Category Archives: Pies and Tarts

Peach and Blueberry Pie

I feel like I should make and eat more pie. Particularly when it is filled with peaches and blueberries.What is it about pie?

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I always think food nostalgia harks back to childhood memories of foods your mother fed you. Or that you ate in the sunshine, without a care in the world. Or foods that make you feel comforted, that generate a feeling that everything will be okay. But for me, my pie nostalgia only goes back 2 years – to the summer of 2014, when I was interning at CooknScribble. It was there that I learnt to make pie; to participate in conversations about food as someone with expertise; and to investigate how people go about learning and teaching food in informal settings. And so I suppose it is a nostalgia of sorts – one associated with the USA, new friends, sunny days, outdoor swimming, cooking, baking and talking to people about food.

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But my pie enthusiasm is also not about nostalgia. It is about my love of baked fruit. There is little I love more than fruit baked with a little sugar until it is soft, perhaps slightly crunchy at the edges, and ideally, combined with oats and custard. It is why I love crumbles sooooo much. I know people write about their ideal peach being one that they bite into (or slice and eat), savouring the juices as they run down their chins. But I admit, I am not one of them really. Yes, I will eat peaches raw (or nectarines or plums or apricots) and particularly when we are in Spain, the fruit is perfectly ripe, and it is actually too hot to contemplate eating anything heated. But my favourite way to eat summer fruit is to slice it in half, sprinkle it with a little sugar and butter, and bake it in the oven. Then I can eat it warm, possibly (almost certainly) with custard. Or cold for breakfast the next day, with yoghurt.

This is why I love pie.

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This is a photo essay (with notes) of making this pie. The recipe is from Food52.

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First steps: make the pie dough. This needs to rest in the fridge. Yossy has you roll and fold the dough like you would rough puff but this did not achieve the flaky pastry I’d envisioned so I’m unsure of the purpose of this. I’m not sure why my pastry wasn’t very flaky – I may try this again to be sure but my pastry was like regular pie pastry, not like rough puff. Once you’ve rolled, folded and chilled the dough, roll half of it out and line the tin. I use an incredibly handy tart tatin tin. This has been one of my best equipment buys because it is so versatile.

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Blanch the peaches in boiling water and then shock in cold water so you can remove their skins. If your peaches are not particularly ripe you will need to do this for more than the minute advised in the recipe.

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You then toss the sliced peaches, blueberries, sugar, flour and lemon zest together. It will almost immediately get syrupy.

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Place the fruit in your pie tin and preheat the oven to 180C. Roll out the rest of the pastry into a long rectangular sheet and cut it into strips, and any shapes you like. Arrange these into a lattice a top the pie case.

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Brush the whole thing with egg wash and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake for about 45 minutes, until golden and bubbling.

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Allow to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

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Eating with the Princess: Ottolenghi

I was in London for research on a Saturday a few weeks back. Afterwards, I met up with the Princess at the Estorik Collection in Islington. From there we wandered to Ottolenghi, for cake. We found seats at the bar and ordered a chocolate tart with praline (her), and a lemon tart (me). The lemon tart was a truly fabulous dessert: sour lemon curd – the kind that makes your mouth pucker – with just enough sugar to take the edge off, encased in a crisp pastry shell. It was a precisely perfect 4pm-cake-uplift.

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Ottolenghi Islington

287 Upper Street, London

N1 2TZ

 

 

Friends for dinner (and a reading list)

I seem to be immersed in reading about Thanksgiving this week. Obviously this is because I read and listen to far too many American things but I am rather enjoying all the reporting: confessions on what to do/what not to do with a turkey, how many pies to bake (or bring), whether it is acceptable to not wear a jacket and tie to dinner, how the table should be set. It is basically like a very complicated dinner party with far too many people and family feuds.

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Speaking of dinner parties, we had friends over for dinner last night (win!). We had a wine-off between a South African pinotage (which was superb) and a Spanish rioja (which, I confess, is one of my favourites). (Wine is not something Andrés and I are likely to ever agree on – we are both staunch wine nationalists.)

I cooked, because Andrés had been at work all day. It was a middle eastern-inspired feast. I made lamb baked with aubergine, and butternut with red onions and tahini, both from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem. (Suffice to say I am slightly obsessed with that book.) I also made Anna Jones’ flatbreads (you can find the recipe here) and a green salad. The flatbreads have become my go-to recipe. They are super easy to make and ridiculously versatile. Anna makes hers with spelt flour but I was out of spelt so I just used regular flour.

