Lots of things to be excited about this week- cherries are in season, plus there are beautiful peony roses blooming in the garden. It really is the small things! Living in Washington means that we are blessed with the most delicious, sun ripened, sweet and juicy cherries. Those pretty yellow ones in the photo are Rainier cherries and originated in Washington State. They were selling different varieties of cherries on the side of the road at the weekend and I may have gotten a little over excited. I ended up buying a LOT of cherries, which meant I had lots left over to make a cherry pie. For the filling I used Bing cherries and added a little sugar, lemon juice, and a splash of Cointreau to bring out that tart cherry flavor. The pastry is my usual sweet short crust pastry with a few decorative circles cut out, which lets the steam escape and helps prevent the dreaded soggy bottom (crust). This tart is so good straight from the oven, served with freshly whipped cream. It will keep for a day or two, but I doubt that you will be able resist it for that long.
- 225g of all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons of castor sugar
- 110g of Kerrygold butter , chopped into cubes
- 2 -3 tablespoons of milk
- 550 g of cherries – washed and stoned.
- 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon of lemon juice
- ½ tablespoon of Cointreau (optional)
- 50g of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of cornflour
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- Sieve the flour into a large bowl.
- Add the sugar and stir to combine.
- Add the chopped butter and rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Then, add the milk a little at a time and use a fork to bring the mixture together into pastry dough.
- Gather the pastry into your hands and wrap it in cling wrap. Place the pastry in the fridge and leave to rest for at least an hour.
- Grease a 9 inch tart plate with a little butter. (I like glass or enamel best for a crisp pastry case)
- Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F.
- Once the pastry has rested, roll it out on a floured surface until it is about 3mm (1/8 inch) in thickness.
- Line the bottom of the tart plate with the pastry.
- Stone the cherries if you haven’t already done so – I use this cherry pitterwhich doesn’t beat them up too much and you are left with nice solid cherries.
- Put the cherries in a large bowl, along with the lemon zest, juice and Cointreau (if using).
- Add the cornflour and the sugar to the cherries and mix well.
- Roll out a pastry lid for the tart and cut small circles in the pastry lid using the lid of a bottle, or icing nozzle. The holes are to let steam escape, and are also a pretty design feature.
- Spoon the cherries into the pastry case, including all the juices
- Carefully place the pastry lid on top and seal around the edges with a fork.
- Brush the pastry lid with the beaten egg.
- Put the tart in the oven and cook at 200 C/ 400 F for 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle the sugar on top of the tart.
- Then reduce the temperature to 180 C / 350 f and cook for a further 20 -25 minutes
- Remove from the oven when golden brown and bubbling.
- Leave to cool, and serve with some freshly whipped cream.