Welcome back! ♡
Today we are making a luscious cherry pie or tart with a crispy base, a creamy vanilla filling topped with glazed fresh cherries. Cherries are one of my favourite fruits and I love having them fresh rather than canned or cooked. To make the pastry we need flour, almond meal, one egg, icing sugar or powdered sugar butter and some lime or lemon zest. Put the zest and the butter and the sugar into a bowl. And then use electric mixers to mix that up and until it is nice and creamy. If your butter is room temperature to start with this will be much quicker. Once it is creamy add in your egg mix that through thoroughly until it is all combined. Then add the almond meal, almond meal is just blanched almonds ground up or peeled almonds that have been ground I think some places it is called almond flour or powdered almonds. Just check the ingredients if it is just almond it is the right thing.. and lastly add the flour and mix that together on low speed until it starts to clump together, you don't want to over mix it once you've added your flour. Place the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap and roll out. You want to keep rolling it out until it it is the shape of your pie tin. Gently place your tin on top and check that you have extra pastry on each side so that it can go up the sides of the tin. Peel the plastic wrap of the top then pick up the pastry and flip it over onto the tin. Just lift the sides and push them right into the corners you want it all the way down to the base along each edge and you don't want air bubbles trapped underneath. Once you are happy with it peel off the other sheet of plastic wrap. The plastic just makes it easy to move the pastry without ripping it, stretching it or breaking it. Use a knife to trim off the extra pastry from all the way around the top.. so that it is nice and neat. Then cut a piece of non-stick baking paper just the right size to fit inside the pastry shell. Then pull it out and use scissors to make little cuts all the way across the bottom. The reason I am doing this is it just gives some space for the steam to escape as it is baking. Put it back into the tin and then add the baking weights. If you don't have these you can use dried beans or rice and it just weights down the pastry as it bakes so it stays flat. If you don't add this you'll end up with a big sort of domed pastry shape in the middle. Then bake that in the oven at 180C or 350F until it is golden all the way around the edges, just like this. Remove the baking weights. Being careful not to touch them because they are hot. Then place the tin back in the oven for a few more minutes for the base to go golden too. So that it looks like this. Then just let that cool. Wash your cherries and take out the pips. You can do that by cutting them in half and pulling the pip out. Or if you want your cherries whole on top like I did then you can use a cool gadget called cherry pitter. You just put the cherry into place and squeeze it and out comes the pip. Whichever way you do it pitting cherries is messy so you might want to put some plastic wrap on your counter to make it quicker to clean up the mess afterwards. For the filling put the cream cheese and sugar into a bowl and beat it on high speed until it is smooth, this is easiest if you have your cream cheese at room temperature as well so it is a little bit softer. Add the vanilla and a little of the cream and beat again now this filling doesn't taste strongly of cream cheese like cream a cheese frosting does for example. So if you have someone who doesn't like that strong flavour they will probably be alright with this it is more creamy and vanilla. Add the rest of the cream and beat it up until it looks beautiful and fluffy like this. Place your pie tin onto a cup and gently pull the sides, just wriggling it make sure it's balanced there. And pull down the base. And then you've got your pastry shell there just slide it onto a serving platter. Add generous amounts of that creamy vanilla filling to the centre and spread it out all the way to the edges and right into the corners. Then smooth off the top to level it. Add your cherries in rows to the top of the pie, then decide if you want a second generous second row of cherries on top. Take some seedless red jam and heat that it in the microwave until it is runny. Then use your pastry brush to brush the tops of the cherries. This gives them a nice shine and holds them in place. If you can't find seedless jam just take raspberry jam and put it through a fine sieve to get rid of any of those seeds. Such a beautiful pie and it tastes as good as it looks. Have a great week! ♡
To make this fresh cherry pie/tart you will need:
120g (4.23 ounces) or 1/2 cup plus 1Tbsp unsalted butter
95g (3.35 ounces) or 3/4 cup of icing or powdered sugar
zest of one lime or lemon
35g (1.23 ounces) or 1/3 cup almond meal
240g (8.47 ounces) or 1 1/2 cups of plain or all purpose flour
Preheat your oven to 180C (356 degrees Fahrenheit). Whisk together the zest, butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg and whisk some more. Mix in the almond meal and then finally the flour. Mix until is just starts to all clump together. Press to form a ball then place between two sheets of plastic wrap. Roll it out to be slightly bigger than the size of your tin. Place in the tin and blind bake for approx 13 minutes, remove the baking weight and bake for a further 3 minutes. Note that baking times may vary from oven to oven.
225g (7.94 ounces) or 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons of block cream cheese
35g (1.23 ounces) or 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons caster or superfine sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
240millilitres (8.12 fluid ounces) or 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon of cream
Whip together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add in the vanilla and half the cream. Whisk well. Add the remaining cream and whisk until thick and smooth.
1.3 kg (2.87 pounds) fresh cherries, pitted
79g (2.79 ounces) or 1/4 cup seedless red jam (US: jelly, UK: conserve)
Makes 1 tart(pie tin is 35cm x 13cm). Enjoy!
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