Before the summer is out, you have to make this pie. I stumbled upon it on Facebook one morning and knew I had to make the most of the last of the season’s sweet and juicy cherries and make Hungry Hubby one of his favourite things. It worked out better than I imagined.
The topping was what pulled me in – I have heard of cobblers before, but not like this. British baked fruit puddings usually have a crumble topping – butter rubbed into flour with sugar stirred through then clumped together by hand to give a rubbly finish with plenty of crisp texture. American baked fruit puddings would more commonly have a cobbler topping which has more akin with scone (or biscuit) dough, shaped into cobbles, funnily enough. Like a Ye Olde English cobblestoned street. This pie, from the blog Oranges & Almonds has a very different style of topping. You mix flour and sugar then slice butter and lay it on top before baking. Interesting! I was intrigued immediately and knew I had to try it.
When baked, you get a vanillary and buttery topping which browns unevenly but absorbs some of the cherry juice as well as the butter and tastes like the lightest pastry you’ve ever eaten. It’s truly wonderful. In the past, I’ve been disappointed with fruit fillings which have too much juice and cause the dreaded soggy bottom but not so with this pie. I didn’t cook the cherries and instead mixed with cornflour and less sugar which means both less juice and more cherry flavour. Indeed, I’ve tweaked the quantities of butter and sugar a fair bit throughout to suit our tastes not to mention converting the quantities to metric to make it a more reproducible recipe. And it slices beautifully too. A moat of custard is Hungry Hubby’s preferred method of eating cherry pie and I can’t say I disagree when the pie is cold but when still hot from the oven, the sheer indulgence of a scoop of rich, vanilla ice cream melting on top of the pie is an ambrosial delight. Don’t miss out on it and make this pie before the last few days of summer are over for another year.
- 600g fresh cherries, washed, destalked and stoned
- 125g caster sugar
- 4 level tbsp cornflour
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 150g plain flour
- 75g cold butter, cubed
- 150g self raising flour
- Seeds of a vanilla pod
- 75g caster sugar
- 90g cold butter, sliced thinly
- Prepare the cherries and toss with the sugar, cornflour and almond extract until well coated. Set aside for now.
- Make the pastry base - rub the butter into the flour then add enough cold water to bring it together to a crumbly dough. Tip onto a piece of cling film and bring together into a flat disk and chill in the fridge until the butter has solidified again. About 30 minutes will do.
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C and position a shelf no higher than half way up.
- Roll the pastry out big enough to lie a 9 inch pie plate then scoop in the cherries and any juices released.
- Mix the flour, sugar and vanilla seeds together then spoon over the cherries reasonably evenly. A little bit of exposed fruit is no bad thing.
- Lay the sliced butter over the top of the pie aiming to cover as much as possible - you will need to slice it no more than 2mm thick to do so.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes until the pastry has browned around the edges and the butter will have absorbed into the floury top and browned it. It will be a little patchy but that's part of it's charm.
- Cool for at least 15 minutes to make slicing easier.
- I'd recommend using the sweetest cherries you can find so you don't need to use too much added sugar. Definitely taste a few before making the filling.