you can use whole wheat dough for your lattice pie crust. It adds a nutty flavor and a slightly denser texture to the crust. However, it may require a bit more water and careful handling to prevent it from becoming too dry or crumbly.
When choosing a dough, it’s important to consider the flavor and texture you want for your lattice pie crust. Each type of dough has its own unique qualities, so experiment with different recipes to find your favorite.
Traditional Pie Crust
To make a traditional pie crust, you will need:
- 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of ice water
To begin, mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add the cold butter cubes and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to break the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs. Make sure the butter is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
Next, drizzle the ice water gradually over the flour and butter mixture. Use a fork or your hands to gently mix the dough until it starts to come together. Be careful not to overmix, as this can result in a tough crust.
Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a disk. Wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling out and using in your pie recipe.
Gluten-Free Pie Crust
One of the keys to a successful gluten-free pie crust is using a combination of gluten-free flours. A common blend includes a mix of rice flour, tapioca flour, and potato starch. These flours provide a balance between texture and flavor, resulting in a crust that is both tender and flavorful.
To make the crust, start by combining the gluten-free flours with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of sugar. Cut in cold butter or a non-dairy alternative, such as coconut oil or vegetable shortening, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly add cold water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
When it comes time to roll out the dough, dust your work surface and rolling pin with additional gluten-free flour to prevent sticking. Roll the dough into a circle slightly larger than your pie pan. Gently transfer the dough to your pan and press it into the bottom and sides. Trim any excess dough and crimp the edges as desired. At this point, you can either fill the crust and bake it as directed in your chosen pie recipe, or you can blind bake the crust by pricking it with a fork and baking it for a few minutes before adding the filling.
While gluten-free pie crusts may require a bit of extra attention and care, the result is a delicious and satisfying crust that is sure to impress. Whether you’re making a classic apple pie or a savory quiche, this gluten-free pie crust is a great option for those avoiding gluten.
Prepare the Dough
- Gather the ingredients: You will need all-purpose flour, unsalted butter, salt, sugar, and ice water.
- Combine the dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar until well combined.
- Cut in the butter: Cut the cold unsalted butter into small cubes and add them to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Use a pastry cutter or your hands to work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add the ice water: Gradually add the ice water to the flour-butter mixture, a tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork or your hands, until the dough starts to come together. Be careful not to overmix.
- Form the dough: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead it a few times to bring it together into a cohesive ball. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a flat disk. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
By following these steps, you will have a perfectly prepared dough ready to be rolled out and transformed into a beautiful lattice pie crust.