Sunday, 10 July 2011

Cherry Berry Pie

Got a BBQ to go to today, and thought that the best way to contribute is to bring something home-make, something like a pie, a cherry pie. Oh, who am I kidding, I’ve been thinking about making a cherry pie for over a week now and been looking for an excuse to make it.
Tesco got big boxes of cherries on sale, so it seems like a perfect time to try my hamd at pie making.

I’ve googled “cherry pie recipe” and got a number of recipes, from really complicated ones to some really odd ones : “buy one pack of pastry and two cans of cherry pie filling, make a pie”. Lots of American recipes mention tapioca, I don’t actually know what it is and was too ashamed to ask my local Tesco whether they have it – if I don’t know what it is, how can I describe it?

After reading a few recipes, I’ve decided that I have enough of a general idea, and this is what I came up with :

Cherry Berry Pie

Pastry :
300 g white flour
150 g unsalted butter (cold, cubed)
75 g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
A pinch of salt
Zest of half an orange
Juice of half an orange

Filling :
600 g sweet cherries (with stones removed, probably 700 g total weight)
50 g sugar
Juice of half a lime
1 Tbsp kirsch
2 Tbsp corn flour

Place flour, butter, sugar, zest and salt in a food processor and mix until you have an even crumbly mixture, about a minute. Add the egg yolk and mix for another 20-30 seconds, add orange juice and mix for a few more seconds.
Due to orange and the egg yolk the pasty came out lovely colour, really golden. Wrap it into gladwrap and place it into fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
Meanwhile start on the filling – pit cherries – get an olive or a cherry pitter, its so worth it, I paid something like £5.00 for mine, but it makes things so much easier. Of course, it will become one of those gadgets that you’ll never use again and it will sit there collecting dust, but hey ho :)
Add the rest of pie filling ingredients to the cherries and mix it all together. Allow to sit for a bit, while you are waiting for your pastry to chill, to give the cherries time to let some of that lovely juice out and mix with the rest of the flavours.
I am wondering what lime and sugar will do to the cherries – ideally I would have liked to make a sour cherry pie, but I can’t find any sour cherries in the UK at this time of the year. Maybe lemon would have been more appropriate, but I only had limes at home, so will see.
Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it out of a non-sticky surface, big enough to cover the bottom and sides of your pie tin. I’ve started covering my kitchen top with gladwrap before working with crumbly types of pastries – wet the surface with a bit of water and cover it with gladwarp. Water to make the gladwrap stick and gladwrap to stop the pastry from sticking it to kitchen surfaces.
Grease the pie dish with butter and transfer the pastry into the pie dish to cover the entire dish and leave some pastry to hand over the edges.
Pour out the filling into the pie dish, scraping all of the juices out of a bowl – that’s where all the flavour is.
Roll out the rest of the pastry and cut out long strips of pastry, about 2 cm wide – I used a curly pastry cutter to test it out. Lift the strips of pastry (it might be quite tricky, as the dough was getting quite warm by that stage) and cover the top of the pie with them, leaving quite wide gaps between the strips.
Press ends of the strips to the edges of the pie base and trim the excess pastry.
Bake at 200C for 20 minutes and leave to cool completely before taking it out of the pie dish.



Well, what can I say, the pastry was really tasty, and really orangy. Couldn’t really taste the lime in the filling, so might go for lemon next time and add some more lemon juice. The pastry was also really crumbly, so might have to use less butter next time, see whether that’s gonna make any difference.
Overall the pie was a success – really lovely, served cold with some cream.

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