Venting and Transferring the Top Crust
A two-crust pie differs from a one-crust pie in more ways than just having extra pastry. First, the bottom crust is usually trimmed flush with the pie pan, rather than being folded under, to decrease its bulk. Secondly, the filling is almost always spooned in before trimming the dough. If done after trimming, its weight could drag the edge of the crust below the pan rim. Finally, the top crust is vented to let steam escape during baking. Any small opening works, but the simple and elegant sand-dollar pattern, shown here, is very effective. Cut the slits with a sharp, thin-bladed knife, such as a paring knife, after the top crust has been rolled out, but before it is transferred to the pie. Another way to fashion vents is with a lattice top, a pattern of dots or a small cutout. Once the top crust is vented, gently place it on the pie, fold the edge under, and crimp as desired.
Trimming the Bottom Crust
Set the bottom crust in the pie plate and ease it in without stretching the dough. Add the filling. With sharp kitchen scissors or a knife, trim away the excess dough flush with the outside edge of the plate.
Cutting Slits in the Top Crust
After rolling the top crust about 1 inch in diameter larger than the pie plate, form steam vents by cutting several slits with a sharp knife. Widen the holes with the knife, or they will close when baked.
Transferring the Top Crust
Drape the dough over the rolling pin. Lay the pin over the far edge of the filled pie and unroll the dough toward you, making sure that the crust is centered and there is an equal amount of dough hanging over the sides of the pan.
Folding the Edges Under
Trim the top crust to 1/2-inch from the edge of the pie plate. Working in a circle, lift the bottom crust and tuck the top crust under it. This will create a thick border for crimping.