Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pi Day! (Belated)

Here in the small college town I live in, we take Pi day seriously. Now I am late, I know, but I have to share the photos of the pies that my housemate and I made for the celebration of all things round and preferably with pi (e) in the name.  All told we made 4 dessert pies, 1 spinach pie, and pizza pies for everyone at the house (including my own gluten free one since I only had enough flours to make mine).  Everything was gluten free--including the cherry pie with lattice.

So without further ado here are some photos:

The Chocolate Pie with Pecan/Chocolate Crust

The Lemon Buttermilk Pie with Homemade Butter Crust
Cheesecake (...pre-nibbled) with Nut Crust
And the Cherry Pie with Lattice Top

I am sad to say I had not tried making a lattice top pie out of gluten-free flours until this attempt and it seemed to turn out pretty darn well. The only things that made me cringe were the unfinished edges because I partially baked the bottom crust. It is really hard to treat it like glutened pie crust when half the crust is baked already!   The crust did end up nice and flaky on top, and fairly flaky on the bottom with the fresh cherry pie filling (yup--real cherries, half of which I pitted myself) sandwiched inside.

So how did I make that lattice on top? Fantastic use of the freezer and plastic wrap.

  • To roll out dough I use two sheets of plastic wrap and reposition it frequently since gluten free crusts are notoriously sticky/crumbly. 
  • While I was waiting for the bottom pie crust to partially bake I formed another circle of pie dough (thicker than you would for a gluten lattice top--about 1/8" total) about the size of the pie top.  
  • Slice into strips, once again thicker than for regular gluten dough since I was not interested in having those strips break. 
  • Here is the biggie: Freeze the long strips for at least 3 minutes before making your lattice. 
  • Form the lattice on the plastic wrap and place flat in the freezer for at least another 3 minutes or till fairly firm.  
  • After you dump your filling into the pan, take the lattice out of the freezer and invert onto the pie and filling.  
  • Trim the edges and squish the edges to form some sort of edge... this is where my pie failed
  • Brush with cream or beaten egg if the filling does not need much cook time so that it browns
  • Cook till flaky and golden or till filling is done (Cherry pie doesn't need much time, but I forgot to brush on the cream so it is rather pale, but flaky and tasty)

The next time I make a lattice top I will post individual photos, but this time all you get is finished (and slightly nibbled) works of tastiness. If anyone has any questions just give a yelp and I will try to answer them. If you have never made a lattice top pie before, they really are lovely, but the verdict is still out if it is worth it to deal with gluten-free lattices.


  1. Your Pies look amazing! Thank you for stopping by our blog. I added yours to our blogroll.

  2. Nice looking pies! I've never tried a lattice top, but you certainly make it look doable. I'll remember the freezer trick when I give it a try.