Sunday, 4 August 2013

Oh my Sweet Cherry Pie, an apology and an announcement!

Sooo it's been a while! and for that I'm truly sorry but in between packing up our lives in Vancouver (sob), embarking on a 3 week west coast road trip through the States, landing back in England and spending a week in Leeds to meet my adorable nephew Ellis (who was born 15 days late...but arrived on the day we got back - perfect timing or what!) and heading to Glasgow house hunting and finding somewhere to live because we are moving up there next week it hasn't really left me with much free time! 

Along with all those excuses, my last few weeks in Vancouver were actually pretty low key on the baking front because I was pretty sick the 5 weeks before we left as a result of finding out this VERY exciting news...

yes, our little family of 2 converse lovers will be turning into 3 in February! 

Baby Braithwaite is on the way, and we could not be more excited! 

I'm now into my second trimester, and so I'm really hoping the sickness is behind me and that I can get on with some more baking! Also, I haven't had any weird cravings as yet but have found that I've gone off all my favourite foods like pulled pork, cupcakes and root beer!! It was pretty upsetting...especially as it co-incided with our American road trip! so I'm hoping my liking of all my favourite treats will return at some point soon too!!

I also have a zillion bakes waiting impatiently in my drafts folder for me to blog, so I promise this blog will be seeing a lot more action in the coming weeks!

For now, while we still have some of summer left I'll leave you with this cherry pie! Cherries are something I had always decided I wasn't a fan of.  I think this is due to the fact that in general I hate cherry flavoured things like yoghurt or sweets so in my mind that meant I surely couldn't like actual cherries.

Outside our house in Vancouver, a little unassuming tree suddenly burst forth an abundance of cherries at the beginning of June.  It was producing so many we literally didn't know what to do with them! So, I decided I should give one of them a try one day, and what do you know it was completely delicious! 

So as a new cherry convert, when our friends from church invited us over to an awesome pulled pork Sunday afternoon feast I decided to whip up this cherry pie! 

I used shop bought pastry because it was so hot I didn't want to faff with making my own!

It was sweet and fruity and moist, with just the right amount of crunch from the flaky pastry and served up with creamy vanilla ice cream you can't really go wrong! 

Sweet Cherry Pie:
Serves 10
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Dough for a double crust pie, I used pre made but if time allows make your own

4 cups pitted fresh sweet cherries (do yourself a favour and buy a pitter, unless you have a helpful and willing husband to do the job on your behalf - it did take a loooong time though!)
4 tbsp cornstarch
2/3 cup granulated sugar (or up to 3/4 if your cherries are not so sweet)
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coconut extract (or almond if you can't get coconut)
1 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small bits

1 egg, beaten with 2 tbsp water
coarse sugar, for decoration

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C.

Stir together the cherries, cornstarch, sugar, salt and coconut extract gently together in a large bowl.  

Roll out half of the chilled dough (use larger piece if you've divided them unevenly) on a floured work surface to 13-inch round.  Gently place it in a 9-inch pie pan by rolling it around the rolling pin and unrolling it over the pan.  Trim the edges to a half-inch overhang.

Spoon filling into pie crust, discarding the majority of the liquid that has pooled in the bowl.  Dot the filling with bits of cold butter.  

Roll out the remaining dough into a 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface, drape it over the filling, and trim it leaving a 1-inch overhang.  Fold the overhang under the bottom crust, pressing the edge to seal it, and crimp the edge decoratively - I use a fork, nothing fancy!  Brush the egg wash over the pie crust and sprinkle with the coarse sugar.  

Cut slits in the crust with a sharp knife, forming steam vents, and bake the pie in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes.  Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C, and bake the pie for a further 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is golden.  Let the pie cool on a rack.

Eat, and enjoy! 

It is also worth mentioning that our cherry pie wasn't the only dessert that turned up! A delicious double layer chocolate cake, and an enormous angel food cake with whipped cream and strawberries completed the spread! and I'm happy to say we managed to scoff the lot! with only crumbs left over!


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