There’s nothing like a summer fruit pie with a pretty lattice top pie crust. But how much of a hassle is it? Here’s the good news: It’s not too hard at all, and it’s actually easier if you have a partner helping you. (Ideally, you want a kid who has too much summer vacation time on his hands.)
Fortunately, when we made such a pie with our 7-year-old, he was already an expert. (He had already made one with his aunt last week.) “First you do the crisses, then you do the crosses,” is how he explains it. And that’s kind of a good way to put it.
You’re going to begin with enough pie dough to make a double-crust pie. You’ll roll out half of the dough, lay it gently in your pie pan, and trim the edges. (Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be perfect.) Then you pour in the fruit filling and set aside the pie for a moment. Roll out the second half of the pie dough and cut it into long thin strips.
The Crisses and the Crosses
First, start by laying one row of strips (like stripes on a flag) across your pie. Then one person takes the job of “weaver” and one person takes the job of “lifter”. The weaver takes one strip and lays it crosswise against the row of strips. The “lifter” lifts up alternate strips so that the new crosswise strip goes over, under, over, under. Then after you weave the first crosswise strip, you repeat with the other strips, going over where you went under on the previous round.
Leave the end of each strip slack and don’t worry if you have a few rough edges. When you’re finished with the weaving, trim everything all around the edge of the pie pan so that it’s all even.
Basic Pie Recipe
Note – For this pie, we used a basic pie crust recipe from the Joy of Cooking: 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp. sugar, and 1 tsp. salt, mixed with 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup butter; blend in 1/3 cup plus 1 T. water. For the filling, we used our hand-picked raspberries – 3 cups of raspberries, 2 large white peaches, 3/4 cup sugar, 3 1/2 T. cornstarch, 3 T. lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp. salt. After we constructed the lattice top pie crust, we brushed the top with a little milk and sprinkled the top with sugar. Then we baked it at 425 for 30 minutes; then turned the heat down to 350 degrees and let the pie bake for another 25 minutes.
And here’s our raspberry-peach lattice pie. The filling bubbled up a little bit over the lattice, but we did not hear any complaints. In fact, when we served it, all we heard was the sound of lips smacking and forks clinking… and before you knew it, the pie was entirely gone. Time to make another lattice-crust pie!
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