Tuesday 28 July 2009

Cherry Pie for British Cherry Day

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
1tbs cornflour
3tbs ground almonds
2tbs caster sugar
1 egg
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.


Bettina Douglas said...

I was offered American cherries recently and refused firmly. Let them eat apples & rhubarb (and buy cherries in season).

Jude said...

I admire your patience in stoning cherries. It falls into my "Life's too short" category I'm afraid.

The pie looks fab.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Mother - it's unAustralian to eat cherries in winter! It's part of Christmas!

Jude - I didn't do it particularly tidily!

kat said...

It so sad Britain is losing its cherries! Your pie looks lovely though

HH said...

I saw a big pile of them at the super market, and similarly turned my nose up at them as they were from America. I will wait till summer too!

The pie looks wonderful FC, and though I won't buy cherries now out of season, I would love a piece of cherry pie right now!

maybelle's mom said...

I feel the same about our own local cherries. Good for you about eating local.

Deb in Hawaii said...

Bummer on the cherry situation there. Your pie looks delicious--free form is always more fun anyway. ;-)

Natalie Que said...

Oh my gosh that is awful about your tree. I'm furious for you, seriously!

How long has it been Foody!? Too, too long. So good to 'see' you again and I'd love a slice of this pie right about now!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Kat - yeah, it is. American imports seem to be doing a lot of the damage!

HH - makes me feel like Twin Peaks, eating cherry pie.

MM - thanks! I try pretty hard to eat locally and sustainably.

Deb - freeform is good!

Garlic - I know, right? How did that happen? So good to see you and your peanut candies!

Alexandra Stafford said...

Yum! I love cherry pie. It is such work but always worth the effort. I love how you've made yours as a free form tart. And I love the idea of adding almonds. Looks fabulous!


Heather S-G said...

Cherries and cherry pie are my absolute favorites!! I love almonds w/ cherries, too...love it with almond extract. The cherry tree situation makes me sad :(

Alicia Foodycat said...

Ali - the almonds really nailed it. The flavours have such an affinity!

Girli - I am scared of almond extract. It can be so strong!

Sam said...

I adore cherry pie, now I've seen this I have to make one. It looks amazing!

Sarah said...

This is interesting - you are getting our American cherries while we in the States are getting Canadian cherries. Where are the Canadians getting their cherries? I'm never going to understand the logic of food imports. Beautiful pie!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Sam - hope you found some British cherries!

Sarah - maybe from Peru? Possibly Spain? It confuses me too.


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