Friday, September 28, 2012

Baking up a storm!

We're in the city this weekend and have all sorts of festive engagements on the books. In an effort to ingratiate ourselves (and offset the possible imposition of bringing a wiggly infant to a dinner party), I decided to offer to bring desserts for each of our outings...

For this evening's dinner party, I whipped up a raspberry pie, following Simply Recipes' directions for the pie crust and lattice top, and then tailoring a blueberry pie recipe to my preferred ingredients (I happen to have a lot of frozen raspberries in my freezer...) The recipe was a cinch, and the pie baked up beautifully...

Swing by her website to get all the nitty-gritty details. I followed her recipe to the letter, so you can get the scoop there!

I like to pre-bake my crusts as I find that a pre-baked crust holds up better against the dippy, fruity goodness of a raspberry pie, so I skipped steps #4 & 5 from the recipe above... 

To Pre-Bake a Pie Crust

If your recipe calls for a pre-baked crust, as fruit and custard pies often do, follow all the steps on the Simply Recipes website, until you get to the point where it says to put in the filling. Remember that her recipe actually makes two crusts, so you'll only need to make half recipe if you are only doing a bottom crust. Freeze the crust for at least a half hour, until chilled. This is an important step in pre-baking. Otherwise the crust will slip down the sides.

Start by preheating your oven to 350°F. When the pie crust is sufficiently chilled, line the pie crust with parchment paper, wax paper, or aluminum foil. Fill at least two-thirds full with pie weights - dry beans, rice, or stainless-steel pie weights. 

Bake with weights for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, cool a few minutes and carefully remove pie weights. Poke small holes in the bottom of the pie crust with a fork and return to oven (without the weights) and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until the crust is golden. 

Cool completely before filling. You may need to tent the edges of the pie with aluminum foil when you bake your pie, to keep the edges from getting too dried out and burnt.

Sadly, I'm really bad at reading all of the directions, so I neglected to tent the edge of my crust, and paid the price. As you can see in the photo below, my edge looks a tad over-cooked... : ( Hopefully everyone will be far too merry by that point in our dinner to notice a little burnt bit. 


Then, because I'm an obnoxious overachiever, I opted to make a lattice top, which turned out quite well using the PIZZA WHEEL to cut the individual crust strips. What a revolutionary idea! I've never used one for pie-making before and it's a total game changer. Awesome! 


How to Make a Lattice Top for a Pie Crust

  •     Prep time: 10 minutes

1 Before starting the lattice top, roll out half of your pie dough and line your pie dish with it. The dough should extend beyond the rim of the pie dish by about half an inch. Put it in the refrigerator to chill while you work on the lattice. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the other half of your pie dough to the same extent as the first half (about 3 inches beyond the diameter of your pie dish). It's easier to work with the dough if it is chilled, so if it the dough has softened too much, put the rolled-out piece on a flat cookie sheet and chill it in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes.
lattice-pie-crust-1.jpg lattice-pie-crust-2.jpg
2 Cut the dough into even strips, 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch wide, depending on how thick you want your lattice strips. You can use a blunt knife with or without a ruler or straight edge to guide you, or you can use a pizza wheel or a pastry wheel if you have one.
lattice-pie-crust-3.jpg lattice-pie-crust-4.jpg
3 Fill your pie shell with the pie filling. Lay out 4 to 7 parallel strips of the pie dough, depending on how thick your strips are, on top of the filling, with about 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch space between them. Fold back every other strip.
lattice-pie-crust-5.jpg lattice-pie-crust-6.jpg
4 Place one long strip of dough perpendicular to the parallel strips as shown. Unfold the folded strips over the perpendicular strip.
lattice-pie-crust-7.jpg lattice-pie-crust-8.jpg
5 Now take the parallel strips that are running underneath the perpendicular strip and fold them back over the perpendicular strip, as shown. Lay down a second perpendicular strip of dough next to the first strip, with some space between the strips. Unfold the folded parallel strips over the second strip.
lattice-pie-crust-9.jpg lattice-pie-crust-10.jpg
lattice-pie-crust-11.jpg lattice-pie-crust-12.jpg
6 Continue this process until the weave is complete over the top of the pie.
lattice-pie-crust-13.jpg lattice-pie-crust-14.jpg
7 Trim the edges of the strips flush with the dough of the underlying pie dish, which should be about half an inch over the sides. Fold back the rim of the shell over the edge of the lattice strips, and crimp to secure.
lattice-pie-crust-15.jpg lattice-pie-crust-16.jpg
Hurray for pie! There will be more baking tomorrow, so check back for another delicious fool-proof recipe!

1 comment:

  1. Hi John and Christina,
    I am delighted that you like my pie crust and lattice crust recipes enough to write about them here on your site. I would ask that if you do so, you rewrite the recipes using your own unique words, rather than just copying and pasting mine. Google penalizes sites that display duplicate content like this, making it more difficult for people to find the recipes on my site. Thank you so much for your consideration!