Wholefood Cherry Pie
September 29, 2015
Taking a classic American Pie and giving it a make-over is something I have had a lot of fun with recently.
My favourite is this Wholefood Cherry Pie: an American Diner staple (can’t help but think of Twin Peaks) reworked to be healthier and a little unexpected. I love raw sugar for its texture and intense flavour. The crust is spelt and almond, so doubly nutty and a wonderful colour.
- Prep: 1 hr 30 mins
- Cook: 45 mins
For the Pastry
275g wholemeal spelt flour plus more for dusting
130g ground almonds
50g raw sugar, I use panela or rapadura
225g unsalted butter, straight from fridge
¼ tsp fine sea salt
2 egg yolks
For the Filling
150 grams raw sugar
4 tbls cornflour
½ tsp natural almond extract
700g Morello or black cherries (fresh or freshly frozen is fine)
¼ tsp fine sea salt
1 tbls fresh lemon juice
1 tbls almond butter (use unsalted butter if you can’t get almond)
1 tbls raw sugar for sprinkling
1Make the pastry by placing the flour, ground almonds and sugar in a bowl. Add the butter in chunks and combine by hand until you have a mixture that resembles course breadcrumbs. Add egg yolks and combine until the dough comes together.
2Separate the pastry into two, one portion of approximately 2/3rds of the dough and the other with the remainder, flatten into disks and wrap each in greaseproof paper. Chill for an hour.
3Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c.
4If using frozen cherries, part defrost now in the microwave. You want them to lose their frostiness but not their shape.
5Roll out 2/3rds of the dough (the bigger disk) on a clean, well floured (use spelt) surface and line a 10” (25cm) round pie dish, leaving the edges over-hanging and rough. This pastry will be soft so don’t worry if you need to patch it a little. Roll out the remaining dough and cut into 10 strips, put to one side.In a medium bowl, gently combine the cherries with the cornflour, extract, salt, sugar and lemon juice. Arrange in an even layer in the pie shell.
6Place 5 strips of pastry across the pie in one direction, then place the remaining 5 strips across at a 90 or a 45 degree angle – you are making a simple, unlaced lattice. Press the edges of the pie pastry creating an even design around the edge, either points or waves, making sure that in doing this, you are securing the strips. Using a pastry brush, paint the lattice strips with almond butter. You can soften the butter by heating it a little. Sprinkle with the raw sugar
7Cover the edges of the pie with foil or use a pie edge shield if you have one. A homemade version with foil is fine: just carefully fit foil (folded over a couple of times preferably) around the edges leaving the rest of the pie uncovered. Bake the pie on a baking sheet until the filling is bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes, gently removing the edge protector for the last 10 minutes.
8Allow to cool and serve with crème fraiche or Greek yoghurt or ice cream, American style. Will keep well for 3 or 4 days if stored in an airtight container once cooled.