Red Russian Dolls, A Bowl of Cherries and an
Old-Fashioned Cherry Pie Recipe
Life can be a bowl of cherries sometimes, especially when life actually gives you a big bowl of cherries! Our ten-year old cherry tree at the bottom of the garden has given us lots of cherries this year, but, not as many as our neighbour’s tree, where we were able to pick them at liberty to our heart’s content. We picked about 5 to 6 kilos in total, so watch out for several more cherry related posts along with some new recipes over the next few weeks. I have jammed them, preserved them in liquor, made ice cream, made tray bakes and then I just had to make a PIE with the cherries that were left over after all that frenetic cooking and baking was completed. The words “Old-Fashioned Cherry Pie” drips with nostalgia and memories, as well they might drip with a goodly dollop of custard or cream if served before you; the word pie also has a VERY high place in my vocabulary as I am a bit of a pie addict. And as for cherries, well, they were put on this earth to bring smiles to our faces and tongues, in my humble pie opinion. And what about old-fashioned? Well yes, despite my yearnings for modernity and all the trappings of 21st century life, I am a bit of an old-fashioned kinda gal on the quiet, and I love a BIG slice of old-fashioned pie now and then.
So, where do the Red Russian Dolls fit into all of this pure nostalgia you may ask? Well, ever since I was a little girl, I have always wanted one of those clever little sets of “nesting Russian dolls”. They fascinated me and I hankered after a set for many years……..as it was, I never got any Russian dolls and when I was older and I could have bought myself a set, somehow other more “desirable” items took their place, such as boots, shoes, clothes, holidays and night’s out! However, my patience has finally paid off as just a couple of months ago I was asked to choose some items from the very funky (is that word still around, or am I showing my age again?) site, Red Candy in order to review them. I was given a budget, and went shopping on their site immediately! Imagine my delight when I saw a set of RED Russian Dolls posing as measuring cups on their site! I just had to have them of course…..for nostalgia as well as practicability.
There may only be TWO dolls in this set, but they open up to reveal FOUR measuring cups for US cups, Metric and Imperial measurements, which is a bit of a coup, as I struggle when trying to covert recipes from outside the UK and Europe sometimes…….
……and with a little bit of my budget left over, I had enough “dosh” to invest in some good quality tea towels too, along with a pair of red (reading) spectacles from a well-know discount supermarket!
But let’s get back to the matter in hand, PIE. There is something very elemental about a good old-fashioned fruit pie; apple pie, blackcurrant pie, peach pie or a gooseberry pie maybe, but nothing quite beats a fresh cherry pie when cherries are in season. The recipe that I am sharing today is a simple one – the pie is made with a basic shortcrust pastry that is NOT egg enriched, as we prefer the light shortness that this type of “egg-free” pastry gives. The cherries can be pre-cooked, but I find that that makes for a rather “soggy bottom”, which none of us want! Another little tip that I have included in my recipe is to spread some cherry jam over the pastry case bottom, it stops the juice seeping into the pastry case and thus stops even more soggy bottoms! My last tip for a crispy finish, is the brush egg whites over the lattice-work and then to sprinkle caster sugar over the top. This pie maybe simple with no extra “bells or whistles”, but why over gild the lily when all that is needed to sing in this dish, are the cherries and light home-made short crust pastry.
The lattice topped pastry lid is two-fold – it allows the steam to escape whilst the pie is baking, whilst making it look very attractive to serve with the glossy red pie filling peeping through the gaps. I always keep back enough pastry to cover the pie crust edge, as you can see in the photo above, as well as crimp it with the edge of a pastry cutter (wheel) – that’s what gives the edge of the pie that rather pretty pattern. I like a wide lattice-work strip, again, that gives the pie that old-fashioned look, I think!
There is only one plate to serve my cherry pie on, and that is one of my vintage French Sarreguemines cherry plates, as seen in the photo below – one HAS to serve a slice of cherry pie in the correct manner, don’t you think?
Avec une tranche de tarte……
But enough gassing about plates and pies for now, the recipe for this DIVINE pie is shared below, with the recipe for my basic short crust pastry too, and I hope that whatever life throws at you this weekend, you will always have a bowl of cherries! Have a GREAT weekend, I will be back later with more recipes and my latest news, see you then, Karen
Disclaimer: I was given a budget to spend on any items that took my fancy over at Red Candy; I was not required to write a review on my blog and all views are my own. Karen S Burns-Booth