The Common Layering Mistake People Make With Apple Pie

Apple pie is one of those classic treats that makes a great party dessert or weeknight pick-me-up. When the time comes to make apple pie, there are countless recipes and methods for constructing the perfect bite, but if you want your pie to look like it came straight from the bakery, you'll want to craft a lattice crust. A lattice crust means the crust forms a woven pattern atop the pie. The basket weaves leave perfect little square openings that create vents, ensuring the fruit filling won't explode. The lattice crust also creates a rustic, inviting appearance that practically begs folks to dig in.

If you're intimidated by the notion of making homemade pie crust or creating a lattice, you're not alone. With a little guidance and confidence, you'll no doubt become a pro at crafting lattice crusts in no time. For Mashed recipe developer Laura Sampson's easy apple pie recipe, she suggests using premade pie crust from the grocery store's frozen or refrigerated aisle. Once you have your pie crust and are ready to construct the lattice, you need to make sure you layer the strips of dough properly. As Sampson describes in her recipe, you may end up with two adjacent, parallel strips underneath the same perpendicular strip, when in fact, one parallel strip should be over and the other should be under.

Lattice takes practice

Lattice crusts can seem intimidating because of their intricate over-under pattern. Fortunately, Sampson easily breaks down how to construct the lattice by first slicing pre-made pie dough into long strips using a pizza cutter. The trickier step — and the step that most often trips up bakers — is the strips' layering pattern. Luckily, even if you mess up the under-over system, it's easy enough to fix. If you haven't yet sealed the pie, Sampson suggests just pulling off the strips and starting over until you get it right.

If the lattice-making gets too frustrating, Sampson suggests taking one of the pre-made crusts and simply laying it over top. (In this case, you'll need to pierce the crust to create a vent since there won't be holes from a lattice pattern.) Whether you complete the lattice or stick with a regular pie crust, you'll need to seal it with an egg wash. This step is crucial for making the pie crust look and taste spectacular. Sampson says, "The egg wash will give you a nice brown finish and makes the dough a little harder on top ... it'll be crispy." Once the pie has baked, be sure to let it cool, regardless of the crust's design. Pies need time to settle, and cutting a slice too soon could result in a liquid-y, volcano-like mess.