It's not hard to do. Really! I'll even show you how to weave the lattice.
After you roll out your bottom crust and tuck it into your pie plate, roll out your top crust (the instructions say to roll it to a 12x10-inch rectangle, but I could never roll out a perfect rectangle; could you?) and cut it into eight strips with your pastry wheel or a knife. I didn't bother measuring, hence the uneven strips. Use the long strips for the center of your pie, and the shorter strips for the sides. Lay five of them vertically across your pie plate.
Then fold down strips 2 and 4, and lay another strip horizontally across the middle. Fold strips 2 and 4 back up. Then fold down strips 1, 3, and 5, and lay another strip horizontally across the top of the pie.
Next, fold up strips 1, 3, and 5, and lay the last strip horizontally across the bottom of the pie. Fold the strips back down, and trim off any overhang with a small knife. You're done!
Final tips: Wear an apron or old shirt when you're pitting those cherries, unless you don't mind red stains on your shirt. I also used regular cherries I found at the supermarket, instead of hunting for sour cherries as the recipe calls for. Still tastes good!
From Ken Haedrich's Pie: 300 Tried-and-True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pie
Lattice-Top Deep-Dish Sour Cherry Pie
All-Butter Pie Pastry, Double Crust (recipe follows)
For the filling
6 cups fresh sour cherries, stemmed and pitted
1 1/4 cups plus 3 tbs sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbs cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
For the glaze
Milk or light cream
- Prepare the pastry as directed, making half of it just slightly larger than the other. Shape the larger half into a disk and the other half into a square. Wrap the pastry as usual and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour.
- Roll the disk of pastry into a 13 1/2-inch circle with a floured rolling pin. Gently tuck the pastry into a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie pan without stretching it, and sculpt the overhang into an upstanding ridge. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Place the cherries in a large bowl. Mix the sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl, then stir the mixture into the fruit. Stir in the lemon juice and zest. Set aside for 10 minutes to juice. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Roll the remaining pastry into a 12x10-inch rectangle. With a pastry wheel or pizza cutter, cut the pastry into 8 lengthwise strips, each 1 1/4 inches wide. You should have 8 strips measuring 12 inches long and 1 1/4 inches wide. Set aside.
- Turn the filling into the chilled pie shell, moistening the rim of the shell slightly. Smooth the top of the filling with a spoon or spatula. Dot the filling with the butter. Then follow the instructions at the top of my post for weaving the lattice. Trim the strips, then pinch the end of the strips into the edge of the pastry. Lightly brush the pastry strips with milk and sprinkle the top of the pie with sugar.
- Place the pie on the center oven rack and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and rotate the pie 180 degrees, so that the part that faced the back of the oven now faces forward. Just in case, slide a large aluminum foil-lined baking sheet onto the rack below to catch any spills. (Really do this! The boiling-over is almost inevitable. In fact, do it when you first put the pie in.) Continue to bake until the top is golden brown and any visible juices bubble thickly, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least 2 hours before serving.
All-Butter Pie Pastry (double crust)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
About 1/2 cup cold water
- Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Pulse several times to mix. Scatter the butter over the dry ingredients and pulse 7 or 8 times to cut the butter in well. Remove the lid and fluff the mixture with a fork, lifting it up from the bottom of the bowl. Drizzle half of the water over the dry ingredients. Pulse 5 or 6 times, until the mixture is crumbly. Fluff the pastry and sprinkle on the remaining water. Pulse 5 or 6 times more, until the pastry starts to form clumps. It will look like coarse crumbs. Empty into a large bowl. (If you don't have a food processor, roughly follow the same instructions using your pastry cutter.)
- Test the dough by squeezing some of it between your fingers; if it seems a little dry and not quite packable, drizzle a teaspoon or so of cold water over the dough and work it in with your fingertips. Using your hands, pack the dough into 2 balls, as you would pack a snowball. Knead each ball once or twice, then shape into a circle and a square and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight before rolling.
I used the leftover dough and set aside some of the cherry filling to make this personal-sized cherry tart.