American cherry pie

Summer wouldnt be complete without a slice of Sophie Grigsons perfect traditional cherry pie authentic as the 4th of July
By Sophie Grigson
American cherry pie
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 1-2 hours chilling
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 300 g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 large pinches salt
  • 170 g chilled unsalted butter
  • 170 g cream cheese
  • 60-80 ml single or double cream

For the filling

  • 1 kg pitted sour or sweet cherries
  • 235 g caster sugar, if using sour cherries, 140g if using sweet
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 small lemons, juice only
  • 3 rounded tbsp cornflour

To serve

  • cream, vanilla or white chocolate ice cream

Method

1. For the pastry: sift the flour into a bowl with the icing sugar and salt.

2. Using a pair of knives or a pastry blender, cut the butter and cream cheese into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, with the odd larger knobble here and there.

3. Pour in enough cream to mix to a soft dough. Gather up the dough to form a ball, knead very briefly to smooth out, divide in two, then chill both portions in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

4. For the filling: mix the cherries with all the remaining ingredients. Let the mixture stand for 20 minutes, then stir once more.

5. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7.

6. Roll out half the dough to line a 23cm pie plate or shallow tart tin. Roll out the second half of the dough to form a circle to cover the tin. Put the circle on a sheet of baking paper and chill both the dough-lined tin and the circle in the fridge until needed.

7. Pile the cherries into the lined pie plate until it becomes a gently swelling mound.

8. Brush the edges of the pastry crust with water, then lay the pastry lid on top. Trim the edges, then crimp together firmly. Cut a hole in the centre of the pie to allow steam to escape.

9. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180C/gas 4 and bake for a further 30-40 minutes until the thickened cherry juices bubble up through the central steam hole. If the pastry is darkening too rapidly, cover loosely with tin foil.

10. Serve the pie warm or cold, with cream or vanilla or white chocolate ice cream.

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