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 pastry is hardly up there with masterminding world peace and ending global hunger, but a latticed pie does look really lovely.
I started by looking at this really useful post from Cassie Best on the BBC Good Food website. It’s one of those methods 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 … it requires patience but I find the process strangely soothing.
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 find it made them slippery to handle, so I egg wash after weaving.
Once you have assembled the pie, bake according to your specific recipe instructions.
You’ll find you improve with practice!