[ food and books for a sweeter life ]
Makes One Cake/Serves 12
- 150 g (5 oz) cold butter
- 240 l (8 ½ oz) plain flour
- 30 g (1 ¼ oz) icing sugar
- 1 organic egg
- ½ tablespoon water
- 1 ½ litre (2 ½ pints) fresh cherries
- 85 g (2 1/3 oz) caster sugar
- 1 fresh vanilla pod
- Zest and juice from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons potato flour
- 1 organic egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 tablespoon demerara sugar
- Put the butter, flour and icing sugar in a bowl and mix with your fingertips to make breadcrumbs.
- Add the eggs and the water and gently work the dough to bind the ingredients together. Do not knead.
- Cover with cling film and leave to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 175°/350°/gas 4.
- Remove the stones from the cherries and put them in a heavy-bottomed saucepan together with the caster sugar, seeds from the vanilla pod and the entire pod and lemon zest. Bring to the boil.
- Mix the lemon juice with the potato flour and add it to the boiling cherries. Whip until it thickens. Leave to cool and remove the vanilla pod.
- Divide the shortcrust pastry in to parts, one a bit bigger than the other.
- Put the bigger part of pastry on a floured surface and roll out to a circle about 30 cm (12 in) across and 5 mm (0,2 in) thick.
- Supporting the pastry on your rolling pin, use it to line a 23 cm (9 in) loose-bottomed pie tin. Press the pastry gently against the bottom and sides of the tin, leaving the excess hanging over the edge.
- Fill the pastry case with the berry mixture.
- Roll out the smaller piece of pastry to a circle about 25 cm (10 in) across.
- Beat the egg with the milk and brush the edges of the pastry. Put the top crust on top of the pie.
- Pinch the pastry discs firmly together and trim away excess pastry hanging over the sides. Cut out pieces of crust in the shape of little leaves from the excess pastry and decorate the pie.
- Put the pie tin on a baking sheet, brush the entire top with the egg mixture and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Make slits (like sunbeams) in the top crust and bake in the lower part of the oven for about 35 minutes or until golden.