To finish, because next week is Thanksgiving and (as I said) I’ve been reading all-things-Thanksgiving this week, I made pecan pie. But not just any pecan pie. I made David Lebovitz’s bourbon-ginger-pecan pie. And IT IS AMAZING. As a not-really-into-eating-desserts person, this is a spectacular marry of fiery ginger and sweet, smoky pecans. The ginger (particularly the addition of freshly grated ginger) lifts the pie and cuts the sticky sweetness. The original recipe (according to DL) comes from First Prize Pies which is written by one half of the Butter & Scotch team. If you make anything for Thanksgiving, you should make this. (And you should serve it with clotted cream. Just saying.)  I also think his words on what happened in Paris last week were fairly accurate to what I was feeling. The whole trying to make sense of something that happened to a place and people you love when making sense just seems unachievable.

I followed his recipe almost entirely (I left out the ground ginger simply because I found I had run out) and so I am not going to repeat it here. You can have this moody picture of my pie instead.

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Other things I made this week included Violet Bakery’s butterscotch blondies. I am working on a post to share them with you but suffice to say I took a full tin (basically the whole tray minus the two I left at home for Andrés) in to work with me and by the end of the day there were three blondies left inside.  David Lebovitz has a post on them which you can find here.

The Thanksgiving Reading List, plus a few extra

Read about what they might’ve eaten at the first Thanksgiving. Some fairly logical dishes. Some unusual ones too. Eel anyone?

Bon Appetit’s Thanksgiving podcast. It includes stories about Thanksgiving and advice on what to do (defrost that turkey WAY in advance. It is bigger than you think.)

Thanksgiving desserts. (Also from Bon Appetit.)

Julia Child and Thanksgiving. Because, Julia.

American chefs in London on their favourite Thanksgiving dishes.

‘Eat real food and don’t worry too much – it’s the fear-free diet’. My kind of eating logic. An interesting read on nutrition, science and food fads.

I loved reading this. Food and art come together in fantastic ways.

I started listening to Limetown while I was cooking yesterday afternoon. It is just brilliant and I am hanging on the edge of my seat for Tuesday’s episode.

An incredibly interesting project that attempts to account for a past that was hidden. It makes me ask questions about how we forget/remember the past, and how we educate young people about our difficult and contested histories.

Blood Orange Black Pepper Meringue Pie

I started listening to podcasts recently. I’ll be honest, up until now, I’ve never really understood talk radio. When I listen to the radio, it’s because I want to hear music, not people chatting about some topic. I’ve always been a listening-to-music-commuter. But then my friend Jess introduced me to the Harry Potter audio books and I became hooked – both to hearing Stephen Fry read Harry and to audio books in general. I find it works best to listen to favourite books – like His Dark Materials or The Lord of the Rings – mostly because I’m easily distracted and sometimes switch off concentrating and then discover I’ve missed several minutes. This is not a problem when you know the story but it is easy to get lost in a new one when this happens. I even managed The Luminaries on audio although I had to restart it several times because I wasn’t concentrating enough at certain points to actually follow the story. But audio books are reasonably expensive and so now I am limited to one new book a month (which makes for about a week’s worth of commuting). So I’ve had to root around and think of other things I could possibly listen to and that’s how I discovered podcasts.

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I started off with the BBC Food Programme and Monocle’s The Menu. But I exhausted those pretty quickly (listening to loads of older programmes at first and now waiting each week for new episodes) and I started to hear about this podcast called Serial. Finally, last week, I downloaded it and, in the space of 48 hours, listened to the entire season. I couldn’t stop listening. It was so good. Clever storytelling, gripping story, terrifying in places. And I couldn’t get it out of my head. I keep asking everyone I know if they’ve listened to it yet so I can have a conversation about it with someone.

Anyway, post-Serial, I started to expand my podcast repertoire.  I remembered one of the girls I met last year at the LongHouse Food Scholars programme, Fiona, had started one – it’s called Shut Yr Pie Hole. And it is fabulous – random eating/interviews/facts about food, based in Detroit. And then, in one of those kismet-y universe type-things, Lottie and Doof’s latest blog post was for this Grapefruit Black Pepper Meringue Pie from Sister Pie in Detroit. Sister Pie (aka Lisa) is the other half of the Shut Yr Pie Hole podcast. It was like the universe telling me to make pie. PIE PIE PIE.

