Cherry & Bay Pie
This fruit pie oozes sweet rich fruit under layers of crisp flaky pastry. Pretty in pink it is the ideal pie to make for your special lady on Mother’s Day.
SERVES 4 – 6
- 350g self-raising flour
- 160g cold unsalted butter, cubed
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence
- Ice cold water, 90–100ml
- 1 egg
- Granulated sugar, to garnish
- 100g good-quality black cherry jam
- Half tsp grated nutmeg
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp cornflour, mixed to a paste with 2 tsp cold water
- 500g fresh cherries, pitted and halved
- For the pastry, put the flour, salt and butter in a bowl, and rub in the butter until you have breadcrumbs. Add the vanilla extract and then the water, a tbsp at a time, combining the mix with a knife or spoon, bringing it together until the mixture starts to clump together into a dough.
- Add a little more water if necessary, you want a smooth, solid ball of dough. Divide the lump into two and then flatten both into disc shapes, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 mins.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6 and grease the pie dish. Remove a disc of pastry from the fridge, unwrap it and roll it out on a generously floured work surface to 3-mm thick and about 2.5cm wider than the pie dish. Transfer to a floured baking sheet and chill for approx. 10 mins. Repeat this process with the remaining disc of pastry.
- Heat the jam for the filling in a saucepan with 100ml water, nutmeg, bay and the vanilla extract. When it’s all melted together, add the diluted cornflour and stir together until smooth and thickened. Add the cherries and gently coat them in the mixture, being careful not to mush them up, so you preserve their shape. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Using a floured rolling pin, carefully transfer one of the chilled pastry sheets to the greased pie dish and drape it across the dish. Let it sink into the dish and, holding on to the edges, lift and tuck the pastry into the edges of the dish, all the way around, to line it. Trim off any excess pastry and lightly prick the base with a fork. Fill the dish with the cherry filling (including the bay leaf).
- Use a pastry cutter to cut holes in the remaining pastry sheet, covering an area just smaller than the diameter of the pie dish, leaving a large border intact. Place it over the pie filling and fold the edge of the top crust over the edge of the bottom crust, crimping it together with your fingers to seal.
- Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and sprinkle over the granulated sugar. Bake for 20 mins, until the crust is golden, then reduce the oven temperature to 180C/gas 4, covering the top of the pastry with foil, if necessary, to avoid it burning. Bake for a further 30 mins, until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is golden, firm and has lightly puffed.
- Allow the pie to cool for approx. 1 hour before serving with cream.
Tagged baking, Bay, Cherry, dessert, mothers day, pastry, Pie, pudding, shortcrust pastry, Sweet pie