Patrick Decker

Play-By-Play: Lattice Top Pie

Last week I posted a walkthrough to get all you bakers through home-made pie dough unscathed. Not one to only bring you halfway to the finish line, this week I’m going to show you how to assemble a photo worthy lattice top pie with that same beautiful dough we made last week.

What you’ll need for this:

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • Rolling pin
  • 8- or 9-inch pie dish  (In my opinion, the deeper the better)
  • Pizza wheel or knife
  • Optional:  heavy cream and raw sugar, to decorate

ROLL YOUR DOUGH OUT

As I wrote about last week, cold dough is the secret to successful dough. Trying to roll the prepared dough out while it’s warm or has yet to have a chance to rest will result in a greasy, sticky mess – and this a successful pie does not make.

Lightly dust a work surface and rolling pin with some all-purpose flour (If you’re using the recipe I posted last week, which makes enough for two rounds of dough, cut your block of dough in half and work with it in batches).  Working gently at first, begin to roll the dough out, frequently giving it an eighth turn to encourage it to roll out in an even, round shape.  Roll the dough out to a thickness just shy of 1/4-inch.  Line your pie dish with the dough, pressing it gently down into the edges of the dish and encouraging the excess to hang over the edge by about an inch.  Fill the dough with your prepared filling and set it aside.

Repeat dusting the work surface and rolling out the other piece of dough to the same thickness.

CUT THE DOUGH INTO STRIPS AND LAY DOWN A FOUNDATION

Using the pizza wheel or a knife, cut the round of dough into strips that are about 3/4-inch wide – don’t worry about being too perfect here, just eyeball it.

Take a long strip from the center of the dough and lay it just off center over the filling, hanging the ends over the edge of the pie plate. Continue with three to five more strips from the pile (eyeball what looks like will fit – there’s no exact number that’s correct) and cover the filling by laying them parallel to the first strip, leaving about 3/4-inch between each.

CREATE A LATTICE

Rotate the pie dish so that the strips are perpendicular to you. Fold every other strip back halfway and then lay a strip across the center of the pie, covering the strips that are still laying flat. Fold the curled pieces back into place, covering the strip that was just laid down, and then fold the alternate pieces back. Lay another strip down (leaving about 3/4-inch between them) and repeat. Once you’ve gotten to the edge of the pie on one side, work on the other, going from the middle outward.

By alternating laying these pieces down, you’re building a woven pattern on top of the pie without having to actually weave them together as individual strips.

SEAL UP THE EDGES & DECORATE AS DESIRED

Trim the bottom crust and overhanging strips so that they’re about 1-inch wide. Fold the bottom crust up over the strips, pinching them shut and creating a ridged edge. Crimp the edges as desired and give your pie a professional chef’s touch by brushing the surface with heavy cream and dusting it with raw sugar.

At this point your pie is assembled and ready! Since you’ve been working with the dough so much, place the pie in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking it. It may seem contradictory to freeze something before baking it, but giving dough a chance to chill and firm up will produce a better crust than trying to bake it while warm and soft.

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Blueberry-White Peach Pie

Makes 1 (8- or 9-inch) pie, 8 to 10 servings

16 ounces frozen wild blueberries (do not thaw)
6 white peaches, pitted and cut into wedges
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch kosher salt
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, as needed for dusting
2 discs flaky pie dough (for an 8- or 9-inch pie plate)  [Get the recipe HERE]
3 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons raw sugar

Place rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Gather a deep 8- or 9-inch pie plate, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and reserve both.

In a large mixing bowl toss together the blueberries, peaches, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract or seeds. Set aside.

Lightly dust a work surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll one of the pie discs out to a thickness of 1/4-inch. Line the pie plate with the dough, pressing the edges gently into the corners and letting the excess hang over the edge. Transfer the prepared filling to the lined pie dish and mound it evenly. Set aside.

Dust the work surface and rolling pin once more with flour and roll out the second piece of dough to a thickness of 1/4-inch. Cover the filling with the dough as desired – either by placing the dough on whole and cutting a few vents in it or cutting the dough into strips and forming a lattice – letting any excess dough hang over the edge of the pie dish.

Trim the dough hanging over the edge of the pie plate to a width of about 1-inch. Working around the perimeter of the pie dish, roll the bottom overhanging piece of dough over the top, pinching it together and forming a ridge around the pie. Crimp the crust lip as desired. Lightly brush the top piece of dough and crust edge with the heavy cream and sprinkle the raw sugar evenly over top. Place the whole pie into the freezer for 15 minutes.

Bake the pie on the lined baking sheet until the crust is deep golden brown and filling bubbles and has thickened, 75 to 90 minutes. Let the pie cool at least 2 hours before serving warm or at room temperature.

Patrick W. Decker’s life revolves around food. Always has, probably always will. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and past member of the culinary teams for Food Network stars Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee, Marc Forgione, Bobby Deen and Paula Deen, he now works as a food stylist and producer in NYC by day and a food writer and recipe developer at his home in New York’s Hudson Valley by night. You can see what he’s up to by following him on Instagram at @patrickwdecker or visiting his website at patrickwdecker.com.


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