Summer is the season for fruit, and as the weeks progress, we see different varieties come and go in waves of flavour and freshness. Cherry season is short but vibrant and we're now at the peak of it, with the last of the sour cherries from Italy, and the beginning of our Kentish cherries from Brogdale Collection. Each week our selection changes, but expect to see British heritage varieties such as the 18th Century 'Coroom' - a small cherry with an intense flavour, and modern British varieties such as the 'Sweetheart Cherry' with a full flavour. While many of the cherries are perfect for eating, we also have available a limited selection of sour cherries which are excellent for preserving and in baking recipes. For the recipe below we’ve used Ciliegia di Vignola IGP cherries which are dark and slightly sweet - their large fruits makes removing the seeds easier than smaller varieties. Other types of cherries can be used, instead, just adjust the sugar according to the sweetness of the fruits.
CHERRY PIE A LA MODE
- 350 grams flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 250 grams unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled until very cold
- 150 grams ice cold water
- FILLING INGREDIENTS
- 4 cups pitted fresh cherries (about 1kg unpitted)
- 1/3 cup sugar (adjust according to the sweetness of your cherries)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Coarse sugar, for decoration
Vanilla Ice Cream
Make the crust by stirring together flour, salt & sugar. Sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour and begin working them in with a fork or a pastry blender until the butter pieces are the size of small peas. Drizzle 100 ml of the water over the butter & flour mixture. You’ll probably need the rest of the water to bring the dough together, but add it slowly as you mix the dough with your hands to ensure that you don’t over moisten it. The dough is ready when it just barely comes together. Divide it in half and wrap each half in cling film and then chill for at least 2 hours before rolling it out.
When you are ready to make the pie, preheat oven to 200°C. Stir together the cherries, sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Roll out half of chilled dough on a floured work surface to a circle about 33 centimetres in diameter. Gently place it in 23cm pie pan and trim edges to a half-inch overhang.
Scoop the filling into pie crust, discarding the majority of the liquid that has pooled in the bowl. Roll out the remaining dough into a 30cm round on a lightly floured surface, drape it over the filling, and trim it, leaving a 1 centimetre overhang. Fold the overhang under the bottom crust, pressing the edge to seal it.
Cut slits in the crust with a sharp knife, forming steam vents, and bake the pie in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 175°C. and bake the pie for 25 to 30 minutes more, or until the crust is golden. Let the pie cool on a rack before slicing. Serve with ice cream.