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Alternatives to a Lattice for Topping Pie

By Camilla Chaparro and Leah Colins Published

Weaving a lattice is the most classic way to top a pie with a juicy filling. Here are alternative designs to jazz up your desserts.

Pies with juicy fillings such as peach, cherry, plum, and blueberry need a top crust with vents that allow moisture to evaporate during baking so that the filling thickens to the right consistency. A lattice is classic, but here we present three other designs that are eye-catching and easy to execute. Just be sure that the dough is chilled so that it holds a sharp edge. Also avoid overlapping more than two pieces so that the dough will cook through properly.

FREE-FORM CUTOUTS

  • 1. Start with 13 by 10½-inch rectangle of chilled dough. Using 3-inch cookie cutters (you can use different shapes), cut out as many shapes as possible. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  • 2. Arrange cutouts evenly over fruit, leaving space for evaporation and being careful not to overlap more than 2 cutouts. Brush with egg wash.

     

FREE-FORM WEDGES

  • 1. Start with 13 by 10½-inch rectangle of chilled dough. Cut into two 10½-inch-long triangles with ½-inch base, two 10½-inch‑long triangles with 1-inch base, two 10½-inch-long triangles with 2-inch base, and two 10½-inch-long triangles with 3-inch base. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  • 2. Arrange triangles decoratively over filling, with base of each triangle placed at least ½ inch beyond edge of plate (to anchor pieces) and being careful not to overlap more than 2 triangles. Trim overhang to ½ inch beyond lip of plate, then pinch edges of bottom crust and triangles together firmly to seal. Fold edge of dough under itself and crimp dough evenly around edge of plate. Brush with egg wash.

BRAIDED STRIPS

  • 1. Start with 13 by 10-inch rectangle of chilled dough. Cut eighteen 13 by ½-inch strips. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Arrange 3 strips side by side on counter (keep remaining strips refrigerated), then pinch tops to seal.

  • 2. Braid strips as tightly as possible, then pinch ends to secure braid. Refrigerate while braiding remaining strips. Arrange braids evenly over filling, then trim overhang to ½ inch beyond lip of plate. Pinch braids and bottom crust together firmly to seal. Fold edge of dough under itself and crimp dough evenly around edge of plate. Brush with egg wash.

TRY ONE OF THE ABOVE DESIGNS ON THESE PIES

Recipe Fresh Peach Pie

The juiciness of a perfect peach is sublime—except when you want to bake it into a pie.

Recipe Fresh Plum-Ginger Pie with Whole-Wheat Lattice-Top Crust

The best fruit pie you've never made starts with fresh plums and whole-wheat flour.

Recipe Blueberry Pie

Sweet, delicate blueberries are easily overshadowed by a dull thickener. Our goal was a sliceable pie with bright, fresh flavor.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.