Traditional Seer Green Cherry Pies

With Spring officially starting this week, the cherry trees near me are starting to blossom. If you are lucky enough to visit the Chilterns in the UK, you will see for yourself how beautiful the area is at this time of year. In fact, you can find out all about it in a new travel guide by Bradt books (link here)  I am delighted to say this book features my very own recipe for traditional Cherry Pies for which my village of Seer Green is famous for (see my previous blog on the History of Seer Green Cherries). If you don’t have time to bake but do get to visit, then pop into our superb local pub The Jolly Cricketers where Cherry Pies, inspired by my original recipe, are now on the dessert menu.

Makes 12

Ingredients:

Pastry

250g plain flour

Pinch of salt

125g chilled unsalted butter, diced

1 large egg yolk

60ml (4tbsp) ice-cold water

Filling

25g unsalted butter

Juice of 1 Lemon

50g caster sugar

450g fresh cherries, stalks removed and pitted

15ml (1 Tbsp) corn flour

15ml (1Tbsp) Kirsch or water

To Finish

15ml (1Tbsp) semolina

1 large egg white

Extra caster sugar to sprinkle

 

Method

  1. Place the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and whizz to form a breadcrumb texture. Add the egg yolk and enough chilled water to bind into a dough. Lightly knead on a floured surface. Wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  2. For the filling – melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan over a low heat. Add the lemon juice and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Mix in the cherries and increase the heat slightly. Mix the corn flour with the Kirsch (or water) and stir into the cherries. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring gently. Pour the cherry mixture into a bowl and chill.
  3. Preheat the oven to 190°C fan.
  4. Thinly roll out the pastry and cut out 12 x 9cm discs with a pastry cutter and use them to line a 12-hole deep bun tin.
  5. Sprinkle the bottom of each pastry base with a little semolina and divide the cherry filling equally between them.
  6. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut out 12 x 7cm discs. Brush the rim of each pastry pie with the egg white and gentle press the smaller pastry disc on top.
  7. Optional – use any remaining pastry to make a small leaf for each pie and attach with the egg white.
  8. Prick each pastry lid to make a small hole to allow steam to escape and sprinkle each pie with a little extra caster sugar.
  9. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 2 minutes before carefully removing from the bun tin.
  11. Serve hot or cold with fresh cream.

*Should fresh cherries not be available use 400g of frozen cherries. For a quick shortcut use 400g of ready made shortcrust pastry instead of making your own.

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