After our captivating adventure to Young (the Cherry Capital of Australia), I’ve been consumed by the idea of baking a cherry pie at home. I used a recipe from the book called New York Cult Recipes and the result was exactly what I’d hoped for in a cherry pie. The oozing cherries had just enough sourness and the crust was crisp and buttery. This brought back some nice memories of summer and our road trip.
250g cold unsalted butter, diced
500g plain flour
50g icing sugar
1 tsp fine salt
100ml cold water
3 tsp lemon juice
300g dried beans (for baking)
2 1/4 tbsp cornflour
2 1/4 tbsp lemon juice
900g sour cherries, pitted
200g granny smith apple, cored and diced, not peeled
175g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
a little water
raw sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
Using a food processor or grater, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until you have a crumbly consistency. Incorporate the water and lemon juice and combine by hand just until you have a smooth dough. Divide into two balls of the same size, wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, combine the cornflour with the lemon juice. Place this mixture and the cherries, apple pieces and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook together for about 15 minutes, stirring. Allow to cool completely.
Shaping and Blind Baking
Preheat the oven to 180C. If the pastry dough is too hard when it comes out of the refrigerator, let it soften. Butter and flour a 26cm pie dish. On a floured surface, roll out the balls of dough into two rounds large enough to hang over the edge of the dish by about 5cm. Place one of the rounds in the dish, then roll the overhang onto itself. Prick the pastry base with a fork, cover with baking paper and dried beans and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for about 5 minutes until dry and light golden. Fill the pastry shell with the cold filling. It is essential for the filling to be cold before attempting the lattice, otherwise the heat will make the strips of dough too soft to handle.
On a floured surface, cut the second round of dough into medium size strips. Lay the strips across the pie, evenly spaced. Peel back ‘odd’ strips and lay down the first of the perpendicular strips so it’s under the ‘odd’ strips and over the ‘even’ strips. Repeat the process, peeling back the ‘even’ strips this time for the second perpendicular strip to go under, and keep going in the same way with the last perpendicular strips, continuing the alternation. Pinch the edges to seal them.
Cooking and Serving
Brush the pastry with the mixture of egg yolk and water and sprinkle with the sugar (optional). Place in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. Allow the pie to cool for at least 4 hours before cutting.