Quite often, I’ll pick up a tin of cherry pie fruit filling from the supermarket. I think it works terrifically in various bakes. The cherries are already pitted and softened, and come in a thickened cherry sauce that thickens further when heated. For the top, you can create a lattice by cutting large strips to weave together, or keep it simple with a plain top – totally up to you.
Cherry lattice pie
Prep 1 hr
Chill 4 hr+
Cook 1 hr 15 min
Makes 1 pie to share
250g fresh cherries, pitted
50g caster sugar
1 x 410g can tinned cherries (I use Princes’ black cherry filling)
For the pastry
225g strong white flour
A pinch of salt
15g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
175 cold unsalted butter, cubed
70ml ice-cold water
Milk, for brushing
For the pastry, mix the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the butter, and mix until the mix has the texture of breadcrumbs (you still want to be able to see some little chunks of butter). Add the water in one go and mix quickly to form a pliable dough.
Tip out the dough on to a work surface and bring it together with your hands. Wrap tightly in clingfilm and put in the fridge for about four hours, to firm up.
For the filling, put the pitted cherries in a large bowl. Coat them in the sugar, then add the cherry pie filling and set aside while you prepare the pie case.
Take the dough out of the fridge and gently knead it, then set aside one-third of it for the topping. Roll out to 4mm, and grease an 23cm pie case or closed-bottomed sandwich tin. Line the tin with the pastry, leaving a bit of an overhang. Keep the scraps, if you have any, and add them to the pastry reserved for the topping. Put the lined tin in the fridge while you prepare the top.
Roll the remaining pastry to 4mm, either leaving it whole in a circle large enough to cover the pie, or cut it into strips for a lattice. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper
Once the case and top are cold, add the cherry mixture to the base and top with the lid, or weave the pastry strips into a lattice pattern. Seal by pinching together the edges of the base and lid (if the lid is intact, pierce a hole in the top), then return to the fridge.
Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. Put a heavy baking tray in the oven to heat up (it works best on the very bottom shelf). Brush the top of the pie with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for an hour and 15 minutes, until golden brown, then leave to cool slightly before serving with ice-cream, custard or cream.