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Making a Lattice Top Crust {Step-by-Step Tutorial}

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Today is my 11th wedding anniversary and Dennis and I are gallavanting around Wichita during the annual River Festival to celebrate, but thanks to the magic of prescheduled blogging, I am able to instruct you on how to make a lattice top crust for a pie despite my absence!  This would be even cooler if I could preschedule my hair to get cut and dyed at the same time, but I’ll take what I can get.

OK, I know I promised a pie recipe next, but since the recipe instructs you to make a lattice top crust, I thought it was high time I broke out my ancient step-by-step lattice top crust photos to explain how to do it.

Making the nifty woven lattice top crust only seems complicated but the process is quite simple.  See for yourself!

Step 1: Lay 5-7 strips of pie dough on top of pie in one direction.

Step 2: Lift every other strip and pull back half-way.

Step 3: Lay a strip down across the middle in the opposite direction.

Step 4: pull folded strips back down over the horizontal strip.

Step 5: pull back the strips that weren’t folded back the first time.

Step 6: lay down another horizontal strip.

Step 7: lay the folded strips back down over the horizontal piece.

Repeat, repeat, repeat, alternating the strips you lift, and then spinning the pie plate around when you finish the first side to do the other.

Looking dandy!  Time to give her a spin and repeat on the other side.

Like so.

Until…

Voilà! Your lattice top crust is complete.

‘Tis a thing of beauty, my friend.

Now.  I must tell you, I do not have pictures of how to properly do the fluted edge for a pie with a lattice top crust.  On this particular one, which happens to be a Razzcherry Pie, I didn’t leave an overhang on the bottom crust so I chose to simply tuck the lattice pieces underneath the scant edge that remained.  Which is perfectly fine and much easier than making a fluted edge.  However, if you want a fluted edge, such as I have here on this cherry pie:

…this is what you do: leave a 3/4″ overhang on the bottom crust.  After finishing the lattice strips, trim them just beyond the inner edge of the pie, then fold the overhang over the strips and press to seal.  Then you can flute the edges using the technique I demonstrated in this video, and you’ll have a gorgeous pie!  I will update this post with pictures to accompany these instructions on finishing the edge when I make my next lattice top crust, but for now, I hope the instructions alone will suffice.

Happy pie making, my lovlies!

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Perfect Pie Crust


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Before I had much experience with pie, I tried a recipe called “perfect pie crust,” which employed butter instead of shortening for the fat.  At the time, I’d only ever made shortening crusts and the butter one had a much better flavor, so I thought the name apt, although it wasn’t as flaky as I desired. Although I balk at the word “perfect,” I have now found my own favorite pie crust that for me is very close to it, and although I’ve included the recipe before on a previous blog for apple pie, I think it’s good enough to warrant a blog of its own.

This one has the best of both worlds–the butter adding flavor and the shortening, flakiness. It turns out well even when I over-process it, which I almost always do (I don’t like to see big globs of fat in my crust so I tend to over-mix the fat into the flour). I don’t think there’s a way to ruin this crust besides burning it, which would be really hard to do. It puffs as it bakes and is so flaky that you can see it with the naked eye.

Like I said, it’s perfect!

Perfect Pie Crust

Printable Recipe

*Makes enough for two pies or one double-crust pie

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks butter, cold and cut into 16 pieces
1/4 cup shortening, chilled in freezer
6-10 T ice-cold water (I use a scant 1/3 cup every time)

Mix flour and salt.  Cut the butter and shortening in with a pastry blender or food processor until pieces are the size of small peas (I usually make them half that size at least or smaller, but the crust will be more flaky if you can resist following my example).  Add ice water and mix until it starts to form a ball.  Divide dough in half, gather in your hands and gently shape each into a ball, flatten them into discs, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.  If they get too hard, I leave them on the counter until pliable enough to roll out.

When ready to make your pie, roll out one disk and fit into a pie plate, trimming off the excess. Fill, cover with the top crust, pinch and flute the edges. Brush beaten egg over the top crust (that’s how you get that golden shine), cut a few vents holes and then bake according to pie recipe directions. If you are making a one-crust pie, you can either halve the recipe or freeze the second disc for later use.

Recipe Source: The Dessert Lover’s Cookbook by Marlene Sorosky

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust


I have long been of the opinion that if pizza is on the menu, it’s best to order it from Pizza Hut and not mess with a good (well, perfect) thing.  Why waste time making my own crust and chopping vegetables when I can just sit my butt down in a chair and wait for someone else to make it?  Or, better yet, just stay at home and wait for it to be delivered?

That is until I decided to give a recipe for whole wheat pizza crust a try.  Now I find myself making pizza at home more often than dialing for a delivery.  It may not be the best recipe out there, but it’s the only one I’ve tried because for me, it was love at first bite. (And the added nutrition form the whole wheat is a bonus too!)

The cool thing about pizza is that you can put pretty much anything between the crust and the cheese and it’s going to taste fabulous.  And no matter how much you healthify it–whether it be with a whole wheat crust or tons of veggies–it still tastes like junk food.  And if you can stick to one piece (yes, it is possible), then it can be on your diet plan AND it lasts longer that way.  It takes Den and me 3 days to eat a large pizza.

Today I used what I had on hand–marinara for the sauce, red onion, mushrooms, green peppers, some leftover hamburger, about a cup of chopped basil and oregano from my backyard and a generous sprinkling of mozzarella.  And as always, it was delish!!!

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
Adapted from a Hodgson Mill recipe

1 package active dry yeast (I use rapid rise/instant*)

1 cup warm water (115 degrees if you’re measuring…I don’t)

1 ½ cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp. granulated sugar

½ tsp. salt

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

 

Put water in a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes.  Stir in whole wheat flour, sugar, salt, olive oil and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour.  Knead in remaining flour by hand and continue to knead for about 5 minutes (the dough will be smooth and elastic).

Coat the bowl with oil, place dough in the bowl and turn to coat thoroughly.  Cover the bowl with a towel and set it in a warm place and allow to rise for 15 minutes.  Preheat oven to 500 degrees while you’re waiting.

Spray a large pizza pan (or two small) with no-stick cooking spray.  Stretch pizza crust (I press it from the center outward) to fit pan and flute outer edges of dough to hold fillings.  Brush on some olive oil, then put on your sauce & toppings.  Bake until cheese is melted, about ten minutes.  Slice it up and serve it hot!

*If you use rapid rise/rapid acting/instant yeast, skip the dissolving step and just mix it in with everything else. I usually mix it with the dry ingredients, then stir in all the liquid before kneading in the remaining flour. Easy peasy!

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