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Martha Collison's cherry pie
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Serves: 8 - 10
FOR THE PASTRY
350g plain flour
1 tbsp icing sugar
225g butter, cold and cubed
FOR THE FILLING
4 x 180g packs cherries
150g caster sugar
½ lemon, juice and zest
3 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
FOR THE TOPPING
1 Waitrose British Blacktail Medium Free Range Egg, beaten
1 tsp caster sugar
1. Start by making the pastry. Place the flour and icing sugar into a food processor and pulse briefly to combine. Add the butter in cubes, then continue to pulse the mixture until it roughly resembles breadcrumbs with a few larger lumps of butter remaining. This will make the pastry flake beautifully. Gradually add 125ml cold water little by little until the mixture begins to clump together (you might not need all of it).
2. Tip the pastry onto a clean work surface and gently knead until it all forms a ball. Divide in half, wrap each piece in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.
3. Remove the stalks and stones from each cherry and place into a large mixing bowl. I find the easiest way to de-stone cherries is to push a chopstick through the centre of each one and the stone should pop out the other side. Add the sugar, lemon juice, zest, cornflour and vanilla bean paste to the bowl with the cherries and stir to combine.
4. Preheat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7. Roll out half the pastry into a large circle, around 5mm thick and line a 22cm pie dish with the pastry, allowing a few centimetres to overhang. Pour the filling into the pie dish, then lattice the top (see below) and brush the top with beaten egg. Sprinkle the top with sugar and place the dish on a baking tray.
5. Bake for 20 minutes then reduce the temperature to 180°C, gas mark 4 and bake for a further 35-40 minutes. The filling should bubble up and the pastry should be golden brown and crisp. If the pastry looks like it is browning too quickly, cover with a sheet of foil and continue baking. Remove from the oven – the filling may look too runny, but it will set as the pie cools. For best results, allow the pie to cool completely before serving, then reheat if you prefer to serve it warm.
How to latticeThis pretty pattern gives a great finish to your bakes and is easy to create:
1. Roll out the pastry into a large circle around 5mm in thickness.
2. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the dough into equal-sized strips. Cut thin strips if you’re creating an intricate lattice or thick strips for a bold design.
3. Lay half the strips across the pie, leaving equal-sized gaps between each one.
4. Peel back alternate strips and slot in a pastry strip perpendicular to the existing pieces. Fold the strips back down to cover.
5. Repeat the process, lifting alternate strips each time so a woven pattern emerges. When you’re happy with the pattern, trim away any excess pastry from the edge and crimp the top using your fingers or a fork all the way around to seal.
This recipe was first published in July 2018.