Making A Lattice Top For A Fruit Pie

I want to post some step-by-step pictures of making a lattice top for a pie, since some folks have asked for this. So here is how you do it:

As I mentioned yesterday, you start by rolling out your top crust, then sliding it onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and chilling it for 15 minutes or so. Then you take it out and use a pastry cutter to make nice ziggy-zaggy-edged strips.

Then you put your filling into the bottom crust, which has chilled nicely–at least 15 minutes–as well. Here we have sour cherries, mixed with cornstarch, sugar and almond extract:

If you are going to mix your fruit with a glaze, or top it with a sauce, now’s the time. In this case, I brushed a cherry glaze over the fruit.

Then we get to weaving the lattice top. Lay one of your longest strips across the middle of the pie. Once you’ve laid that longest one down, arrange three or four others in parallel strips across the pie.

Now let’s start the crossing pattern. Fold back every other strip in that first set you laid down. It will look like this:

Lay your other longest remaining strip across the original set:

Now put back the folded-back strips.

Now fold back the bottom-layer strips that you didn’t fold back the first time. Place another crosswise strip of dough on top and fold those strips back down.

Keep going in that way until you have placed all the strips on the pie, folding back alternating sets of top strips and putting them back down again. Finally, you have a pie that looks like this:

Now trim the excess dough from around the edge, so you have about an inch or an inch and a half hanging over. Tuck the overlap under, going all around the edge of the pie with a rolling-under finger motion. Then go around a second time, crimping or pinching to seal. (And yes, that’s a scissors you see there. Sometimes I use it to trim pie dough.)

Now I dip my hands in cold water and shake droplets over the pie; take it easy here, you don’t want a soaked crust! Then sprinkle coarse sugar over them. You can brush milk or cream over the strips instead of using water if you prefer. Now chill the whole pie for at least 15 minutes, while you preheat the oven to 425.

Here is our finished pie, ready to go into the oven. I’m putting a really big photo in here, so you can see how coarse the sugar is. This offers a nice little crunch, which works well with the buttery crust and juicy fruit inside. Notice, also, that the pie is on a lipped baking sheet lined with parchment paper. This is a really good thing to do unless you love having your smoke alarm go off, and you love scraping burnt cherry juice from the bottom of your oven. 🙂

Now the pie goes into a 425-degree oven for about 15 minutes, then bakes for another 45-50 at 350 degrees, until bubbly and golden. Here’s the way it looked when it was baked. Yum!!

I will post the complete recipe in the recipes section (under “categories,” in the right margin). Enjoy!

  1. Kathy
    Love the "how to" pictures!
  2. Kathy
    Forgot to ask...how long did you chill the pastry before cutting into strips?
  3. CurvyMama Pies
    Thanks for asking that, Kathy! You should treat both disks of pie dough (the ones that will become your bottom crust, and your top lattice strips) the same way after making the dough: make them into nice disks, wrap them in wax paper, and chill them at least 30 minutes. They can stay overnight or longer, but you just have to give them some warm-up time before rolling them out if you do this. For the bottom crust, the second chill should come after you roll it out and put it in the pie pan; for the lattice, you should chill it after you roll it out, cut it into strips and put it on a cookie sheet. In both of those cases, chilling about 15 minutes seems to be enough. The final chill is once you have filled and finished your pie. Chill it again for about 15 minutes while the oven is preheating. I know all of this seems like a pain, but it really, really does help our beloved pie to keep its shape while baking. I've updated the blog post to include all this chilling info, so thanks for writing to ask!