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Cherry Pie With Lattice Top Crust

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Although I consider myself an experienced cook and have made countless pies, I was taught a valuable lesson in my most recent effort -- a cherry pie with a lattice crust.

Things go wrong most often when I'm in a hurry, and this was no exception. I was bringing food to a Christmas Eve dinner. I had to get the pie baked before I put the entree, Julia's Brisket in the oven. The brisket takes 4 hours to bake, I have only one oven, and we were due to arrive at our destination at 2 o'clock, so I had to move quickly.

I made the pastry, cooked the filling and filled the bottom unbaked crust with the filling. Then the "haste makes waste" part caught up with me. Without thinking about what I was doing, I started putting on the lattice crust. If you've never made a lattice crust, it's really not hard to do. You just have to take the pastry strips, one at a time, and place them on top of the filling. You alternate, folding the strips back and forth, to weave them into a lattice.

The problem was that I had not waited for the filling to cool. It was still steaming when I started. That being the case, the pastry strips were so softened by the heat that they wouldn't cooperate. I got some to work, but others just melted into the filling and could not be lifted or moved. Here is a photo of the finished, baked pie:


Cherry Pie Lattice Crust by texascooking, on Flickr

As things turned out, the cherry pie was excellent. The pastry was tasty and flaky, the filling delicious, and the pie cut like a dream. No problems getting the first piece out, as can often happen with pies. You'll be delighted if you make this pie, but just remember -- don't be in such a hurry that you don't let the filling cool before you put the lattice crust on.

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I never thought about cooling the filling first. Here's what I do.... I make the lattice work on a sheet of Parchment paper and then lay it on a cookie sheet and freeze it. When the pie is ready, just lay it on the pie and bake as usual.

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