Monday, June 27, 2022

Cherry pie

This cherry pie filling is glorious with the compelling flavor of warm cherries. There is no thickening, no gloop, and no overcooking. The result is fresh, and addictive.

In an act of pie-defiance, I like bake pie in spring-form cake tin, unmolding the whole thing after it has baked.*

Cherry Pie Filling

2 1/2 pounds of sweet, firm black cherries
1/3 cup of sugar

Pie Pastry:

6 oz/175 grams unsalted butter
2.5 oz/75 grams sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
10.5 oz/300 grams all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried sweet clover or mahlab (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350'F. Butter the bottom and sides of spring-form cake tin.

For the filling: Rinse and de-stem the cherries, and pit. Add them to a saucepan with the sugar and heat very slowly, covered. As juice starts to be released from the cherries, increase the heat, swirling the pan occasionally. Simmer until the cherries are just cooked - about 8 more minutes. Pour off and keep the juice. (When it is cool, bottle and refrigerate it for using in drinks, and pouring over ice cream.) 

Let the cherries cool a little.

For the pastry: In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until smooth, light and fluffy. Add the egg, with a little flour to prevent the mixture from separating. Beat well. Gradually beat or stir in the rest of the flour, baking powder and salt. Shape into two balls, one larger than the other (1/3 to 2/3 of the pastry, respectively). Flatten each ball. The pastry does not need to chill (but does not suffer if you do chill it).

Roll the larger ball out thinly into a circle that will cover the bottom and reach up and over the sides of your cake pan. Wrap the pastry around your rolling pin for the transfer from board to cake tin. Patch any breaks or tears with extra pastry - it's a forgiving recipe.

Fill the pan with the cooled cherry filling.

Roll and cut out a pastry disk to cover the top, crimping the edges in the way you know best. Make a few slits for steam, and bake till the pastry is pale golden and crisp. Baking time varies, but it is in the realm of 35 - 40 minutes.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Gently loosen the edges before unlocking and lifting the spring-form. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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