Learn how to make a lattice pie crust with this easy step-by-step photo process! I show you EVERY step so you don’t get confused, from rolling out the dough to crimping the edges. Lattice pie crusts are so beautiful, and take your pie to the next level. Once you get the hang of it, it’s really pretty fun!
“Making a lattice pie crust is a lot easier than you think! Easy as pie, they say!”
Kind of like how it’s a lot easier to eat kale chips all day instead of Cheetos.
Lies. It’s all a pack of lies, my friend.
I’m a pretty experienced baker and have made hundreds of pies, and I still struggle with the elusive lattice. Maybe it’s the Food Charlatan coming out in me.
But listen. Sometimes you want to impress. Sometimes you want to get your bake on. Sometimes you just want people to say, “Wow, you really made that??” It’s a good feeling!
I was researching lattice pies and found instructions from Joy the Baker. Here’s how she says to do it:
Step one: hold your breath. Step two: cross your fingers. Step three: close your eyes tightly. Step four: hope for the best.
I like your style, Joy!
Let’s get started!
How to Make a Lattice Pie Crust
The first step is to make make a really delicious pie dough. Check out my post for How to Make Flaky Pie Crust for all the details!
Start by rolling out your chilled dough to about 10-11 inches. You don’t want to roll it out too thin, or the strips will melt in your fingers and be really difficult to manage. Use a pizza cutter rolled in a bit of flour so that it doesn’t stick. You can make your strips as wide or as thin as you like! I made mine about 1 and 1/4 inches wide.
Take some time to clear out a space in your fridge or freezer, if possible. If your dough starts to get soft and warm on you at any point, toss the whole thing in to chill for a few minutes before continuing. This is why I love to roll out pie crusts on pastry cloth. Rolling out on parchment paper works just as well.
Fill your pie pan with filling. It’s nearly impossible to create a lattice pie with warm pie filling, like cooked apple pie filling. You must chill the filling until it is at room temperature at a minimum; cold or frozen is even better to help your lattice strips stay cold as you maneuver them. Annoying step, I know, but you are the one who decided to make a lattice crust. You knew what you were getting into, Snow White.
Take every other strip of the pie dough and lay it like the photo above. One should go all the way across, one folded back completely, the next one laid down, the next folded back.
Take an edge strip of pie dough and lay it perpendicular to the other strips, right up against the edge. Pretend I took a photo before I replaced that strip of dough on the right to it’s spot.
Take a moment to tuck this first perpendicular strip underneath, so that it’s nestled right up against the edge of the pie. Replace the folded back strips to their spots across the pie.
Next, fold back every OTHER strip of dough. Fold back the strips that are underneath (the one I’m pointing at). Remember, if you get a tear like I have here, just use a finger dipped in ice water to patch it up. Don’t cry. Put the whole thing in the freezer for a minute if you get frustrated.
Once all the underneath-strips are folded back, place the next strip of dough across, tucking it a little under the folded back strips if necessary. Replace the folded back strips to their normal spots.
Fold back the strips of pie dough that are underneath.
Place the next strip of perpendicular pie dough, then replace the folded back strips to their normal spots. (Eric walked in while I was editing this photo and did a double take because it totally looks like this pie is giving you the bird. I was thinking the same thing!! Ha!)
Fold back the strips underneath…
Place the next strip of perpendicular pie dough.
Fold back the underneath strips one last time, and add the last strip of dough, replacing everything afterward. And voila! A perfectly weaved lattice pie crust! You did it!
How do you crimp a lattice pie crust?
But what about the edges? Some people will tell you to trim the edges. Heresy, I say. You worked way too hard on this pie dough to just toss it out like yesterday’s jam. (IT Crowd reference? Anyone? Anyone???) I prefer to just fold the longer pieces of lattice back into the edge of the dough.
To shape the crust, I like to fold the edges of my pie up and over, like so:
You can fold the edges underneath if you prefer.
You can see that the pie dough is looking pretty crumbly and crackly and sad. Pretend it’s play dough and fold and mold it back together so that it is smooth, like this:
Once your crust is nice and smooth, use your fingers or knuckles (or a fork!) to crimp the edges of the dough however you want. I like to keep it simple by pressing my thumb in between two fingers, like so:
Now it’s time to bake! Don’t forget to brush with egg or milk (or both) and sprinkle with sugar. See my post for How to Make Flaky Pie Crust for details about baking your pie crust.
Done is better than perfect
Here is my first lattice that I made for this post. Not too bad, right? I was super frustrated that the lattice strips kept tearing. But I learned how to patch them up a bit.
I’m showing you pictures of this first “failure” lattice to show you that even if it’s not perfect, it still usually looks great once you bake it up, and no one will be the wiser that you were about to tear your hair out trying to get all these dough strips weaved together. Done is better than perfect, and I promise, anyone you serve your pie to is going to be very impressed that you did a lattice crust! Well done!
