Remember how I wrote about the cherry tart that my dad and I were drooling over while watching TheBoyWhoBakes? Yeah, we fist bumped when I told my dad I was making it for tea. He was super excited. Sadly, it turned out worse than expected ):
The filling was too watery, perhaps because I didn’t add enough corn starch but also because cherries are such water-filled fruits that they release loads of juice when cooked. In the end, my pie was soaking in cherry juice, which wasn’t a very lovely sight ): I’ll make an apple filling next time instead!
However, the crust for the cherry pie was the bomb. It was flaky and crispy, a sign that I did my crust correctly 🙂 The key is to leave pea sized bits of butter in the dough so that it’ll be flaky when baked. It’s a pain to make shortcrust pastry in Singapore because the weather is so hot and I had to chill the mixture many times to prevent the butter from melting on me. But it’s still possible to make a kick-ass crust in Singapore. You just need patience and an air-conditioned room.
Adapted from The Boy Who Bakes
400g plain flour
1/2 tsp of salt
200g unsalted butter, diced and well chilled
3 tsp lemon juice
8-9 tbsp ice cold water
800g pitted sweet or sour cherries
150g caster sugar
2 1/2 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp almond extract (optional)
1. To make the pastry place the flour and salt into a large bowl and mix together.
2. Add the butter and toss in the flour to coat. Using a pastry blender or two knives cut in the butter until it is mostly in pea sized pieces.
3. Drizzle over the lemon juice and half the water and using a knife or fork stir together. If the mixture looks dry keep adding water and stirring together until all of the flour looks moistened.
4. Tip the shaggy mass onto the table and gently bring together into a ball. Cut the dough into two portions (one slightly bigger than the other) and wrap in clingfilm, pressing into flat disks.
5. Allow the pastry to chill for at least an hour and up to three days (can be frozen for up to a month).
6. Whilst the pastry is chilling you can make the filling, pit the cherries if using fresh
7. In a small bowl, mix together the corn starch and the sugar.
8. Pour the sugar mixture over the cherries and mix together to combine, if using add the almond extract too.
9. Preheat the oven to 220C (200C fan).
10. Remove the larger piece of pastry from the fridge and on a lightly floured surface, roll out into a 12 inch round.
11. Fold the dough into quarters and unfold into a 9-inch deep dish pie tin.
12. Trim the overhang so that there is about an inch or so left.
13. Remove the second piece of dough from the fridge and as before roll into a 12 inch round, but this time do this on top of a piece of parchment paper.
14. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife cut the dough into equal sized strips, a couple centimetres wide.
15. Slide the parchment onto a baking tray and chill both the strips and the pie in the fridge for 15 minutes.
16. When ready to bake remove the pastry from the fridge and pour the filling into the pie pan.
17. To create the lattice effect, watch this video.
18. Bake for 15 minutes before turning down the temperature to 180C and bake for another 30-40 minutes until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling.