American Cherry Pie

It is Cherry season! We love them in our house so when a friend asked me to come round to help picking, I didn’t wait to be asked twice! The eating is well worth the effort…. I knew the moment my older son saw them, he would ask for an “American style” cherry pie: I have only ever made them out of a “packet”, I had to figure out my own version….

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Cherry filling: I made it the day before as we return from picking….

  • About 2 cups of pitted cherries, 500g
  • 100 sugar ( I used my vanilla infused)
  • 8tsp cornstarch
  • 1tsp vanilla extract + 1tbsp lemon juice
  1. Place the cherries, sugar and cornstarch in a pan and allow to stand for 10mn until the sugar draws out the juice from the fruit                                   021
  2. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, then lower the heat, simmering for 1mn
  3. Remove from the pan and stir in the vanilla extract and lemon juice (as sour as you prefer)
  4. Allow to cool to lukewarm if used on the day. I covered mine and left it at room temperature

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Ingredients:

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry:

  • 250g flour
  • 160g cold butter, diced
  • 50ml milk, at room temperature
  • 3g salt
  • 15g vanilla sugar
  • 1 egg yolk

Biscuit topping:

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 50g butter, diced
  • 60g sugar
  • 1tsp ground vanilla
  • 70ml milk + extra for glazing

Preparation:

Basically, I was having a food processor day, so much easier!

Pastry:

  • At a low speed, mix the flour, butter, sugar and salt until it resembles breadcrumbs
  • Add the milk and yolk and mix a few seconds until it has an even consistency
  • Rest in the fridge for at least an hour
  • Grease or line a 26cm/10″ pie tin (mine is loose bottom) and preheat oven to 180°C/ 160°fan/ Gas 4
  • Roll the pastry out and transfer to tin ( I had too much so froze 1/3)
  • Bake blind for 20 to 30mn

Biscuit:

  • Once the pastry is out of the oven, turn it up to 200/180
  • At low speed, mix the flour, ground vanilla and butter together until it makes fine breadcrumbs
  • Add sugar and the milk and mix to form a soft dough

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  • Roll it out roughly
  • Spread the cherry mixture into the pastry case

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  • Top with the biscuit dough, make some cuts for venting and glaze with milk

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  • Bake in the oven for 45mn but do check after 30mn as you might need to cove your biscuit with foil once it’s golden

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  • Leave to cool for 5mn before turning out onto a wire rack. Eat warm or cold!

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Puff Potato & Courgette Pie

Last month, I ended up having a “Courgette Day” when that vegetable made it into a cake, no surprise here, and a savoury pie, yes it does happen too! I am a bit late posting the recipes but the boys have been on my computer non-stop and I am just too tired by evening…. So here goes, a lovely vegetable pie.

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and no, I didn’t make my own puff pastry. Quite frankly, it is too time consuming and the shop-bought ones are perfect, make sure it is made with butter!

Ingredients:

  • Vegetables: mainly potatoes (4 or 5), thinly sliced, boiled for a few minutes,drained and cooled, and grated courgettes. I added thinly sliced onions and red pepper.
  • diced bacon or lardons
  • 450g puff pastry
  • 150ml double cream
  • Seasoning
  • 2 beaten eggs

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 200°C/ 180°fan/ Gas 6
  • In a bowl, mix together all your vegetables and bacon

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  • Stir in 2 tbsp of the cream and plenty of seasoning: salt&pepper obviously, and my favourite: a pinch of nutmeg
  • Divide the pastry in half and roll out one piece to the size of the oven plate (I used my stone pizza). Roll out the other half but make it 1 cm bigger all around.
  • Place the first circle on your oven tray and top with the potato mixture, leaving a border

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  • Brush the border with a little of the eggs
  • Top with the larger circle of pastry. Seal well and crimp the edge
  • Cut a steam vent in the centre, wide enough to accommodate a small funnel
  • With the back of a knife, mark a pattern and brush with a little of the eggs
  • Bake for 30mn

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  • Mix the remaining beaten eggs with the rest of the cream and pour into the pie through the steam vent, lifting the sides of your tray in turn to allow even spreading

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  • Return to the oven for a further 15mn then leave to cool for 30mn before serving

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