Our cherry trees did really well this year, producing a lot of fruit, so I looked through my cook books for a recipe for cherry pie and chose one from “Say it with cake” by Ed Kimber, a former GBBO winner.
The end result was reminiscent of the pies and crumbles I used to make years ago using those tins of cherry pie filling – only much, much better.
The only faffy part of making this pie is stoning all the cherries, a process that is made only slightly easier by the use of my not very efficient cherry stoner. After half an hour and when beginning to lose the will to live, I wondered whether I should just leave the stones in but remembered that a mouthful of stones takes away the joy of most fruit puddings so soldiered on.
I did find a recipe for cherry pie by Ed on the internet here, but it’s not quite the same as the one in the book, using arrowroot, almond essence and with other differences. It’s not in his first book either, which has the same title as the web page, and is dated later than both of the books were published. So he seems to have tinkered with his earlier recipe but in any case, this one was delicious and I would definitely make it again.
Probably next year when the cherry tree is groaning under the weight of fruit again! Speaking of which, I really should have done this post when cherries were in season and easily available fresh in the shops – but you could use frozen ones and make it at any time of year, with the added advantage that you then wouldn’t have to spend hours removing all the stones!
For the filling
200g caster sugar
800g fresh or frozen pitted cherries
zest and juice of 1 lemon
For the pastry
400g plain flour
1 tsp salt
2 tblsp caster sugar
200g cold unsalted butter
Also, 1 medium egg, beaten with 1 tblsp water for the egg wash.
Put the sugar, 600g of the cherries and the lemon zest into a large pan over medium heat. Mix the cornflour to a paste with the lemon juice and add to the pan when the cherries start to release their juice. Bring to the boil gently and cook, stirring, for a few minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat and add the remaining cherries. Set aside to cool while you make the pastry.
Make the pastry in the usual way, divide into two portions, one slightly larger than the other and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180° fan / gas mk 6. Grease a 23cm pie dish or plate.
Roll out the larger piece of pastry to a bit bigger than the dish and drape it over, pressing into the base. Trim so the overhang is about 2.5cm all the way round.
Roll the other piece of pastry and cut into strips 2.5cm wide.
*The recipe at this point says to chill the pastry again but I didn’t have time.
Tip the cherry filling into the pie. Brush the edges with egg wash and lay the strips of pastry over the top in a lattice pattern. Brush again and fold the overlap in so that it covers the edges of the strips. Crimp the edges together with finger and thumb. Brush the pastry all over with egg wash and bake for 40-45 minutes until the pastry is browned and the filling bubbling.