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I’m not sure about you, dear reader, but I did not grow up eating pie. In fact, I can think of only two pie-esque desserts in the South African repertoire that are related to the thing that is pie – melktert and lemon meringue pie. Now, whilst I am a big fan of melktert (I really should make some for this blog), I am not a fan of lemon meringue pie. At least, not the one I grew up being offered. (See here for a revelatory lemon meringue courtesy of Bouchon Bakery in New York). The problem, at least for me, is that, in my head, lemon meringue should be a very tart curd and a sweet meringue, the combination of which then works and is not overwhelmingly sugary. But South African lemon meringue is made with condensed milk which means that it is unnaturally sweet and sickly. Not my vibe at all. So I’ve never really understood citrus-meringue pies. (A plain, tart lemon tart, on the other hand (see what I did there?), is totally my vibe.)

Last year, at LongHouse, I learnt to make American pies – blueberry ones and cherry ones. I learnt about making pie dough (and lard), lining pie dishes (and how to crimp the edges just so), how to make the fillings (the importance of tasting them before you bake), and the various crust options for the top (lattice, crumble, whole). I haven’t made pie since then and so today felt like a good day to practice these skills. (And make dessert for later.) Plus there was the whole universe going ‘you should make pie’ and really, who I am to mess with the universe?

I made my own pie crust for this pie and, instead of grapefruit, used blood oranges, which, yes, I have been hoarding carefully, not wanting the season to end. I also halved the original recipe, not wanting to make an excessive amount of pie and, decreased the sugar and increased the lemon juice, slightly, to compensate for the sweeter oranges. I made an Italian meringue, so that you don’t have to worry about uncooked eggs, and browned it under the grill in my oven.

Blood Orange Black Pepper Meringue Pie
From Sister Pie, via Lottie and Doof

For the crust:
250g plain flour
60g lard
65g butter, unsalted
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
cold water

To make the pie crust, place the flour, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl. Cut the butter and lard into smallish cubes and rub into the dry ingredients until the mixture starts to resemble breadcrumbs. Add in the cold water, a little at a time – just enough to get the dough to come together.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until smooth – around five minutes. Shape into a ball, flatten and wrap in clingfilm. Refrigerate for an hour. While you wait, make the filling.

For the filling:

1tbsp caster sugar
zest of one blood orange
2tbsp cornflour
2tbsp honey
pinch of salt
1 egg
1 yolk
2/3 cup double cream
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp black pepper

In a bowl, grate the orange zest into the sugar. Rub the zest into the sugar until, as Sister Pie says, it resembles wet beach sand. Whisk in the cornflour, honey and salt. Then whisk in the egg and yolk, followed by the rest of the ingredients. Taste the mixture – if it is too sweet, add in more lemon juice. If it is too sour, add in an extra tablespoon of caster sugar. Set the mixture aside.

Cut the pastry in half and roll out half into a thin disc. (Wrap the rest of the pastry in clingfilm and freeze for another day.) Make sure the surface you’re doing the rolling on is lightly floured. Turn the pastry between each roll so you maintain the semblance of a circle. Place the pastry over an 18cm tart tin or pie dish (the pie dish is preferable but I don’t have a small one). (I use a loose-bottomed one.) Gently press the pastry into the tart tin, pressing it into the inner edge of the tin. Trim the overhang so there is about 1/2cm above the edge of the tin. Crimp this using the thumb of your one hand and the thumb and forefinger of the other. Refrigerate the tart case for half an hour. Preheat the oven to 180C.

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Place the tart tin onto a flat baking tray. Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with rice or beans. Bake the pastry case for 20 minutes, until the edges start to brown. Remove the rice/beans and baking paper and return to the oven for a further five minutes. Remove the tart tin from the oven and reduce the oven heat to 160C.

Pour the filling into the pastry case and bake for 30 minutes until the filling is set at the edges but still wobbles slightly in the centre (“wobble set”). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Make the meringue.

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For the meringue:
2 egg whites
60g sugar
60g water
pinch of salt
1 tsp black pepper

Place the sugar into a saucepan and add in the water. Cook over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and cook until the sugar reaches soft ball stage – 116C. (You can use a sugar thermometer or you can check by filling a glass with cold water and taking a teaspoon of the sugar syrup and placing it in the cold water. When it forms a soft ball, it is ready. This takes about 10-15 minutes.) Whilst the sugar is cooking, whisk the egg whites and salt to stiff, using a hand beater or in a standing mixer. Once the sugar is at temperature, carefully pour the sugar into the egg whites, whisking whilst you do so. The sugar will cook the egg whites and create a soft meringue. Fold in the black pepper. Spoon this onto the tart. Heat your grill. Place the tart under the grill until the meringue starts to brown – this takes only around 3-5 minutes so watch it carefully.

