TBP – I have a little confession to make; I have a soft spot for cherry pie because it features heavily in Twin Peaks, which I absolutely adore to death. In fact, once I’ve finished with this semester I plan on having a Twin Peaks themed party! Which I will get TBC to cook for (she doesn’t have a say in it 😛 ).
TBC – The reason I don’t get a say is because I gave up on Twin Peaks since it drove me to distraction. David Lynch is a bit of an acquired taste. I do quite enjoy this though.
We had a spare jar of cherries from the delicious cherry stuffed chicken and I’d heard a rumor you could turn them into cherry pie without much effort. Cherries are quite possibly the best fruit and one of my favourite things about summer. You know how when you are in school and the teacher asks what you want to do when you grow up and you are supposed to say doctors and teachers? I said cherry picker. Ask my Mum, she has the evidence to prove it. But this is Australia, you never have dessert pie when it’s hot and cherries are in season, and I doubt anyone is going to convince me that a cooked cherry is going to taste better than a fresh raw one in the height of summer. Now it’s cooling down though… I’ll take my fix where I can get it.
After watching all of Pushing Daisies back to back about a dozen times some years ago my sister (hereby known as the Brazen Assistant for her uncanny ability to appear under your elbow with a spatula 3 seconds before you knew you needed one) went on a pie craze and came across this pie crust recipe. It’s not too temperamental, and the end result is thick and soft. It’s one of my favourite sweet pie crust recipes (the other coming from the Bourke Street Bakery).
for the Brazen Assistant’s pie crust:
2.5 c flour
¼ c sugar
1 tsp salt (omit if you use salted butter)
approx 5 TB iced water
for the filling:
1-2 jars of pitted cherries, drained (depending on how big your pie tin is)
2TB sugar, or to taste
3-4TB plain flour
sprinkle of cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Place the flour and sugar in a food processor and pulse until combined. chop the butter into same-sized pieces, add to the bowl, and pulse until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. add the vanilla essence and the iced water, a spoon at a time, until mixture comes together. It’s safer to stop and work it with your hands a bit before you think it’s done, rather than let it get too wet. Divide the mix into two balls, flatten into disks, wrap with clingwrap and leave to sit for an hour or so. At this point you can keep the dough in the fridge for a few days, but you’ll need to sit it on the counter for a while before rolling (or have very good muscles).
When the dough has rested, roll the disks out into two round sheets, about 5mm thick. I find it easiest to do this between two sheets of clingwrap.
Combine the drained cherries in a bowl with the flour, sugar, and cinnamon and stir so the cherries are covered with a very light, but even coat.
Line the tin with one of the disks of pastry. This is where the clingwrap comes in handy. Fill the case with the cherry mix and gently shake the tin around a bit so the contents is roughly levelled off. Top with the other round of pastry. I prefer a solid top where I want the filling to reduce down and thicken a bit, but you could do a lattice top if you prefer. Trim the edges and seal by pressing down lightly with your fingers. Make a little slit or two with a sharp knife in the centre of the pie to allow steam to escape.
Bake for 30-45 minutes, until golden, checking frequently. The edges will colour quicker than the centre, so wrap those with foil if you feel they are getting close to the danger zone.
Serve with a generous dollop of Bannister Downs thickened cream, whipped cream, and/or ice cream, thickened cream obviously being the superior choice.
All you need, honestly, is a little piece of cherry pie hot from the oven.