MUNCH RATING: 5/5
In July we went to Garsons Farm in Esher and we picked some lovely cherries. I pitted them and then put them in the freezer, intending to make a cherry pie. Since it’s bank holiday weekend and the weather has been a bit miserable, I thought it was the perfect time to make my pie.
I already knew I was going to use my favourite sweet pastry recipe - pâte brisée – but I made a double batch so I could freeze some to use for another pie. I made the pastry the day before and kept it tightly covered in the fridge. Then I took it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before I needed to use it, to allow it to soften up to make it easier to roll out.
But it took me a little longer to find a recipe I liked for the filling. Nearly all of the recipes I found said to just mix the cherries with sugar, some cornflour and other flavourings and place straight onto the prepared raw pie crust. But I didn’t like this idea as I thought it might be too watery and make the pastry soggy.
Then I found a recipe on The Food Network website and the method of cooking the cherries first with the sugar and cornflour until the mixture was nice and thick seemed ideal. I didn’t have enough cherries, so I adapted the recipe quantities by reducing the amount of sugar and cornflour.
My filled pie before baking – the filling is thick and delicious!
Since I had less cherries than the recipe stated, I used a slighter smaller 7-inch metal pie dish.
My pie took longer than 50 minutes to bake – more like 70 minutes – as the pastry underneath was still a little bit underdone. But after 50 minutes the top looked really lovely and golden brown, so to stop it burning I covered the pie with some foil.
This was the first time I’d ever made a cherry pie and I was pretty impressed. The recipe for the filling was incredibly easy and it worked a treat. I will definitely use this method for other fruit pies, as I have a stash of blackberries and blackcurrants in the freezer.
Everyone liked the pie, although Steve said the cherry flavour could have been stronger – but he thinks this is because he’s used to a very synthetic cherry taste from shop-bought products. I personally thought it tasted quite strongly of cherries!
Sadly I’ve not got any more cherries in the freezer, but I will try using Hartley's Fruit Filling Black Cherry which comes in tins, as I’ve read it’s very good.
The recipe below is how I made my pie – you can find the original recipe on the The Food Network website.
- Oven temperature: Gas mark 5/375°F/190°C
- Oven shelf: middle
- You will need: round 7-inch tin
Sweet Pastry Ingredients (makes enough for 2 pies):
- 500g plain flour
- 30g sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 200g butter, chilled
Sweet Pastry Directions:
- Sift the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
- Put the sugar, butter and eggs in the well and gently rub into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs, then press the dough together to form a ball of dough until it is smooth and pliable.
- It’s a good idea to let you pastry rest before cooking. You can either roll the dough out on a lightly floured board until it is about 3mm thick and line your tins and then chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes, or stick the whole lot of dough in the fridge to use the next day.
- 3 cups frozen cherries
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 Tablespoons cornflour
- ½ Tablespoon butter, to dot
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar, to sprinkle
- Place cherries in medium saucepan and place over heat. Cover. After the cherries release considerable juice, which may take a few minutes, remove from the heat.
- In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cornflour together. Pour this mixture into the hot cherries and mix well.
- Return the mixture to the stove and cook over low heat until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and let cool. If the filling is too thick, add a little water, too thin, add a little more cornflour.
- Preheat the oven Gas mark 5/375°F/190°C.
- Use your favourite pie dough recipe. Prepare your crust. Divide in half. Roll out each piece large enough to fit into an 7-inch pan.
- Pour cooled cherry mixture into the crust. Dot with butter. Moisten edge of bottom crust. Place top crust on and flute the edge of the pie. Make a slit in the middle of the crust for steam to escape. Sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for about 50-70 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool.