Eating cherries straight from the tree is magical, taking the time to bake them into a pie is next level. There are quite a few steps involved here but it’s all easy!
The crust is handcrafted, the cherries are lovingly pitted. The main ingredient in this pie is joy, it’s meditative to take some time out to make something simply delicious from fresh ingredients, allow yourself some time to enjoy it!
Anyway, I’ll stop rambling and let’s get into it…Print
This pie is best served chilled with a dollop of coconut cream, crème fraîche, or ice cream!
Pie Crust Pastry:
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
- 1/4 cup apple sauce
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups cherries – pitted and rinsed
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup cherry juice or apple juice
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/4 cup milk
For the Pie Crust Pastry:
- Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly to combine
- If you have a stand mixer you can continue to mix with the dough hook attachment for 4 mins on a medium speed. If you don’t, transfer to a floured work surface and knead well until smooth and you have a thick, sturdy dough. It should not be crumbly
- Mould your dough into a ball, cover in plastic wrap or baking paper and pop in the fridge while you pit your cherries
- Preheat your oven to 180°C
Pit your Cherries: I use the back of a pastry brush since it has a point, my husband uses a metal straw, something sharp and pointy should do the trick!
For the Pie Crust Base:
- Prepare a 20cm diameter pie tin by cutting (and inserting) a circle of baking paper to fit in the bottom of your tin and grease the sides with vegetable oil
- Remove your pie crust pastry from the fridge. Dust a sheet of baking paper with flour. Section off 2/3 of pastry, (setting the other 1/3 aside for the top), and roll this flat to 3-5mm thick on the baking paper
- Place your prepared baking tin on top of the pastry and flip the whole lot over, gently remove the sheet of baking paper, press the pastry down into the tin and gently but firmly to the sides
- With a sharp knife, cut all the excess pastry from the edges of the tin away. (Make sure you cut around the very outside of the pie tin as you need some base pastry to stick your top pastry to). Add the excess to your reserved 1/3 pastry to re-roll for the top
- Place in the oven for 15mins – use this time to do the cherry filling
- Remove from oven after 15mins and set aside, awaiting assembly
- Rinse your pitted cherries and transfer to a cooking pot
- Add the cornstarch to the pot and stir to evenly coat the cherries
- With the pot on a low heat add the cherry or apple juice, maple syrup, lemon juice, cinnamon and vanilla, stir
- Continue to stir as the mixture comes to a gentle boil, allow to simmer for 5 mins then remove from the heat
- Prepare your pie crust top; heavily dust a sheet of baking paper with flour and roll all your remaining pastry flat to 3-5mm thick
- With a sharp knife slice your rolled pastry into sections about 1.5cm thick, set aside for a moment
- Pour your cherry filling into your pre-baked pie crust, still in the baking tin!
- Brush the top edge of the pie base with milk* and place your prepared slices of pastry across the top in a grid or lattice** pattern, gently pressing the top pastry into the base and with a sharp knife, slice off the over hanging pastry
- Brush the entire top with milk
- Place back into the oven and bake for 20mins
- Remove from oven and allow to cool and then place in the fridge, ready and waiting for dessert time!
*To do the lattice pattern on top, I prefer to leave the brushing of milk until the end, since you have to lift up strips as you work, and the milk can make it quite sticky! So I do the lattice pattern and then at the end, lift up the strips a final time and add the milk to stick them down nicely.
** For a quick demo on how to do a lattice pattern you can watch this video (not my own).