Here is the recipe for my favorite pie crust:
How to Make Flaky Pie Crust (Step by Step) << it’s so flavorful and easy to work with!
How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust << Blind baked pies are what you need for cream pies. They are so easy!
Double crust pies to make with a latticed crust:
- Cranberry Custard Pie << This is one of my favorite pies to make during the holidays!
- Rhubarb Custard Pie << Probably my favorite pie of all time. No lie. Rhubarb, you precious thing you.
- Cranberry Cherry Pie << cherry pie filling with cranberries. What could be better than this sweet tart combo?
- Apple Pie << This is the only double crust apple pie I will eat. So good!
- Cherry Pie for 4th of July! << It’s not summer without cherry pie.
- Blackberry Pie << my mom’s recipe. I probably ate this more than any other pie growing up!
- Baked Strawberry Pie << The one in all these lattice pictures. Recipe coming soon :)
- Blueberry Pie Recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen
- Four Berry Pie from FoodieCrush
You can lattice savory pies too!
- Classic Double Crust Chicken Pot Pie << The best comfort food out there, I say!
- Roast Beef, Carrot, and Creamy Potato Pie << It’s like a roast beef dinner, all wrapped up in a pie crust. YUM!
- Beef Pot Pie from Good Dinner Mom
How to Make a Lattice Pie Crust
- 1 double pie crust, 2 sheets of pie dough
- pie filling that is room temperature, even better if it's cold or frozen
- a lot of patience
- a fridge or freezer with space cleared out
- ice water, to fix cracks
- flour, to help with rolling out
- Make sure to start with a chilled pie crust. It should have at least 30 minutes in the fridge before rolling it out. Let it sit at room temperature for a couple minutes to soften before rolling. For tons of details on how to make the best pie crust and roll it out successfully, check out my post for How to Make Flaky Pie Crust.
- Roll out your first pie crust into about a 13 inch circle and lay it in an ungreased 9 inch pie plate. with the edges hanging over the edge. Stick your pie pan in the fridge or freezer if there is any time lag before the next step.
- Fill 'er up. Fill your crust with COLD pie filling, mounding it in the middle. Your lattice is going to be so much easier to form if your filling is cold or frozen. (Room temperature filling at the very least.) A lattice is basically impossible to do with warm pie filling, because it will melt the butter in your crust and make it fall apart. Place your filled pie in the fridge or freezer if there is any time lag before the next step.
- Dust a work space with flour. I highly recommend rolling out the lattice on a pastry cloth or on parchment paper. That way it is easy to transfer the whole thing to the fridge or freezer if it gets warm and soft.
- Roll out your second pie crust into a circle that is about 10 inches across. You want this one to be rolled out thicker than the first one. First of all, you don't need to worry about making it big enough to go up the sides of the pie plate (it's just laying flat across the top) and second, thick strips are much easier to maneuver in a lattice situation than thin wimpy strips. Keep em sturdy; don't roll out too thin.
- Cut into strips. Use a pizza cutter that you've rolled in flour to slice the pie dough into even strips. You can make the strips as wide or as thin as you want; if you are a beginner, you might want to make thick strips to simplify your life. I made my strips about 1 and 1/4 inches wide.
- Remember, if at ANY point your pie dough starts to get soft, stick the whole thing back in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes. I lift up my entire pastry cloth and transfer the whole thing to the freezer.
- Weave your lattice. Take every other strip of pie dough and lay it across your pie with a little space in between each one. See photos. Peel back every other strip that is on your pie, all the way to the edge.
- Lay an edge piece of dough perpendicular to the others, tucked up right against the edge. See photos! Replace the peeled back strips of dough to lay flat on top of the pie.
- Take the strips that are underneath, and peel them back. Lay down your next strip of dough. Replace the peeled back strips.
- Continue until the pie is completely weaved. I know this is hard to understand without a visual, so be sure to check the photos in the post! Remember, if at ANY point your pie dough becomes soft, toss all of it in the fridge or freezer. If you have a strip that tears, use a tiny bit of ice water to patch it with your fingers.
- Fold up the edges. You can trim any super long pieces of lattice that are hanging over the edge if you like, but I usually just leave them and incorporate them into the crust. For lattice pies, I like to fold the edges up and over onto themselves. It might look cracked and wimpy. That's ok. Pretend it is play dough and just mold it back into a smooth edge.
- Crimp the edge. Use your fingers to crimp the edge of your pie crust. I like to use 3 fingers (many people use their knuckles) to make a curved edge. See photos!
- Refrigerate or freeze the whole pie to make sure that the pie dough goes into the oven completely cold. That's what makes for a flaky crust!
- Don't forget to brush the top of your pie with egg or milk (or a mixture of both, my favorite) and sprinkle with granulated or raw sugar before putting it in the oven. This will make your pie nice and brown.
- Halfway through your bake time, add a tin foil pie shield on the edges of your pie to protect the edges from burning. See my flaky pie crust post for all the details.