Great British Bake Off fans may recall an episode when Mary Berry ticked off a competitor for failing to interweave the lattices on his or her pastry properly, just laying the strips over each other instead.
On a scale of one to 10, whether or not one can lattice a pie is hardly up there with masterminding world peace and ending global hunger and more competent pastry cooks will probably be rolling their eyes, but I confess it’s an art that had largely eluded me, too.
Then I saw this really useful post on the BBC Good Food website. I hope the author, Cassie Best, will forgive me nicking the method and using it here but I had to share it. It’s one of those things that has you saying ‘oh well of course that’s how you do it’. Check out Cassie’s feature for other nifty ways to pimp your pies.
Even using this method I sometimes get it arsy-versy … I’d never get a job as a basket weaver and don’t ask me how many times I made sausage pie to photograph this guide … but for anyone less spatially-challenged it’s a good way of getting a professional result.
How to Lattice Pastry
Line your pie tin with pastry and put in the filling. Cut out strips of pastry for the lattice.
Arrange the strips of pastry on your pie in one direction, top to bottom, spacing them evenly. Fold back alternate strips from the centre, then lay a strip horizontally across the middle, near the fold.
Flip the folded strips back to cover the middle strip.
Fold back the strips that are woven under the centre strip.
Lay another horizontal strip across the middle, and flip alternate strips back again.
Repeat until you have a woven pattern – I found it easiest to rotate the pie at the halfway point so I was still working upwards to the top edge.
As to the glaze … Mary Berry says you should egg wash in advance of cutting the pastry strips and that would certainly give a more even colour. I found it made them slippery to handle, but I think we’ve already established that this isn’t my area of expertise. I egg washed after weaving.
Once you have assembled the pie, bake according to your specific recipe instructions.