Lattice-topped pies always wow people, though putting them together requires some quick footwork. You usually assemble the lattice once the filling is in the shell. This means the clock is ticking, and you have a window of time when the dough is pliable but not too soft. Plus, it’s tricky to manipulate the strips without getting filling on them. In this episode you’ll learn how to widen that window by making a prefab lattice on parchment that you then flip onto the filled pie. And we’ll put the technique to practice in a juicy Lattice-Topped Mixed-Berry Pie.
|Lattice-Topped Mixed Berry Pie||Lattice-Top Peach Pie||Lattice-Top Cherry Pie||Lattice-Top Rhubarb Pie|
A Tender Cream Cheese Dough
For this pie, we’re using Rose Levy Beranbaum’s cream cheese dough recipe. It starts with cubes of butter that have been frozen for 30 minutes, and the cream cheese is also cold. You also want to chill your dry ingredients for 30 minutes–they include all-purpose flour as well as cake flour (which contributes a tender texture), salt, and baking powder.
Put the dry ingredients in the food processor and just pulse to combine. Then in goes the cream cheese in about four pieces. Process until the mixture has the texture of fine meal. Then add the butter cubes, and pulse until the butter pieces are no larger than pea-sized.
Now instead of the water that goes into a regular pie dough, we add some heavy cream, and a tablespoon of cider vinegar, and pulse in short bursts. The cream adds richness to the dough, and the vinegar minimizes the formation of gluten, which keeps things tender.
The dough will start to come together after a minute or so. It’ll still look very crumbly but will hold together when you press it. Dump out the dough onto plastic wrap, gather together, and divide into two portions. Use plastic wrap to shape one into a round disk and the other into a rectangle. Wrap each portion tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
Roll the bottom crust into a 14-inch round and fit it to a pie plate. Keep this bottom crust chilled while you make your prefab lattice.
Weaving the Prefab Lattice
Roll out the rectangle of dough into an 11 x 14 inch rectangle that’s about 1/8 inch thick.
Cut ten 3/4 inch wide strips lengthwise, using a ruler to measure and help you cut straight lines. If you want a crimped edge on your lattice, use a fluted pastry wheel.
Lay out five strips horizontally on a piece of parchment, about 1/2 inch apart. Fold back every other strip halflway. Lay another strip vertically in the center.
Unfold the folded strip and fold back the other two (or three). Lay another vertical strip about 1/2 inch to the left of the center strip.
Unfold the folded strips. Fold back alternating strips right of the center. Lay another vertical strip and fold back the horizontal ones.
Repeat this process with the remaining two strips on the outside. Dab a little water where the strips overlap and press gently to seal. This helps “glue” the lattice together so it won’t slide around when you flip it onto your pie. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and chill while you get your filling into the pie shell.
Fill, Top, and Bake
Pile your filling into the chilled pie shell. Lift the lattice under its center and invert it over the pie in one quick movement.
Trim the lattice, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang all around the pie. Fold the top strips under the bottom crust, and crimp the entire edge as you would for a double-crusted pie.
Cover the pie with plastic and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. After 30 minutes, heat the oven to 425°F and put a baking sheet on the center rack to heat as well.
Brush the lattice with a little whole milk, then sprinkle some turbinado sugar, which gives the top crust a little sparkle.
Bake the pie on the baking sheet until the juices are bubbling all over. After 15 minutes, cover the rim with a pie shield or foil strips. If the lattice starts to darken too much in the last 10 minutes of baking, cover it loosely with a piece of foil that has a vent hole poked in the middle. Let the pie cool until the juices have thickened.
How to Make Lattice-Topped Fruit Pies
Abigail Johnson Dodge is a contributing editor at Fine Cooking, and teaches cooking classes around the country. She studied at La Varenne in Paris, and worked with Michel Guerard and Guy Savoy, specializing in pastry. She has written six cookbooks, four of them about baking, including The Weekend Baker, winner of the IACP award. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.
|Episode 1: Press-in Cookie Crust Tarts
||Episode 2: Equipment Essentials for Pies||Episode 3: All About Pie Dough|
|Episode 4: Rustic Fruit Galettes||Episode 5: Double-Crust Apple Pie||Episode 6: Single-Crust Pecan and Pumpkin Pies|
|Episode 7: Pâte Sucrée and Lemon Tart||Episode 8: Lattice-Topped Mixed Berry Pie||Episode 9: Rough Puff Pastry Tarts|
|Episode 10: Classic Fresh Fruit Tart|