It has been a long time since I baked a pie or a tart from scratch, and since winter is here, together with a jar of sour cherries that has been sitting in my pantry for months, the reason to bake a pie was calling. I had also bought a lattice pastry roller months ago and I wanted to use it instead of it becoming another useless kitchen gadget that will never be used. Thinking a cherry pie would be scrumptious, but a jar was just not enough for filling unless it was to be a mini pie, I decided to make a cherry and apple pie instead.
Seriously though, wanting to use the lattice roller was my main motivation for making a pie since I bought the jar of sour cherries mainly to make Black Forest Cake in the first place but never got around to it at the time. I thought it would be a cinch to use but, hah, with pastry work it was never as simple as that. I made a couple of mistakes and ruined the lattice shape as you can witness from the photos. Firstly, the pastry kept sticking to the roller in some parts as I did not chill the pastry before rolling. As it was too soft, and as I picked up the rolled pastry to cover the pie, the pastry broke and tore as I tried to open out the lattice pattern. I think not only should I chill the pastry again before I stretched it, I should have done it while it was still on the work surface instead of after I picked it up. Oh, well, lesson learned and hopefully next time it will be more of a success…
However notwithstanding the look of the pie, it was delicious and I would make it again.
3 Granny Smith apples, about 650g
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
680g (or 700g)-jar pitted morello (sour) cherries, drained, reserved syrup
20g arrowroot starch, or corn starch
10g custard powder
40ml syrup from sour cherries, or water
225g plain flour
30g wheaten cornflour
30g custard powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon caster sugar
90g lard, cubed
90g butter, cubed
60ml cold (or ice) water, adjust as necessary
1 egg, lightly beaten for eggwash
1. Peel, quarter and core the apples. Cut each quarter of the apples in half lengthways, then crosswise 3 times into 8 cubes. Dissolve arrowroot and custard powder in cherry syrup. Check the drained cherries to make sure there are no pits left as sometimes a few pits may remain in the cherries even though they are supposed to be pitted.
2. Melt butter in a large frying pan or wok over low heat, then add the apple chunks. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the apples and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until a fork can easily pierce through the apples but still retain their shapes and not mushy.
3. Lower heat to medium. Add drained cherries. Stir the starch mixture again to combine then pour over the apples and cherries, stirring quickly to coat evenly. Continue to cook briefly until the starch thickens. Remove to a bowl to cool. If you are making the filling the day before, cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to be used.
1. Sift plain flour, cornflour, custard powder, baking powder, salt and sugar into a big mixing bowl and mix together.
2. Add lard and butter. Rub into the flour mixture using your fingertips until the mixture resemble breadcrumbs. Otherwise just use a food processor to mix using pause function.
3. Add about a tablespoon water at a time, into the flour mixture. After each addition, cut through the mixture with a bread knife to combine. Once the mixture starts to cling together, use your hand to press together into a dough. Try not to knead too much if you can. If the mixture is still crumbly and does not form into a dough, add a little bit more water to bind. Shape the dough into a ball then flatten. Wrap the flattened dough with cling film and chill in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes.
4. Remove dough from the refrigerator and let it become pliable again before rolling out. Preheat oven to 200°C.
5. Remove 2/3 of the pastry dough and roll out to about 4mm thick, or large enough to fit a rectangular, 2.5cm-deep, 11cm × 34cm (base measurement) fluted tart tin with removable base. Flour rolling pin and drape pastry around the pin. Lift over the pie tin, allowing pastry to extend equally over the sides. Let pastry slip off the rolling pin and settle into the tin.
6. With floured hands, gently press pastry on to the base and into the bottom corners of the tin. Ease the pastry into the sides with the knuckle of your index finger. In hot weather, cover and chill this lined pastry for another 20 to 30 minutes before continuing.
7. Spoon cold filling into the pastry lined tin.
8. Roll out the remaining 1/3 pastry dough to about 4mm thick, or large enough to cover the top of the pie tin. Cut with a lattice roller lengthways. Carefully stretch open the lattice. Flour rolling pin and drape pastry around the pin. Lift over the pie tin, allowing pastry to extend equally over the sides. Let pastry slip off the rolling pin and settle on top of the filling.
9. Press along the edges of the pastry to seal the bottom pastry and the top pastry. Trim off excess pastry around the edges.
10. Lightly beat the egg and use it to eggwash the surface of the pastry.
11. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Serve hot with ice cream if desired.
Taste: Delicious shortcrust pie with a custardy tart filling
Consume: Best served hot
Storage: Unfinished pie may be cover with cling wrap and chill in the refrigerator, heat up in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 180°C before serving
Recipe Reference(s): –