It’s SO much easier than it looks.

By Corey Williams
July 22, 2020
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Hello!  If you’re looking for the ULTIMATE guide to lattice-topped pies, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to break down the (surprisingly easy) pattern with step-by-step instructions and photos. But first, let us talk all things lattice: 

What Is a Lattice Pie Crust?

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

“Lattice” refers to a criss-crossed pattern that is created by weaving strips together so they form a grid. You’ve probably seen latticework applied to fencing, or maybe even basket-making.

Lattice pastry is used as a lid for certain pies and tarts. It serves ornamental and functional purposes. 

What’s the Point of a Lattice Crust? 

Photo: Kelsey Hansen; Prop Styling: Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland; Food Styling: Pam Lolley

It’s not just for looks. The lattice weave is usually used for fruit pies because, as the juicy filling starts bubbling up during the baking process, the steam needs somewhere to go. Without an outlet, the filling could erupt and make a big mess in your oven. 

If you don’t want to bother with a lattice crust (first of all, what are you doing here?), there are other ways to accomplish this goal. You can either: A.) bake a single-crust pie with no top or B.) bake a double-crust pie with vents in the top crust

What Kind of Pie Dough Should You Use? 

Photo by Victor Protasio; Prop styling by Audrey Davis; Food styling by Torie Cox.

You’re going to want to use a basic pie dough for this one. This means a crust made with flour, cold butter, cold water, and a teeny tiny pinch of salt. I love a cookie or graham cracker crust as much as the next person, but, logistically, they just don’t work for this purpose. You need to be able to work with the dough without it falling apart, so a mealy crust is out of the question. 

How to Make a Lattice Pie Crust

Corey Williams / MyRecipes

I could sit here and painstakingly describe how to weave a lattice crust with words (and I will). But this is something that should really be shown instead of told—that’s why I baked a lattice-topped pie and took pictures every step of the way. I’ll go into step-by-step detail below, but I want to mention a few things first: 

  • I baked this classic, all-American-looking Lattice-Topped Blueberry Pie. As I’m writing this, it’s peak blueberry season and I just couldn’t resist. You can use any filling you want, though. 
  • You can make your lattice as intricate or as simple as you want. It’s your pie, after all! For this example, I used a basic 5x5 pattern because it’s easy to follow. 
  • Full disclosure: I used a refrigerated pie crust. The finished product would’ve tasted better had I mixed up my own dough (this is our favorite Basic Pie Crust recipe), but I am a working woman and I didn’t have all day. My Pillsbury dough got the job done and tasted almost as good as the real thing. 

Before Weaving 

Photo: Daniel Agee; Food Styling: Pam Lolley; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Before you start weaving your perfect lattice-topped pie, here’s what needs to happen:

  1. Roll out two sheets of pie dough (here’s our guide to rolling out dough). Or, if you’re like me, remove your store-bought dough from the refrigerator and discard the packaging. Do what you gotta do.
  2. Line a pie plate or pan with one of the sheets. Fill ‘er up with the filling of your choice. We’ve found that metal pie pans produce the best results (our favorite is kinda pricey—if you don’t want to break the bank, this top-rated 9-inch pan is only $14), but you can totally use a ceramic or glass one for aesthetic purposes. 
  3. Cut the other sheet into 10 even strips. I used a ruler to measure out 1-inch strips, but you can totally eyeball it if you’re into freestyling. A pizza cutter or pastry wheel is ideal for this job because it makes cutting even lines way easier. 

Some pastry wheels have fluted edges that’ll give your strips gorgeous scalloped sides. Others are flat all the way around and look more like a pizza cutter. These are perfect for basic, no frills strips. (Psst: This double-headed wheel, which is perfect for pies and pasta, can do both scalloped and straight edges. Also, it’s only $9 on Amazon!) No wheel? No problem. A sharp knife will work just fine. 

Step 1: Arrange five strips over the filled pie in parallel lines. 

Corey Williams / MyRecipes

Place shorter strips toward the sides and longer strips toward the middle. Ideally, there’d be about a 1-inch overhang on both sides to give you ample room to blend the strips seamlessly into the bottom crust. Since I used a 9-inch pie crust and a 9-inch pie plate, though, my options were kinda limited. If you find yourself in a similar position, don’t worry—as long as the strips are long enough to reach both ends of the pie, you’re good. 

Step 2: Fold every other strip down. 

Corey Williams / MyRecipes

Be gentle here, you guys. Don’t get overzealous and break your strips. 

Step 3: Place a sixth strip above the fold. 

Corey Williams / MyRecipes

Use one of your shorter remaining strips to start working in the other direction. This sixth, perpendicular strip should go right above the fold and across the two vertical strips.

Step 4: Fold the bent strips up and the other strips down. 

Corey Williams / MyRecipes

Here’s where things start to get a little bit complicated (but not really). Fold the bent strips back up to their original straight position, then fold the other strips (the ones you didn’t fold on the last step) down over the perpendicular strip. 

Step 5: Add a seventh strip above the fold. Return the folded strips to their original placement. 

Corey Williams / MyRecipes

Do you see what’s happening! We’ve got a weave, people!

Step 6: Repeat until the entire pie is covered and all strips are flat.  

Corey Williams / MyRecipes

Follow this pattern all the way up to the top. When you’re done, all the strips should be laying flat.

Step 7: Trim and crimp the edges. 

Corey Williams / MyRecipes

Use a knife or pastry wheel to trim the edges, then crimp them to seal it all up. I like to crimp with my fingers using this easy method: Use your pointer finger and thumb to gently pinch the outside of the crust. With your other pointer finger, push out from the inside into your pinched fingers. Repeat all the way around the rim. 

If you want, you can brush on an egg wash before baking—it'll add a little shine and golden-brown color to your crust.  

Step 8: Bake

Corey Williams / MyRecipes

That’s it! It was so much easier than you thought it would be, right? Go ahead and and bake your pie according to your recipe—and make sure to take lots of Insta-worthy pics when you’re done.

Recipes to Try Next

Victor Protasio

Now that you’ve mastered the art of lattice-weaving, put your skills to good use. Here are a few of our favorite lattice-topped pie recipes: