When serving a homemade lattice-topped pie, it’s not that difficult to get immediate oohs and aahs from friends (and enemies), even before they’ve taken a bite out of your delicious baked dessert. There’s something about the visual impact of intricately hand-woven strips of golden dough that simultaneously inspires, impresses, and intimidates onlookers. But, you want to know a secret? It’s really not as hard as it looks. Even if you didn’t take basket-weaving (or baking) class in school, you’ll be able to ace a lattice top with our step-by-step tips. And for an utterly foolproof fallback plan, we have a faux lattice technique that’s easy as, well, you know.
After rolling out and trimming the second piece of dough into a 13 by 10-inch rectangle, cut the dough into eight 13-inch-long, 1¼-inch-wide strips. Separate them slightly and freeze them on the baking sheet until very firm, about 30 minutes. Freezing the lattice strips makes it much easier to weave the strips together without tears or breaks. It also helps the lattice maintain its shape during baking.
Using the chilled strips of lattice, lay 4 parallel strips evenly over the filling. Weave a fifth strip in the opposite direction, lifting the strips as needed to facilitate weaving.
Continue to weave in the remaining 3 strips, one at a time, to create a lattice. Rotate the pie as needed to make it easier. If the dough becomes too soft to work with (especially on hot days), refrigerate the pie and the dough strips until the dough firms up.
After letting the strips thaw and soften for a few minutes, trim the overhanging edges of the dough to ½ inch. Letting the dough soften for a few minutes before trimming makes it more malleable and prevents it from cracking as you trim it.
Press the edges of the bottom crust and lattice strips together and fold underneath. Tucking the trimmed dough under helps to seal the ends of the strips and makes an even, tidy edge that is easy to crimp.
Crimp the dough evenly around the edges of the pie using your fingers. Crimping the dough gives the pie a decorative edge and an attractive, finished look.
Faux: Step #1
Crisscross 2 strips of dough to form an X over the center of the tart.
Faux: Step #2
Place 4 strips around the edges parallel to the central strips.
Faux: Step #3
Place the final 4 strips on the tart, between the center X and the outer strips.
Faux: Step #4
Press the excess dough against the rim of the pan to trim.