How to Make Top Pie Crust in a Criss-Cross

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Weaving a pie crust into a lattice, or criss-cross, results in an elegant-looking fruit pie. Traditionally, these crusts are used on strawberry rhubarb pies and are chosen to expose the colorful fruits within. A couple of different methods will yield a criss-cross pie crust, the simplest of which is to pick up a checkerboard or lattice crust cutter. These preformed cutters work like cookie cutters and cut out the squares that a hand-woven crust would leave open. If you do not want to buy a specialty tool, weaving your own criss-cross crust adds a special touch to your homemade pie.

Things You'll Need

  • Pastry wheel cutter (optional)
  • Sprinkle flour over your work surface so it is lightly coated. Flour helps keep the dough from sticking.

  • Roll the dough out into a square or rectangle at least the size of your pie tin. Most pies are 9 or 10 inches in diameter, so roll your dough to a minimum of 10 inches by 10 inches.

  • Cut the dough into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Make perfectly straight lines with a knife and ruler, or use a pastry wheel cutter with a zigzag edge for a more artsy feel.

  • Evenly space half the strips of dough across the top of the pie. Rotate the pie so the first set of dough strips points vertically toward your body.

  • Fold every other piece back halfway, starting with the piece farthest to your left. You will begin your weave from the middle of the pie.

  • Place one strip of dough across the center of the pie perpendicular to the first set of strips. It will rest across the tops of the strips of dough that you did not fold back.

  • Set the folded strips of dough back onto the pie in their original positions.

  • Fold every other strip of dough back beginning with the second piece from your left.

  • Repeat Steps 6 and 7 until the first half of the pie is completely woven.

  • Rotate the pie 180 degrees, and repeat Steps 5 through 9 until the entire pie has an open-weave, criss-cross design.

  • Cut off any extra dough that hangs over the edge of the pie tin. Pinch the top crust strips down into the top of the pan and the exposed edge of the bottom crust, creating a seal.

  • Bake according to your recipe recommendations.

Tips & Warnings

  • The easy way to make a lattice pie crust is to do so without weaving at all. Just lay half the strips of dough across the top of the pie in one direction and then lay all the other strips of dough across in the other. This creates a less-intricate but still criss-cross pattern with much less effort, and the finished pie will taste the same either way.

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References

  • Photo Credit Pie image by Antonio Oquias from Fotolia.com
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