And so it begins…
My mission is to bake one thing every day for seven days and for all of them to be (vaguely) christmas related. This mission of mine also coincides with the arrival of my godfather, of whom I haven’t seen for a great number of years and just arrived earlier today! Let the festivities commence, albiet a little earlier than Christmas plans to arrive on but with all the family commitments I highly doubt I will be able to do and/or post anything for about a week.
Recently I have bought less and less pastry and made it more and more often. In a moment of supermarket frustration I decided to finally try out making my own and discovered just how easy it is. All these years and I never knew how much easier, and not to mention cheaper, home made pastry is. I even bought a special pastry blender for the job and despite my preconceived notions of effort and time I managed to smash them all in one go. Not only is it simple, hard to ruin and satisfying. It is also more customisable and can be made in bulk for later use.
For a really melt in the mouth effect, don’t let your butter soften too much. Despite it being a lot easier to blend you lose a lot of the ‘pockets of butter’ which really set home made apart from the store bought.
Adapted from Bunkycooks
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 225 grams chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 4 tablespoons (or more) ice water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 kilograms whole pitted dark sweet cherries
- 35mls fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the glaze:
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl to blend. Add butter and rub using a pastry blender until small pea-size clumps form. Add 4 tablespoons ice water; mix lightly with fork until dough holds together when small pieces are pressed between fingertips, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry.
Gather dough together; divide into 2 pieces with one a little larger than the other – the large one will be used for the base. Form each piece into ball, then flatten into disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. This pastry can be made 2 days ahead if kept in the fridge, longer if frozen. Allow to soften slightly before rolling out.
Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 200°C. Grease a 9 inch springform pan, fluted quiche tin or pie dish – it really depends on what kind of shape you prefer.
Whisk 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Stir in cherries, lemon juice, and vanilla; set aside.
Roll out larger dough disk on a floured surface to approximately a 12-inch round. Transfer to your desired tin; do not trim the excess just yet. If possible place in freezer while you prepare the lattice top. Optionally you can exchange the lattice for a fully covering top.
Roll out second dough disk on floured surface to an oblong that will extend over the edge by 2cm on both sides of the tin. Using large knife or pastry wheel with fluted edge, cut as many 2cm wide strips from the oblong dough as you see fit.
Pour the filling into the dough lined tin, mounding slightly in center. Arrange dough strips atop filling, forming lattice. Fold bottom crust up over ends of strips and crimp edges to seal. Brush lattice crust with milk. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar on top.
Place pie on rimmed baking sheet, in case of spillage, and bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 180°C. Bake pie until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown, covering edges with foil collar if browning too quickly, about another hour. Allow the pie to cool completely inside the tin before transferring onto a place and serving.