The Reliable Way to Make a Crusty Pie Crust

After a festive dinner so overwhelming that only stretch pants will do, there is one dish everyone is eagerly awaiting: pie. There’s pumpkin pie and pecan pie, but oh, this fruit pie. Apple, Cherry, Blueberry, Apple Crane ?! Nothing is more impressive than a sugar-strewn, perfectly woven lattice crust, but you push back every time because … well … you spoil it every time, too. I’m here to tell you two things: you are not alone and can nail a real trellis crust for the rest of your life as you bake pies.

Each new grille ends up in a mess. Even mine was hot rubbish. It’s a fact of life. You place your grandma’s flaky crust on a plate of your grandma’s recipe, place a tall stack of sticky fruit filling, and then modestly begin stacking strips of the remaining crust over the filling. Let the weaving begin!

But before you know it, you missed the top-bottom weave and must untangle half of your work. Suddenly your hands and strips of crust are covered with fruit slime, you tore one strip and cannot remember where you missed the weave pattern for which you returned. At this stage, many give up the weave altogether and simply cross-hatch while others tear it all off and discard it entirely. Not you. Aldeady no.

To prevent problems with a crusty crust, be aware of the enemies of a pie crust: liquid and heat. The ideal crust is tender and buttery, and the typical crust is made up mainly of two components: flour and saturated fat. If you weave a lattice crust over a warm, moist pie filling, you are presenting your delicate, fusible crust to her worst opponents. The liquid in your filling will cover the wire rack when it touches, making it impossible to make any changes, let alone weave the dough. If you’re working with a colored filling like cherry or blueberry, expect that color to be everywhere. Wet filling will also make the strips very slippery. Again, in these conditions, it will be impossible to make a neat weaving. If your filling is warm, or worse, hot, the heat will quickly melt your fat, resulting in flexible streaks. What’s a baker to do?

How to make the perfect griddle pie crust

Build a grate and weave it out of the pie . Far, far from the pie. Build even in advance. Then, when the cake is laid out and full and the oven is preheating, take the finished grill crust and simply slide it on top. No mess, no rush when your crusts start to dissolve, no debris. This method gives you the opportunity to correct mistakes and make corrections. Aside from simply creating a neat pie, braiding the grate separately allows you to take your time. Explore what kind of lattice you want: maybe you need an open weave with lots of vents, or maybe you want to try this tight weave with the big, wide stripes you saw on that Pinterest board that you don’t follow at all. …

What you need:

  • Pie crust for the top of the wire rack, cut into strips
  • Flat hard board (cake circle or cardboard circle)

What will you do:

So, you are ready to weave the grid. You have rolled out the top crust of the pie and cut into strips. The next thing you will get is a cardboard cake circle that is the same size or slightly larger than the diameter of the top of the cake pan you are using. No cake circle? Make your own! Cut a circle about the size you want from a piece of cardboard. The point is to get something flat, thin and tough. A thin cutting board or false bottom of a cake pan will also work. Dinner plates are slightly concave, and this curvature can make sliding a little more difficult. It can be done, but I always recommend the cardboard mug.

After lightly dusting the cardboard circle with a little flour, lay out the first side of the dough strips. With the remaining strips, begin to weave across. After you’ve braided all of your stripes, you will transfer the trellis crust, which is still on the cardboard or some other surface, to the refrigerator to chill.

The high fat content of the dough will solidify in the refrigerator, transforming the grate into one rigid raft, allowing it to be moved as a whole. Do not cut off excess from the grate yet; you may need extra length. At this point, you can leave it in the refrigerator, covered overnight, or even freeze it for a week or two if you like to plan ahead. At a minimum, you need to chill it for 10-20 minutes for it to set – perfect time to preheat the oven and pour the definitely not hot filling into the pie envelope.

Once my pie is ready to be grated, I usually rinse the outer edge of the bottom crust with an egg first to ensure a good seal after the top slips. Remove the wire rack from the refrigerator. By now, it should be firm, but a little flexible. The idea is to hold one side of the cardboard (not the dough), tilt it, and slide the crust from the other side straight onto the top of the cake. It’s as easy as it sounds.

If the grate does not budge, there are two options: A) the strips did not have flour, so they stuck to the board, or B) the excess dough on the side your hand is holding is caught on the edge by grabbing the cardboard. If it’s A, after it’s been in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, you can just pull the crust or bend the cardboard a little and it will pop out and peel off. If it is B, gently lift up the excess side of the dangling section and even fold it over to release the edge, as you can see in the picture below. Then the grating should slide freely.

After the grill is in place, your crust will still be a little cold, so you can even make small adjustments if something has moved. Now you can trim the edges, seal up the seams, wash the egg, sprinkle with sugar and toss in the oven. Get ready for a shower of compliments.


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