I think it's easy to lose yourself in a pastry lattice. It's akin to knitting or crochet, where you sit back and watch as your hands do all the work for you. No thinking, just weaving, until sitting before you are braids and layers of delicate pastry.
I used to have the hardest time latticing, because my favorite pie crust recipe is so impossibly flakey and buttery that it just doesn't hold together for anything fancier than a plain sheet crust (#humblebrag). So a few weeks ago, on Easter when I made this pie (I know... I've been sitting on this post for a while) I decided to try only using my recipe for the bottom crust, and then using a simple flour, shortening and water recipe for the lattice. It worked, and once again I found myself lost in the act of the lattice.
Forgive me for a moment while I attempt to find a metaphor here. I've never been much for problem solving, because when things don't go according to plan I typically find myself spinning out or giving up completely. But a sense of calm has washed over me in the last year or so, that's allowed me to face my problems with a startling sense of certainty. It's come with age, as time is really the only way to put some things in perspective, and also with a stronger sense of my own self.
For example, the art of the pastry lattice. For years it baffled me, I could never get my pies to come out the way I wanted. So I gave up on lattices all together and focused my efforts on single crust pies. It's like how ostriches stick their heads int the sand and then assume they're invisible, except I was a human woman sticking my head into a pie, refusing to address any real problem straight on. But time passed, and I got real sick and tired of everyone on instagram posting cute pies except me, so I tied my apron strings behind my back like the warrior I am and got to work problem solving. And guess what? The problem was never me, it was that impossibly flakey crust. So I fixed it. And now I have awesome pies to share.
It's easy for me to let other emotions take over. But after years of cowering in fear I finally decided to take charge of my own emotions and fight back. So just like I found a pastry recipe that works, I've found ways to take my own power back. It's mostly breath work; slow, deep inhales that expand my stomach. Other times it's words of affirmation, whether they're said under my breath or out loud like some kind of lunatic. Another great way to regain your power is by taking note of objects surrounding you, describe them out loud and after about three of them you'll notice that your breaths have gotten longer and your head doesn't feel as tight.
I'll never be perfect, and I still have moments of weakness where I lose control and feel overwhelmed. But it's easier for me to find my footing now, to find myself back on earth and in control. I'm getting better at not letting the little things bother me, and any time I start to feel it anyways, I think of the lattice.
Up for a challenge? You can lattice with a herringbone pattern if you're very patient! Steps on Serious Eats.
Mixed Berry Pie - Sugar & Satire
- 5 cups of mixed fruit ( I used 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup raspberries, 1 cup blackberries and 2 cups diced strawberries)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare the fruit filling by first rinsing the berries and dicing the strawberries into small pieces. In a large clean bowl, combine the fruit, sugar, flour, cinnamon and ginger. And set aside for about 10 minutes to let the flour and sugar soak up the juices from the berries.
Prepare a pie pan by lining with your choice of pastry, and then fill with the berry mixture. Top your pie with the second crust by weaving a simple lattice, or rolling it out into one sheet (by far the easiest). I do like the look of a lattice for berry pies though, because the filling tends to spill out a little sometimes, and the lattice top leaves room for that, so the filling doesn't have to leak out the bottom.
Brush the top of the pie with aquafaba or plant based milk, and sprinkle with granulated sugar for a shiny and crunchy top. Line the outer crust with aluminum foil to prevent the edges from burning and bake at 375 for about 25 minutes before removing the foil. Continue the bake for another 30 minutes and remove the pie when the crust is lightly browned and you can smell magic coming from the oven.
Let the pie cool completely before serving, and walk around showing everyone your impressive lattice skills before finally biting the bullet and cutting into it. Pie will keep about 5 to 7 days in an airtight container.