Good morning to all. I hope that you have been enjoying the festive season, and have had a relaxing time with friends and family. I have been enjoying some time off with my family - it is always a good time for me to catch up on some sleep, as my family are of the "early to bed, early to rise" persuasion.
For my last post for this year, I thought it would be fitting to post a sweet recipe. I have selected a recipe for Sweet Cherry Pie by Matt Moran of Aria fame, which appeared on p19 of the Event liftout in the Sunday Mail on 22 November 2009.
I adore cherries, and as soon as they became relatively cheap, I bought the best part of a kilo, and contributed around half of them to making this pie. It is absolutely delicious, with a jammy, deep red cherry centre complimented by a flaky, golden pastry crust with a lattice work top. I was a little scared of making the lattice work top, as I have never done this before, but it didn't give me any dramas. The hardest part about making pastry in Brisbane in summer is always the heat factor - no sooner is the chilled dough removed from the fridge than it begins to wilt in the heat.
If you like the look of this pie and would like to try it for yourself, the recipe is as follows:
270g cold butter, cut into cubes
450g plain flour
135g icing sugar
500g pitted cherries
20ml lemon juice
1 egg, lightly beaten (for wash)
Put the sifted flour and icing sugar into a bowl. Add the cubes of butter, and rub together until the mixture forms crumbs. (I used a pastry cutter for this, which I found to be helpful, but your fingertips are fine if the weather is not too warm.)
In a separate small bowl, beat the eggs together with a fork, then pour into the flour mixture. Mix the ingredients together until a workable dough forms; I find using your hands is best for this. (I found that I needed to add more flour because my mixture was too wet; alternatively, if the mixture is too dry, add ice water slowly to the mixture until it comes together.)
Divide the pie dough into two equal pieces, form each piece into a disc shape and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes before using.
Put the cherries and sugar into a medium saucepan, and stir over medium heat until the cherries are soft and the sugar has dissolved (~5 minutes).
In a small bowl, mix together the cornflour and lemon juice, then pour the mixture into the cooked cherries, stirring the mixture over the heat for a further 2-3 minutes or until the mixture has thickened. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
Grease a 21cm fluted pie pan well.
Remove one of the discs of dough from the fridge, and roll it out between two pieces of baking paper or on a well floured bench to 3-4mm in thickness. Carefully line the greased pie pan with the rolled out dough, and trim off the excess. Place the pie shell in the fridge for ~20minutes to chill.
In the meantime, remove the second piece of pie dough from the fridge and roll out to 3-4mm thickness, as before. Cut the pastry into 16 x 3cm wide strips. (I only managed 8 x 3cm strips, and this worked fine.) Place the strips onto a tray and chill in the fridge for ~20 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
Remove the chilled pie shell from the fridge, and spoon in the cooled cherry mixture. Brush the edges of the pie shell with the beaten egg wash, then remove the pastry strips from the fridge, and lay half of them horizontally across the top of the pie, and the other half vertically across the top of the pie to form a lattice.
Trim off the excess pastry, and brush the top of the lattice with the egg wash.
Put the pie into the preheated oven, and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve with cream or icecream.
Happy New Year to you and your family!