A little spot of baking in name of Valentines day! This year I wanted to celebrate by making something special. I have a real love for everything cherry scented, flavoured - do you think Too Faced might
A forenote: as a finishing touch, and purely for decorative purposes, I lavished the finished pie with white chocolate to finish, but let it cool a little too long beforehand! It became a little chunkier and trickier to work with, especially as I was in a rush and the pie was still a little warm from the oven.
♡ 3/4 cup of cold, unsalted butter
♡ 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
♡ 1/2 teaspoon salt
♡ 1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
♡ 5 to 7 tablespoons ice water
For cherry filling:
♡ 1 cup plus two tablespoons sugar
♡ 1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
♡ 1/2 teaspoon salt
♡ 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
♡ 6 cups fresh/frozen pitted tart cherries
♡ 2 tablespoons vanilla essence
♡ 1 tablespoon sugar
Starting with the dough, cut the butter in to pieces and blend together with the flour, salt and shortening until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add 5 tablespoons ice water and pulse just until mixture forms a dough, adding a tiny amount more ice water if dough is still too dry. Divine dough in half/two sections - I set just a small amount aside to make the pastry hearts - and flatten both sections in to a disk shape. Next, wrap both in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. Now, on to the filling!
In a small bowl stir together sugar, tapioca, salt and cinnamon. In a large, heavy skillet, cook fresh or frozen cherries over moderately high heat, stirring, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Next, transfer the cherries to a heatproof bowl, leaving the cherry juices behind. Add the sugar mixture to the cherry juices and simmer, stirring until thickened, for about 3 minutes. Add the cherry sauce to the cherries, stir in vanilla essence and cool. Line lower rack of oven with foil and preheat oven to 400'F.
On a lightly floured surface with rolling pin, roll out 1 piece of dough to about 1cm thick and fit snugly in to your tin, leaving a little overhanging the edges. Pour the filling in to the shell and chill, loosely covered with plastic wrap. On a lightly floured surface, roll out remaining dough and style as desired! I used a knife to sculp some little hearts, about 1/2 centimetre thick, but you could also cut some pastry strips to weave in a lattice pattern on top. Gently brush finished pastry with cold water and sprinkle with sugar.
You could also use egg whites to brush pastry if you have some spare, like with my mini apple pie recipe. It smells so delicious when cooking! If you have any spare mixture you can use it to make some lil jam tarts, one of Oscar's favourites! Bake in middle of oven for 45 mins, until pastry is golden and the filling just begins to bubble. Leave on a rack to cool and drizzle with melted chocolate or serve with ice cream.
A little extract... That night, all alone, anyone might have crumbled before that cherry, snapped down the plate and split apart lips of fragrant jelly. Fingers lurched and haemorrhaged fruit, unearthing listening, glistening fronds of fruit and strings of flesh. A schoolboy's drawn out breath measures cold landscapes of batter crusts, crossing black coulis like long, wild sands, splitting apart, oozing black tide ponds. Bang! In the gilded glimmer of spoon, something cold and black caught between lipped rim and drop; his clatter of metal on the tiles. Shock locks the body; hot fear "..." the fridge is left ajar, like a poised breath.