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Slice and eat.

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Pear and Blue Cheese Tart

I had a meeting with my supervisor on Monday. It is a strange thing, the supervisor-supervisee relationship. I have not written about it much here but I thought, now that I am nearly at the end (the beginning of the end as it were), I would start to do so. Monday’s meeting got me thinking about the PhD-supervisor relationship and how it changes over the course of a PhD. I am not the person I was three and a bit years ago when this journey began. I have done the research. Read the literature. And now I am busy putting my thoughts (and to a certain extent myself) on display for critique for the first time. I am learning to defend my work. And I am learning to absorb criticism. Monday’s meeting was the first face-to-face discussion following my supervisor’s comments on my draft…

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To a certain extent, every meeting feels like a performance. I embody my PhD-self, competent and informed, ready to answer questions, discuss issues and ultimately defend my work. I regard the relationship as a fairly formal one, as a student seeking advice from a more knowledgeable sage. But our relationship is also fairly informal – after we have discussed my work and progress, we often talk about current affairs in the world of food, education, obesity and health studies. My supervisor often sends me emails with links to articles, posters, tea towels – some are related directly to my work and others are merely for interest. I appreciate the ones for interest as much as the ones for work. We get on quite well, I think, but this meeting was our first one after she had read my thesis, provided very specific feedback (read: tore my thesis apart, chapter by chapter) and I was nervous. What if she had decided I was (what all PhD’s ultimately fear) completely inadequate and not actually suited for academic life? (After I first read through the comments, I had a proper crisis of self that questioned this very thing. Fortunately I then got over that and resigned myself to the long slog towards the finish line. And to be fair, she had warned me not to ‘throw myself over a bridge’ after reading.) But, as she explained, being a ‘mean’ supervisor, and tearing my draft apart is part of the process of a) writing a thesis and b) ultimately becoming an academic. You have to get used to (and build yourself up against) critiques from all sides. And, as we discussed, it is much much much worse if such a thing happens in the viva. So, at some point in our relationship, she had to embody the ‘mean’ supervisor.

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By many accounts, I am lucky. My supervisor has been supportive, championing my data, providing guidance and where necessary, criticism. This is not the case for all PhDs – as has been written about here – and I know of several other PhDs who are regularly reduced to tears by their supervisors. I’m not sure how you cope with the stress of a PhD if you don’t have good supervisory support. It is a strange relationship, but a hugely important one. I’m fairly sure there is a course you can take called ‘Managing Your Supervisor’ – I have not yet had to resort to such help but I think sometimes supervisors do need managing – when you have to remind them that it is your research and that you are the expert. This is not an easy thing to do when they are experts in their own fields (probably a larger part of your own). On Monday, we discussed (and have now agreed via email) a timetable to the completion of all these corrections (three months!) and the overarching arguments and flow of my thesis. Most importantly, I left the supervision feeling re-energised about finishing. I am no longer petrified about the quality of my work. Yes, it needs to be improved, but it seems more like an achievable goal than an insurmountable task, following the meeting.

So I came home and got organised. I wrote out the projected timetable and started to do some reading. I am returning first to Foucault, to fix the chapter that frames the thesis, and then to the policy chapter. So, you will forgive me if I start to talk about healthy subjects, nutrition discourses and how we come to know what is good to eat over the next few weeks. Foucault and I are spending some more time together right away.

And so, to compensate for this return to some thinking work, and because my New Years resolution was to blog every Wednesday, I made this tart! I have labelled it a tart because the filling is partly on top of the egg-custard and partly encased by it so I’m not really sure it is a quiche; to be fair, I’m not really sure I understand the difference between quiches and tarts. Can tarts only be sweet? Quiches savoury? Tart sounds so much more daring than quiche. This tart is daring. It is bold. Creamy. Rich. The harsh blue cheese notes are rounded out by the sweetness of the pears. I made it over Christmas and have not stopped thinking about it since so I thought I would share it with you here. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Foucault is waiting.

Pear and Blue Cheese Tart.

