Those of you who are long-term readers of frills know how passionate I am about Australian produce and always buying Australian where there is a choice. I buy most of my fruit and vegetables direct from the farm, but always around this time of the year I am seduced.
I'm seduced by cherries from the USA. I justify buying them because we don't have any cherries in season, and oh they are so GOOD! These ones cost me $9 a kilo and I can't believe I didn't even care. They were plump and tasted just as good as they look.
I usually just eat them from the colander (wash them first people!) or if they are lucky they might make it into my vanilla, lemon cherry cake.. but these were destined for my pie tin. I love this pie tin and since I picked it up for $3 at the Salvos I've been thinking of all the pies I want to make in it. Now I think I'll buy another (even at retail price!) because I love this one so much. Easy, great shape.
But if you're not as seduced by the USA cherry, try using some tinned ones if you like!
1 1/2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup icing sugar
225g butter, chilled
1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk
2 cups pitted cherries
2/3 cups caster sugar
2 tb cherry cordial or kirsch
2 tb demerara sugar
In a food processor or mixture add flour, icing sugar, butter and egg and pulse process until it comes together.
It will be soft and spongey to the touch.
If you don't have a food processor, rub the butter into the flour, then add the sugar and eggs until it comes together.
Place into some cling wrap or a zip lock bag and place in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
Pit your cherries if using fresh - I had my ever enthusiastic apprentice Eloise to do our with the cherry chomper I got for Christmas from Santa...
When your pastry dough is chilled, preheat oven to 190 degrees c. Take 2/3 pastry out and return the other 1/3 to the fridge. Let the 2/3 of pastry sit out for 5 minutes and prepare a clean surface with flour and grease your pie tin.
Roll out your pastry and fit to your pie dish. Line on top of the pastry with baking paper and then fill with pie weights or dry beans or raw rice to weigh it down. Put it in the oven for fifteen minutes to blind bake, remove the baking paper and weights then return empty shell to the oven for a further five minutes.
Meanwhile place those gorgeous cherries in a saucepan with the sugar and cherry cordial/kirsch until just softened (about 10 minutes)
Spoon (and drain) the cherries into the pie base
Remove the remaining 1/3 pastry from the fridge and roll out and cut into strips. I made mine a little fancy by stealing the frills' playdough cutter. I asked first...!
Place on the pie, weaving if you like
Bake in the oven for another fifteen to twenty minutes until lovely golden brown on top.
Serve on it's own or with a big dollop of cream or ice cream!
So friends, what are you baking today and is there a fruit or vegetable that you desire a lot in it's off season?
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