Last Saturday, the 18th of July was British Cherry Day. The British cherry is in dire straits at the moment: in the last 50 years we have lost 90% of our cherry orchards and we import 95% of the cherries that we eat. And those soulless bastards at my local council hacked down the ornamental double-blossomed cherry tree outside my house WHILE IT WAS IN FULL FLOWER. Arseholes. Paul tried to throw himself in front of the chainsaw but they got around him. They promised that a replacement tree of equal aesthetic value would be planted but since they have resurfaced the pavement, it is clear they were lying. But I digress.
To mark Cherry Day, I decided to make a cherry pie. Economics dictated that it was going to be a freeform pie - I couldn't actually afford enough cherries to fill my pie plate.
British Cherry Pie
500g butter shortcrust pastry
450g ripe British cherries
3tbs ground almonds
2tbs caster sugar
1tbs demerera sugar
Stone the cherries (which is a very messy business and made me feel like Dexter) and place in a bowl, trying to catch all of the juices. Sprinkle with the caster sugar and set aside for an hour, while the sugar draws some more of the juices out of the fruit.
Stir the cornflour through the cherries.
Roll the pastry out thinly into a circle. Brush the pastry with about half of the beaten egg and top with the ground almonds. Pile the fruit onto the middle of the pastry, scraping the juices on.
Fold the pastry around the fruit, leaving a bit in the middle to show the lovely colour. Brush the top with the remaining egg, and sprinkle with the demerera sugar to give a lovely crunchy topping.
Bake at 180C for about 45 minutes or until the pastry is beautifully golden.
Allow to sit for a few minutes for the filling to set up a bit. Serve in thick slices topped with very, very cold thick cream.