My fiancé woke up on the weekend with this song in his head…
He’s never eaten it, and I’ve never made it, so I thought I’d give it a go! I found a recipe among my books – of course in a trusty Australian Women’s Weekly – and it didn’t look too complicated. It did ask me to make my own pastry though, something I’ve not done in years and was never very good at, so that had me a bit worried. It’s winter here in Brisbane at the moment so the weather is cool and dry, which I think really worked in my favour – making pastry in high heat and humidity is no fun at all. If it’s hot and/or humid where you are, I’d seriously recommend either turning on the air conditioning, or using frozen pastry sheets to save yourself some angst!
The original recipe also called for frozen cherries, which I haven’t seen at my local supermarket, so I used tinned ones and drained them really well. If you have fresh cherries available (and they aren’t crazy expensive like they are here) then by all means use them instead.
It worked out well, but you’ll see I managed to not follow the recipe steps very accurately…
Make the pastry first:
2 ¼ cups plain flour
2/3 cup icing sugar
185g cold chopped butter
1 egg yolk
Put flour, butter and sugar in a food processor, and process until the butter is all crumbly through the flour. Add the egg yolk and enough iced water until the mixture comes together (the original recipe called for 2 teaspoons of water but I used much more than that). Knead dough on floured surface until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Grease a 23cm pie dish. Roll out 2/3 of the pastry until it’s large enough to line the dish. Lift pastry into the dish and trim the edges (I kept the trimmings and wrapped them up with the remainder of the pastry). Put the dish, and the rest of the pastry, into the fridge for another 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C.
Blind bake the pie shell for about 10 minutes (line the pastry dish with baking paper and fill with rice or dried beans, then put in the oven), remove the baking paper and rice and then bake for another 10 minutes. I forgot to do this second bake, and it left the pastry at the bottom undercooked. Still tasted good, but not the crisp pastry texture that you really want!
Then, while that’s cooling, make your filling:
600g cherries (I used 3 tins) well drained
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg white
Mix the cherries, cornflour, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon together in a bowl. Tip into the pastry case. Dot with butter (I totally forgot to do this and it turned out fine).
Roll out the remaining pastry until large enough to cover the pie. Brush the edges of the pie shell with egg white and place the pastry over the filling. Press the edges together. Brush the top with egg white and sprinkle a little extra sugar over the top (I totally forgot to do either of these things too, I must have completely panicked in astonishment at the fact that the pastry actually seemed to work out well!).
Bake for about 40 minutes (I baked for about 55 because it wasn’t going very brown on top, possibly because I neglected the previous steps…)
It turned out pretty well despite my mistakes – my fiancé was very pleased with the result and it’s already half eaten!!