Cherries are in season from June to July, so if you’re hoping to enjoy them sustainably (by eating in-season), you need to plan ahead to avoid missing these juicy delights! The perfect cherry pie should be sweet yet tart, with a buttery melt-in-the-mouth pastry crust. Pies are one of the oldest dishes, going so far back that it’s hard to pin down where they originated from. For this reason it’s nice to create a rustic looking pie, with whimsical & wonky pastry patterns on the top.
The key to getting the pastry spot on, was in the cutting of the cold butter into the pastry mixture. We found two table knives to be the perfect utensils for this. Cherries can be pricey, so our tip for keeping costs down whilst not compromising on flavour, is to use cherry jam amongst your fresh cherries for a thick pie filling. Plus, you can experiment with using different jams and fruit combinations for a whole different pie altogether.
Makes enough to fill a 10 inch pie dish.
For the filling-
- 750g Cherries
- 3 tbsp Cornflour
- 50g Granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp Cherry jam
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp Vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
For the pastry-
- 540g Plain flour
- 300g Vegan butter
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- 170ml Ice cold water
Vegan custard or ice cream to serve.
- Start by making the pastry. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. It is best to sift the flour for the best results.
- Cut the cold butter into evenly sized, small chunks. The more uniform you keep the butter chunks, the more evenly flavoured your pastry will be. The butter needs to be cold to stop it melting into the mixture, otherwise you don’t get a nice flaky pastry.
- My favourite method for incorporating the cold butter into the mixture, is to use two table knives in a slicing motion, and to use them as if you were using a knife and fork to slice the pieces of butter into the mixture. Once you’ve added all the pieces of butter, add the cold water gradually while you’re cutting the butter into the mixture.
- When the butter and water have mostly been mixed in, use your hands to finish off (make sure your hands are cold). Gently mix with your hands until a ball of pastry forms. Roll it around to pick up any excess, wrap the ball in cling film or foil then place it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- While the pastry is chilling in the fridge, it’s time to make the pie filling. Wash and de-stone the cherries & place them in a saucepan. Add your jam, lemon juice, vanilla extract, sugar and salt, then heat it up and stir.
- Allow the cherry mixture to simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then set the filling aside to cool as much as possible. While it cools it will firm up a little bit, making it less liquidy for when you place it inside the pastry.
- After 30 minutes, remove the pastry dough from the fridge. Preheat the oven to 220c.
- If you plan to make a lattice topping, reserve about a third of the dough for the topping. If you’re making a whole-covered blanket topping for the pie, split the dough into halves.
- To make the pie base, roll the bigger portion into a circular shape. It needs to be around an extra inch wider than your pie dish. If your pie dish is quite deep as well as wide, you may need to roll your pastry to be a few inches wider so that the excess pastry can reach up the sides of the dish. The base of the dough should be around ¼ inch thick, so that the pie filling doesn’t leak through.
- Grease the pie dish with a little vegan butter or oil – this will help to give you nice clean slices of pie when dishing up.
- Place the rolled out dough in the pie dish and gently push down to make sure the dough fits nicely to the shape of the dish. Check the filling is fairly cool, then spread the filling out across the pastry.
- Roll out the rest of the pastry to create the topping. To make a lattice, roll the pastry into a rectangle shape, then use a sharp knife to cut the pastry into even strips. To make the lattice, weave the strips of pastry in a pattern using the ‘one over, one under’ technique.
- You can glaze your pie with plant milk for a shiny golden top. Place in the middle of the oven and bake at 220c for 40 minutes or until the top of the pastry is golden-brown.
- For the best taste and the easiest cut, chill your pie for a few hours before serving. This gives the filling time to settle, making it easier to slice. Reheat the pie, or serve cold with custard or ice cream.
Cherries can be bought all year-round, meaning this pie can be enjoyed whenever you feel like it! It’s important to remember that cooking with fruit seasonally is better for the environment and for your bank balance. Enjoy!