- 5 cups (750g) Flour
- Pinch of Salt
- 4 tsp (16g) sugar
- 4 sticks (450g) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 cup (240ml) cold water
- 1 cup ice
- ¼ cup (60ml) Apple cider vinegar
- 1800g Superfresh cherries, pitted and cut in half (1800g is the pitted weight)
- 120g tapioca starch
- 500g raw sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water
- Raw / turbinado sugar to finish (optional)
Note: I find it easiest to make the pie dough in two batches, to help keep the ingredients cold. You can make up the ice/water/apple cider vinegar mixture and use it for both the batches, but divide the other ingredients in two and make it one batch at a time. (2 ½ cups flour, pinch of salt, 2 tsp sugar, 2 sticks (125g) butter)
- Place flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Combine ice, water and cider vinegar in a bowl and set aside. Cut butter into chunks, and add to the flour. Toss lightly to coat. Working quickly, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are only pea-sized chunks left. You want a few lumps of butter remaining to keep the pastry nice and tender.
- Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the ice water into the flour and butter mixture, and using a stiff spatula or your hands, mix in well. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time ( I normally need about 8-10 tbsp) until you have a dough that holds together well, but is not too wet. Remember that the dough will hydrate more as you rest it, so you don't want it to be wet and sticky at this stage. Squeeze together with your fingertips to make a homogenous dough. Pat the dough into a rectangle, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Repeat with the second half of the ingredients. Place your dough rectangles in the fridge for at least a few hours, preferably overnight.
- Remove one rectangle of dough from the fridge, unwrap, and place on a lightly floured surface. Divide into four equal pieces (if you are making two large pies, divide into two). Working with one piece at a time, roll out until slightly larger than your pie pan, and approximately ⅛ (3mm) in thickness. Line your pie pan, leaving some overhang. Place in the fridge until ready to fill. Repeat with the remaining three pie pans.
- Roll out the second rectangle of dough to a large rectangle, ⅛" (3mm) in thickness. Cut your desired tops for the pies - I did a range of thicknesses of lattice strips for one pie, equally sized strips cut with a fluted cutter for another, equal sized thin strips for a double strip lattice, and some thin strips which I made into a braid to line the rim of one of the pies. I then pressed the scraps back together, rolled out, froze the dough briefly and used that to make the cut-outs. I prefer to make all the lattice strips and decorations for the top at the beginning and then go from there, but if you like you can cut off pieces of dough as you work on each lattice.
FILLING AND ASSEMBLY
Note: If I am making individual pies with intricate lattices, I prefer to mix up the filling for each pie separately so that the cherries don't sit in the sugar and starch for too long while I am latticing each pie. I have found that if this happens the starch can be unevenly distributed, leading to fillings with different textures. For four pies, each pie would have 450g fruit, 30g tapioca starch, 125g sugar, ¼ tsp vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
- Remove one lined pie pan from the fridge. In a small bowl, combine a quarter of the filling ingredients (see above for quantities), mix until well combined, then transfer to the lined pan. Top with desired lattice, leaving the lattice overhanging - it trims up best if it is chilled. Transfer to the fridge while you repeat the process to assemble the other three pies.
- Once you have finished decorating the pies, Remove them from the fridge one at a time, and, using a sharp knife or sharp pair of kitchen scissors, trim the bottom crust and top crust so that they are flush with the edge of the pie pan. Press down lightly to ensure the top and bottom crusts are secured. Return the pies to the fridge to chill for a further 30 minutes.
- While the pies are chilling, preheat the oven to 425˚f / 220˚c. Brush each pie lightly with egg wash, and sprinkle with additional raw sugar. Transfer to a baking sheet (you may need to bake these in two batches depending on the size of your oven - they may leak so make sure there is a sheet underneath them. See how many you can fit before egg washing).
- Bake at 425˚f / 220˚c for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to go golden. Reduce the temperature 375˚f / 190˚c, and bake until the pastry is deeply golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Check after 15 minutes and cover with foil if necessary, I found 20 minutes at 425˚f and then 15 minutes uncovered at 375˚f, then 15 minutes covered with foil at 375˚f worked for me, but whether you need to cover it or not depends on your preference for pastry, and your oven. Check on it and cover if needed!
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or ice cream.