Pies are fun to make and yield such a satisfying result. Today is the 4th of Juky so it was only logical that I made classic American Pie. I found an amazing recipe on Eat Little Bird which I adapted slightly.
For the Pie Crust
2 Scant cups (or 2oo grams) of flour (all purpose)
150 grams cold butter (cut up in even sized cubes)
1/2 tablespoon cold water
2 1/2 tablespoons (30 grams) icing sugar
1.5kg fresh cherries
1 cup fresh blueberries (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons corn flour
1 Lemon (zest of)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Juice of 1 lemon
The “How To”
To make the pie shell, combine the flour, icing sugar and butter in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Continue to mix until it looks like crumbly breadcrumbs. Don’t overwork the dough or else it will yield a touch pastry. It’s ok if you can still see bits of butter in the mixture.
Beat the egg and add the cold water to it the carefully add it to the mixture but don’t add it all in. Once the dough begins to come together stop mixing and dont add anymore liquid. To test consistency, pinch the mixture between your fingers if it holds then it is ready if it is still crumbly then add a touch more of the egg mixture.
With pie dough, the amount f liquid may gi u or down depending on the level of humidity in your immediate environment.
Careful empty the mixture until a chopping bard and form a a ball. Then divide it in two with one half being slightly bigger. Carefull wrap in cling film, flatten into discs and rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. I find that resting it over night or at least a couple of hours works well for me.
Now for the filling,
Wash the cherries and stone them. I don’t own a cherry stoner so I simply halved the cherries and extracted the stone from the other half.
A quick note for my Nigerian readers; as I am sure you are aware, imported fruits such as cherries are hideously expensive. I spent the better part of an eye watering NGN 10, 000. 00 to purchase 5 packets with a combined weight of 1.2kg well short of the recommended quantity. However I was loath to spend more on the fruit filling. And since my tart tin was slightly larger than the one used in the recipe I followed (which was 22 cm), I needed more filling which is why I topped my off with blueberries (which I already had at home).You could use a smaller tart tin to preserve the integrity of the recipe. Mine measured 24cm in diameter.
Next add the stoned cherries to a pot along with the sugar, lemon zest, vanilla and lemon juice. Cook it done till you have a nice thick consistency and the fruit is broken down. This should take anywhere from 7 – 9 minutes. The chunkiness of the fruit is entirely subjective; I prefer my filing to have some texture.
You must allow the filing to cool completely before using it. Please do not try to fill the pie if the filling is still warm
Now for the fun bit; pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees celsius.
Bring your chilled pie dough out of the fridge. Let is tad for about 2 minutes to soften slightly. Now place the bigger disc between two cling fling sheets on a flat work surface and roll it out until it is about 5 mm thick and has a diameter slightly bigger then your pie tin or dish. Carefully peel of the top cling film cover and lift the rolled pastry and place face down into your tin. Very gently, press the dough in place the peel off the cling film and trim off excess dough. You may preserve the scraps (in the fridge) for making some decor on top of the pie.
Then add the cooled filling (and if necessary scatter the blueberries evenly over the top.
The roll out the smaller disk as you did the first and carefully place it over the filled pie.
Trim off the excess dough by pressing down gently on the edges the press down carefully on the inside of the tin to seal the edges together.
You will observe that my pie had a fairly big bits of butter in it, in hindsight I should have aimed to break these down further when I was mixing it. As the pie bakes the butter melts away and leaves gaps; which is not a bad thing as such but could affect the overall aesthetics of the pie.
You may egg wash the pie with some whisked egg and milk mixture and sprinkle on some sugar if you’re after a sweet crunchy crust but you may skip this if you prefer.
Place the pie in the oven and bake for 20 minutes (mine took about 28 minutes).
When the pie is an even golden brown on top and may be you can see some cheery juice seeping through the seams the you know it is ready.
Let it cool and enjoy warm or at room temperature with some ice cream or whipped cream.
FFF Tip of the Day.
- It is preferable to slice a pie at room temperature. If you place it in the fridge then wait for the pie crust to “warm”. If you try to cut it when it is stone cold the crust will most likely crumble and have jagged edges (like mine did 🙂 )
- When you stone your cherries preserve the seeds and pour some whipped cream over them. Place in a bowl overnight and the next day you will have cherry infused cream (as pictured above). I think that after spending so much on the fruits it is fab to have the most use out them don’t you 🙂 ?
Here’s wishing all my friends and family in the United States a happy 4th of July Celebration.