Extortionately priced in the supermarkets, these cherries were such a bargain, I bought a couple of kilos. So what does one do with a large quantity of cherries – why bake a pie, of course?
Besides, my ‘Sweet Tarts and Pies’ section of the blog looks decidedly lacking, so this was definitely one to try.
As is usual when I bake, I take a look through some existing recipes I have in my (ever expanding) baking book collection, or my roughly, filed magazine recipe ‘cut outs’. To my surprise, there were very few Cherry Pie recipes. Indeed, this one, slightly adapted from Marc Grossman’s ‘New York Cult Recipes’ was by far the most tempting.
Any recipes concerning cherries that I came across called for sour cherries. Clearly these were not ‘sour’ cherries, just fresh ones. I therefore made allowance for this and adapted the filling recipe by substituting the sweet apple, for a tart, Bramley apple. I also adapted the pastry – I felt I wanted to add egg to the Pate Sucre to help with the pastry handling when making the lattice.
Don’t be daunted by pie making. It really is straightforward, particularly if you break the processes down into parts as I did. I made the pastry and filling one day (allowing the pastry to rest overnight) and I put the pie together the next day and baked it. This was my first attempt at a lattice and I would suggest layering and putting it together on a piece of baking parchment, fiddling with it until you are happy and then carefully lay it on the filled pie. Much less stressful than ‘latticing’ directly onto the pie.
This pie was enormously satisfying to make, and enjoy. The rich, cherry filling is wonderful and not overly sweet and the pastry is light, yet it holds it structure. Enjoyed hot or cold, with ice cream or double cream, this pie is a wonderful dessert to be enjoyed whatever the season. Something for the weekend maybe?…
- 250g unsalted butter, cubed
- 500g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 50g icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 teaspoons lemon juice
- 35g cornflour
- 35ml lemon juice
- 850g fresh cherries, pitted
- 300g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 175g golden caster sugar
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- caster sugar, for sprinkling
- Measure the flour, icing sugar and salt into a large bowl, or the bowl of a freestanding mixer and roughly mix. Add the cubed butter and mix until you have a crumbly/sand-like consistency. Add the beaten eggs and lemon juice and combine until the pastry comes together. Divide the pastry into two equal balls and place in a food bag/wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.
- Prepare the filling by mixing together the cornflour and lemon juice together in a small bowl. Set aside. Prepare the cherries by rinsing and pitting them. Place them in a large saucepan, along with the diced apple, sugar and cornflour/lemon mixture. Over a medium heat, cook the fruit mixture for about 15 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool. Refrigerate once cooled until it is ready for use.
- Allow the pastry to soften slightly prior to using. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C or Gas Mark 4. Heavily butter and flour a 26cm diameter pie dish. Between two sheets of baking parchment, roll the first ball of pastry dough into a round sufficient to fill the pie dish with a little overhang. With the aid of the bottom sheet of baking parchment, lift the pastry and place into the dish. Turn the small overhang back on itself, so creating an edge. With a fork, prick the base of the pastry. Cover with a piece of baking parchment (heavily crinkled) and baking beads. Bake for 15 minutes then remove the beads and parchment and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and fill with the cold, cherry filling.
- For the lattice topping, again roll the second dough ball between two pieces of baking parchment. With a 9 inch baking pan, make an imprint on the dough, like a giant cutter and make a round. Horizontally cut the pastry round into 8 equal (in width) strips. On the baking parchment, arrange the lattice by laying four strips horizontally, equally spaced. The remaining four strips need to be arranged vertically, weaving under and over the horizontal strips to form an even lattice. By doing this on the parchment first, it is possible to make adjustments. Also, refrigerate the pastry if it is getting a little too soft to handle. Once complete, lift the parchment with the lattice and carefully lay it over the filled pie. Brush the edges with egg yolk and pinch together to seal the lattice lid to the base.
- Brush the pastry with egg yolk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for about 40 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing.
- Serve with thick cream or ice cream.
Source: Slightly adapted from Marc Grossman’s ‘New York Cult Recipes’