Lattice-Top Fruit Pie

When I lived in the UK I used to like to visit those pick your own farms where I would come home with the boot of the car filled up with fresh Strawberries, Raspberries, and Plums.  I would set to and have a freezer full of goodies or make jam and chutney that would last through the year.  I also liked to wander the hedgerows and pick blackberries.  The big, sweet summer fruit are the heart of a classic pie.

I don´t know of any pick your own places here, so as an alternative I do a very quick cheats version which can be made in minutes. The pastry is frozen short crust from Mercadona – for a 9 inch pie you will need two sheets.  Or a packet of ready to make pastry. The filling is a tin of fruit of choice from Iceland which depending what you pick has to be thickened with just enough flour that the pie can be sliced without the filling running out.

This doesn´t take any making really it is just a case of assembling.

Assemble

Make up the pastry as directed on the packet or if it is the frozen kind which I use, let it defrost.

On lightly floured board, roll the pastry into a circle that’s 1/8 inch thick and large enough to fit your pie dish.  Mine is 9 inches so my circle is about 14 inches. Carefully roll the pastry around the rolling pin and position over a glass pie plate. Unroll and gently press the dough against the side and bottom, being careful not to stretch or tear it, and allowing the excess to hang over the edges.  Fill with the fruit of your choice thickened and sweetened if necessary.

To make the lattice.

On lightly floured board roll the dough with a floured rolling pin into a 9 x14 inch rectangle approx. 1/8 inch thick. Roll from the centre to the edges and after every few passes, run a spatula under the dough to be sure it isn’t sticking and give it a quarter turn.

Using a knife cut 12 strips 14 inches long and ¾ inch wide.

Arrange 6 strips horizontally ¾ inch apart across the top of your pie; these will be the “bottom” strips.

Fold back every other bottom strip to slightly more than halfway. Lay down a “top” strip vertically over the bottom strips, dabbing with a wet finger where the strips overlap, then unfold the strips. Fold back the other 3 bottom strips. Lay a second top strip ¾ inch to the right of the first, dabbing with water as before. These are the two centre strips. Unfold the bottom strips. Repeat the process on both sides with the remaining top strips of dough. Press gently to seal.

Roll the overhang pastry under itself to form a crust that rests on the rim of the pie plate and crimp into a fluted edge.

In a small bowl, beat an egg with a little water. Using a pastry brush, brush evenly over the lattice and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake the pie for approximately 1 hour. (If the lattice is golden-brown before the filling is bubbling, cover it loosely with foil.)

Let the pie cool on a rack to room temperature before serving. It’s best eaten on the day it’s made, but you can freeze for up to a month.

On re-reading how to make the lattice it sounds very complicated, which it isn’t so I have found this video which shows how to do it.

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