Sunday, 18 September 2011

Beautiful on the Inside Cherry Almond Pies.

I've been meaning to tell you about these little lovelies for a while now. Well actually, I've been meaning to make some that are nice and photogenic and not crumbly round the edges and not a bit unruly looking.

What I keep doing you see, is ending up with some left over pastry and a few egg whites and improvising my way to a few of these- and by few I mean 5, or some other random number that my pastry just about stretches to. But after the second time this happened I thought, doesn't beauty lie within really? We all have 'crumbly round the edges' days when we have to face the world and rely on others loving us for our delicious marzipan-ey middle. Isn't your middle marzipan-ey? I'm pretty sure mine is.

So I will share these, in all their shabby chic yummyness, just as they are (a la Bridget Jones).

Now, those fresh, ruby round cherries you see here, are from Edinburgh Farmers Market, and are far too wonderful to do anything with other than eat, spit out the pit and hope that a bit of juice dribbles down your chin so that you can pretend you're sat under a cherry tree in the sun in 18th century Kent. So anyway, what I'm trying to say is, the cherries actually inside the pie are ones I just bought from a supermarket, frozen. I think frozen is a great way to buy fruit, it means it's fresh as a daisy until you decide, and it's cherry, or whatever, season all year round. If only. With Love and Cake.

Cherry Almond Pies

A few notes:
  • Like I said, I use this recipe as a way to use up left over egg whites, but if you don't have any, don't separate an egg especially, just use one whole one.
  • You could make one whole pie rather than several little ones if you'd prefer, just use a small round cake or pie pan and bake both the pastry and the whole pie for 10 or so minutes longer.
  • This is the recipe I used after making the treacle tart I made last week, I just doubled the pastry recipe. But I'll write everything out again in case you're just going for these.
  • You end up with some sweetened cherry juice left over, may I recommend using it in a breakfast of natural yogurt, banana and natural peanut butter, all layered up in a bowl. Yum.
Makes 6
You will need

a 6 hole muffin or cupcake pan, well greased and floured

For the pastry
110g plain flour
50g butter
1-2 tbsp cold water

For the filling
75g cherries
2 tbsp granulated sugar
50g butter, at room temp
50g caster sugar
1 egg white, beaten to a froth
a drop of almond extract
40g ground almonds
2 tbsp plain flour

  • First lets get on with the pastry. Pop the flour in the processor and give it a pulse.
  • Next whizz in the butter until it has a texture of fine breadcrumbs then, a tbsp at a time, whizz in the water until everything comes together and makes you a nice dough.
  • Pat into a flat disc and let rest in the fridge in a bag or some clingfilm for 1/2 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°.
  • Meanwhile you can get on with filling by bubbling the cherries and sugar with a splash of water in a small pan over a medium heat for around 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved and everything's got a bit syrupy.
  • When the pastry is rested, roll it out to a thickness or 1/2 cm and use an appropriate sized cutter (or mug or glass) to cut circles that will cover the muffin hole and leave at least a 1cm border around the top.
  • Pat each disc into its hole and bake for around 10 minutes, until just about to turn gold.
  • Now in a bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
  • Whisk in the egg white and almond essence, then fold in the ground almonds and flour.
  • Now for assembly. Divide the whole cherries between the pastry cases and add about a teaspoon of juice into each one.
  • Top with the almond mixture and bake for 20 minutes until the top is nicely golden brown.
  • Try and take them out of the tin as soon as poss, before the syrup sets and sticks everything together. This is the point at which mine got messy, but that's why I've told you to leave a good border of pastry. So fingers crossed. I'm sure they'll taste fabulous, what ever they look like.

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