For the pastry (makes enough for two tart cases):

250g plain flour

125g unsalted butter, cold, diced

approximately 100ml cold water

pinch of salt

For the filling:

1/3 cup double cream

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

2 small rocha pears, finely sliced

150g blue cheese (I used a combination of Stilton and Bleu D’Auvergne)

In a large bowl, place the flour, salt and the diced butter. Rub this together with your fingers until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

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Add in the cold water, a little at a time, until you can combine all the flour to form a sticky dough.

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Knead this on a lightly floured work surface until the dough is as smooth as a baby’s bottom.

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Divide the dough in half, shape these into two balls, flatten them, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least an hour. You will only need one ball, so you can freeze the other for later use. While you are waiting, whisk together the double cream, milk and eggs until smooth. Set aside.

Remove the dough from the fridge and lightly flour a work surface. Roll out the dough until it is about 1/2cm thick.

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Line a pie dish, leaving some of the dough to overhang the sides. (Trim excessive overhang like that pictured below.)

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Refrigerate again for an hour. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line the pastry case with some baking paper and baking beans or rice. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the rice/beans and paper and return to the oven for 5 minutes, until the pastry is dry.

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Crumble the blue cheese onto the pastry case. Then fill the case with the custard mixture. It’ll fill about 3/4 of the way. Arrange the sliced pears atop the filling.

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Bake for approximately 25 minutes. You want the egg custard puffed around the edges of the tart and the middle only just set. It can wobble but should not be liquid. Remove from the oven. Trim the excess pastry overhanging the edge with a sharp knife and allow to cool before slicing and serving with a side salad. (This tart works fantastically well cold too. For a savoury breakfast.)

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Blueberry Pie

One of the great things about my internship at cookNscribble was meeting all sorts of interesting and fascinating people. People who want to talk about food. About growing food. Raising animals. Cooking food. And mostly, people who want to talk about the cool things that they do. To make blueberry pie, I got to work with two such people: Tim Lippert and Molly O’Neill.

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The reason I got to meet Tim, who is a free-range hog and cattle farmer, was because we were after blueberries. He has several rows of young blueberry bushes on part of his farm. Like the raspberries (and cherries – this has been a fruit picking summer), we were allowed to pick our own.

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The blueberries were turning all shades of blue and purple on the bushes and so, one afternoon, we went over to talk to Tim and forage amongst the blueberry bushes for ripe fruit. Not all the berries were ripe, some bushes were a few days behind the others, but we picked enough for a few pies and snacks.

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The main function of Crosby Farm is actually raising pigs and so, after we were done blueberry picking, I got to meet some of them. We passed a shed full of piglets and a boar-in-training before we reached the main group. Tim rears them in the woodland, where it is cool and shaded and the pigs happily make loads of mud.

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Then, because I’d been saying how my mom has just bought a smallholding and wants to raise some Dexters, I got to meet Tim’s herd of Dexter cattle. Dexters are dwarf cattle, good for smaller spaces and quite friendly. Who knew a blueberry picking adventure could turn into a full farm sight-seeing tour?

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Once we were back in the kitchen, Molly O’Neill shared her secrets of pie-making. For those of you who don’t know, Molly is a doyenne of American food writing. She used to write for the New York Times and has written several books. Now she also teaches food writing, including running the scholars programme I was partly involved in, and organises the LongHouse Food Revival. (You should go if you’re in the area.) Molly has a wealth of food knowledge, just some of which I got to tap into during my internship. One of the things she taught me was about making good pie.

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This particular blueberry pie has an almond crumble top and no recipe. But I will tell you what Molly told me verbally. (This presupposes you already have some pie dough in the fridge. If you don’t, follow the instructions for the cherry pie recipe.)

Preheat the oven to 180C. Sort out the blueberries first. Put them in a bowl (several cups for a deep-dish pie, around 6) with a cup of sugar, a teaspoon of cinnamon and a cup and a half of flour. Toss everything together with your hands so that you don’t damage the berries too much. Add in a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Let this sit whilst you make the crumble topping.

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To make the crumble, combine some flaked almonds, marzipan and butter together in a bowl. Work the butter and marzipan into the almonds, like you would rub butter into flour. The mixture will get quite sticky but then you can start to add in plain flour and sugar (which you would have organisedly tossed together already). Lastly, add in some slivered almonds. The mixture should be crumbly (who’d have thought?) and fairly sweet.

Line a pie dish with pie crust, carefully overhanging the edges by 1cm. Fold these up to create a wave pattern along the edge.

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Place the blueberries into the pie dish.

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Scatter the crumble topping generously on top. Don’t be afraid to use a lot. It tastes amazing.

