A hug, served on a plate. How’s that for some unconventional food talk? Think biscuit-y pie crust, topped with syrupy- sweet cherries, tinged with the slight surprise of lemon zest… and some more of the biscuit-y crust, because you know, double-crusted pies are a thing of beauty. You want to top that with some ice cream? Whipped cream? Sure, this is why we’re friends!
And because we’re friends, I’ll tell you that cherry-pitting is so much easier with this nifty little tool. Slicing and de-seeding will rob you of full-bodied cherries, no fun, right? But if you can’t find a cherry-pitter in stores and just have to bake this pie right away, try this little trick.
You’ll remember this buttermilk pie crust from when I baked this Tomato and Cheddar Pie, but of course, this time it’s a sweet version. If you’re looking for a flaky pie crust that doesn’t get soggy, well, this recipe will never fail you! Where’s the butter in this picture, you ask? Cubed and chilling in the freezer! It’s been crazily hot in Mumbai and keeping everything chilled while making pie crust has been a bit of a challenge… but it’s so worth the effort! A food processor helps keep things cool while cutting the butter into the flour and adding the buttermilk. The dough gets shaped into two discs and is tightly wrapped and packed away in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Making the pie filling has got to be my favourite part of baking this pie in particular. If the sugar looks slightly off-colour to you, it’s because I’ve rubbed some lemon zest into the sugar. It’s a little trick that enhances the citrus flavour. Toss the cherries with the sugar, add the corn starch (corn flour), vanilla extract and the tiniest pinch of salt. Toss, toss, toss! Save that cube of butter for a tad bit later!
Bon Appetite magazine’s cover image inspired this punch-hole look for the top crust. The bottom crust was rolled out and placed in the pie pan and got a bit of resting time in the refrigerator while I stress-punched some holes into the top crust.
And this is why summer is a riot of colours! Don’t worry, all that granulated sugar will melt away when we bake the pie. Pretty like jewels, don’t you think?
It’s time to roll-on the top crust and seal the edges. In an absolute first in my kitchen, I ditched the egg wash for some milk-wash and sprinkled palm sugar instead of Demerara. The sugar bit was a complete experiment, I just wanted to know what it would be like to break this cardinal rule of pie-baking. The result? It did just fine! The filling is sweet enough, I didn’t want a very sweet crust to match. We’re getting closer and closer to eating this pie. I can’t wait!
There it is!
Double Crusted Cherry Pie ( with fresh Himalayan cherries) Made from Scratch
When it comes to Cherry Pie, I prefer using fresh and seasonal cherries and an all-butter crust made from scratch! The slightly tart cherries, turn syrupy and sweet, plus a flaky buttermilk crust.... have I got you drooling already? Plus, it's an all-vegetarian pastry crust!
Palm sugar(or Demerara) to sprinkle on the top crust
For the crust
Add the flour, sugar salt to the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine the three. Distribute the butter cubes evenly in the bowl of the food processor pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand.
With the food processor running, pour the buttermilk in a slow steady stream through the feeder tube of the food processor until the dough starts to come together.
Gently gather the dough, don't knead it or it will start forming gluten and divide the dough into two parts. Shape each part into a disc and tightly wrap them separately with cling film. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
For the filling + assembly
Place the sugar in a large bowl, add the lemon zest. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar evenly.
Add the pitted cherries, corn flour (corn starch), and vanilla extract to the bowl and gently toss together to combine. Set aside.
Pre- heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disc of the pie dough to a 12-inch round. Carefully transfer this bottom crust on to a 9-inch pie plate (not tart pan, be sure to use a pie pan because it is deeper than a tart pan and suitable for this recipe) trim the overhanging edges of the crust. Place in the refrigerator.
Place a large sheet of parchment paper on the counter. Roll out the second disc of dough into a 12-inch round over the parchment paper. Use the back of a pastry tip to punch out holes in this rolled out crust. The area covered by the holes should be just short of the diameter of the pie pan. Place the parchment paper lined rolled out crust in the refrigerator.
Pull out the pie plate from the refrigerator. Add the cherry filling to the pie pan that is lined with the bottom layer of the pie crust.
Flip over the parchment paper over the cherry filling so that the top of the pie crust is now covered with the top layer of pie crust. Gently peel away the parchment paper. Trim the edges of the top layer and crimp and seal the edges with the bottom layer. Brush the top of the pie crust with milk and sprinkle some palm sugar (or Demerara)
Place in the pre-heated oven and bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. Then drop the temperature to 180 degrees Celsius and bake for a further 40 minutes or until the top of the crust is well-browned and the cherry filling is bubbling.
Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely before serving.