Pitting cherries is a chore- right? Wrong! Especially when the result is cherry pie and the sweet cherries are so cheap as to be a give away. I hate to pay nearly 50p for a (0ne!) lemon when I am back home in guernsey and know I have left trees groaning with lemons double the size in Arizona. I also hardly ever make cherry pie in guernsey – to make a fab cherry pie you need pounds of cherries and they are just soooo expensive that I never make pies with them.
Yesterday's cherry pie featured a new pastry, with the addition of coconut. It was very short and so had to be pressed into shape in the dish- who knows unless you tell them?! I found the recipe online, and forgot to reference it, but I am pretty sure it was my trustworthy Thermomix sweet pastry substituting some coconut for flour- totally yummy.
I like to avoid a soggy bottom ( this phenomenon is nothing new to followers of the great british bake off GBBO!) by generously sprinkling the pastry base with ground almonds or grated marzipan, before refrigerating. Your pastry base and top need to be REALLY cold before you bake.
I like to soak cherries ( about 2lb for the pie and a few extra for serving) in a glug (or three!) of kirsch for an hour or so before I am going to bake in the pie. This is of course optional. A lovely blogger once asked me if my gin and lemon cake would work without the gin, and yes, it will, but it will be lemon cake.
A cherry pitter will make light work of this tedious task. I featured this little wonder in an earlier post.
Toss in a few tablespoons of arrowroot or corn flour before adding to the cold pastry base. I kept the coconut theme going with a sprinkling of desiccated coconut. Add sugar according to taste and type of cherry, sweet cherries won't need nearly as much as sour. I really do believe that we take the sugar content in dessert recipes as a guide only, and adjust for personal preference.
I topped with a lattice pastry cover, the quick way to achieve this look is to invest in a pastry cutter with the holes already cut- magic! The only downside is that it is 25cm/9″ wide and not really adaptable to bigger pies. Most of the time that's a great size but I often like to do buffet/party size desserts and it doesn't fit.
Bake at 400°F/200°C for 15 minutes before turning down the temperature to 370°F/180°C for 25 minutes. Keep an eye on the pastry edges and cover with foil if burning. There is a actually a gadget for that!
Serve with homemade ice cream or creme fraîche – watch it go!