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Bake the pie in the oven for around an hour. It needs to be golden brown and bubbling before you even think of removing it. Eat warm. (And then whatever is leftover makes an excellent breakfast.)

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Sour Cherry Pie

Did you know about sour cherries? I didn’t before this trip. My experience of cherries growing up was of maraschino’s from a jar, which I hated. Since living in England I have become addicted to sweet cherries, dark purple bursts in the high summer. But it turns out people are OBSESSED with sour cherries. So obsessed that they get up at ridiculous-o-clock to pick them off the trees themselves. The things you learn whilst interning with food people.

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So it happens that one morning (very very early), a few weeks ago, I joined the tribe of people who get up at ridiculous-o-clock to travel to a cherry orchard just outside of Hudson so I could participate in this whole sour cherry picking debacle.

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It was still cool (and all of half 7) when we arrived at the orchard. We had brought a box for filling with cherries and were told unceremoniously by the assistant that if we filled the box we would not be able to lift it. We had no plans to do such a thing but she marked out what she thought was 20 pounds in case we got carried away (we did), gave us a cart to set the box on, and buckets to wrap around our waists. We looked super stylish.

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We wandered down to the far end of the orchard, selected a tree and started picking. It’s surprisingly therapeutic, picking cherries. There was just the sounds of birds, some cars whizzing by on the road, and the occasional bee. Eventually the orchard filled with other voices.

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We were all done in a half hour. Three people can pick a lot of cherries in that time. We ended up with 34 pounds altogether and a box that was almost to heavy to lift.

Of course, if you pick 34 pounds of sour cherries, you have to do something with them. A neighbouring picker gave us a verbal recipe for a cherry liqueur – you fill a large jar with cherries and sugar, stacked in several layers, and then add in a grain alcohol. You leave it in a dark place for several months and then drink it neat in the dark days of December. Sadly I leave in six days so such a recipe will have to be stored for future use. Instead we made pie. Sour cherry pie.

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This recipe is a combination of two separate recipes. The pie crust is adapted from a recipe given to me by Kate Lebo, a pie-maker I met briefly – you can find the original in her book. She uses a lard and butter combination for the crust but I prefer all-butter crusts so I have changed it slightly. The filling comes from Molly O’Neill’s book, One Big Table. The truth is, pie filling is fairly interpretive. You need to taste and season it according to what you want. So I didn’t use nutmeg or kirsch and probably used less sugar as I like things fairly tart. I also used loads of lemon and, for once, almond extract. (It turns out it does have a place in the kitchen after all…)

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We made three of these to feed thirty people at one of the Food Media Bootcamp dinners a few weeks ago. The chef of the night, Ian Knauer, suggested serving the pie with salted heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks. It turns out he is on to something and I am now totally stealing that for fruit desserts forever and ever. (Thanks Ian!)

Sour Cherry Pie
Adapted from A Commonplace Book of Pie and One Big Table

For the double crust:
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt
16 tbsp butter, cold, cubed (240g)
ice water

For the filling:
5 cups pitted sour cherries
5 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp lemon juice
zest of half a lemon
1 tsp almond extract
3/4 cup caster sugar (you can add up to 1 cup)
1 tsp Kirsch (optional)
1 1/2 tsp butter

Egg wash:
1 egg
2 tbsp water

To make the crust, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the ice water slowly, mixing with your hands until the dough comes together. (You only need as much water as the dough will accept.)

On a lightly floured surface, turn out the dough and knead until smooth. It is very buttery so this will not take long (and be careful not to over-knead!)

Divide the dough in half and flatten into discs and refrigerate for at least an hour. If you’ve got time, make the dough the night before.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Remove one disc from the fridge and roll the dough into a circle. (You want the crust reasonably thin so it does not get soggy in the oven but not so thin that it breaks on you.) Line a pie dish, making sure there is about 1cm overhanging the edge.

Whisk the egg and water together. Turn the overhanging dough up onto the edge of the pie dish and crimp it using your thumb on one hand and thumb and forefinger on the other.

Comine all filling ingredients, except the butter, in a large bowl. Taste! (Change the seasoning as you see fit, adding in extra sugar or some more lemon juice.)

Place the filling into the pie dish and dot with the butter.

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Roll the second disk into a circle. Cut strips, about 1cm thick.

Lattice the top of the pie crust, hooking the top of the strip into the inside of the pie, and weaving the strips like a basket. Egg wash the lattice.

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Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until golden and bubbling.