Pies with juicy fillings such as peach, cherry, plum, and blueberry need a top crust with vents that allow moisture to evaporate during baking so that the filling thickens to the right consistency. A lattice is classic, but here we present three other designs that are eye-catching and easy to execute. Just be sure that the dough is chilled so that it holds a sharp edge. Also avoid overlapping more than two pieces so that the dough will cook through properly.
Alternatives to a Lattice for Topping Pie
1. Start with 13 by 10½-inch rectangle of chilled dough. Using 3-inch cookie cutters (you can use different shapes), cut out as many shapes as possible. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Arrange cutouts evenly over fruit, leaving space for evaporation and being careful not to overlap more than 2 cutouts. Brush with egg wash.
1. Start with 13 by 10½-inch rectangle of chilled dough. Cut into two 10½-inch-long triangles with ½-inch base, two 10½-inch‑long triangles with 1-inch base, two 10½-inch-long triangles with 2-inch base, and two 10½-inch-long triangles with 3-inch base. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Arrange triangles decoratively over filling, with base of each triangle placed at least ½ inch beyond edge of plate (to anchor pieces) and being careful not to overlap more than 2 triangles. Trim overhang to ½ inch beyond lip of plate, then pinch edges of bottom crust and triangles together firmly to seal. Fold edge of dough under itself and crimp dough evenly around edge of plate. Brush with egg wash.
1. Start with 13 by 10-inch rectangle of chilled dough. Cut eighteen 13 by ½-inch strips. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Arrange 3 strips side by side on counter (keep remaining strips refrigerated), then pinch tops to seal.
2. Braid strips as tightly as possible, then pinch ends to secure braid. Refrigerate while braiding remaining strips. Arrange braids evenly over filling, then trim overhang to ½ inch beyond lip of plate. Pinch braids and bottom crust together firmly to seal. Fold edge of dough under itself and crimp dough evenly around edge of plate. Brush with egg wash.