In the past 24 hours, we've read two articles about this technique—one from Mark Bittman in yesterday's Times and one in Bon Appétit. Must be a trend. Both articles insist this method of pie crust is easier, but we're not sure. Get all the details, below...
The appeal is this: Instead of rolling out a pie dough and carefully transferring it to your pie plate, you skip the bottom crust altogether. You still roll out the dough, but rather than laying it under (or over) your fruit in one sheet, you cut out shapes or even just cut it into squares or rectangles, then place them in an overlapping pattern.
Here are the pros:
• If you have a hard time rolling the pie dough into something resembling a circle, you can breathe easy that the shape doesn't matter here; you're cutting it up anyway.
• No crimping the edges of the crust.
• No pre-baking the crust (if the recipe calls for that) or dealing with pie weights.
• According to Bittman, a top crust develops more browned, crispy edges.
• It looks pretty!
But we'd counter with:
• Is transferring a pie crust really that hard? If it breaks, you just pinch it back together.
• You're still rolling out the dough.
• Cutting out shapes and placing them one by one seems more time-consuming.
It does look lovely, and it's just a nice change from the everyday, bottom-crusted pie. What do you think?
Here are the articles:
• Top Crust Peach and Cardamom Pie, from Bon Appétit
• How to Make a Top Crust, from Bon Appétit
• Another Tasty Way to Elude Pie Crust, from The New York Times
Related: Use Pie Dough Cut-Outs to Top Pies (A similar idea, but you still make a bottom crust)
(Images: CNP Digital Studio)