Halloween = best time or best time for a Twin Peaks themed morning tea? We all dressed up for the occasion (most of us anyway) and I teamed up with my friend Serena to make this pie, served with some damn good coffee.
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
zest and juice of 1 lemon
400g unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used 350g)
200g caster sugar
600g plain flour
pinch of salt
brown sugar for sprinkling
1.6kg of bottled cherries, or 4 x 400g pitted cherries, or 2kg of fresh cherries pitted (I used about 1.2kg of pitted Morello cherries)
300g raspberries (I used frozen)
zest and juice of 1 lemon
100g icing sugar
To make the pastry, mix 2 of the eggs with the 2 egg yolks, vanilla extract and lemon zest and juice. Reserve the third egg for an egg wash later on.
Using a mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat until pale and creamy. Add the egg mixture a litle at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
Sift on the flour and salt, beating slowly until the mixture just comes together as a ball. Don't overmix or the dough will be tough. Shape the pastry into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refridgerate for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 170C and grease a tart tin (or don't, if it's non-stick - the pastry was plenty buttery on its own, even with the reduction in the butter I used). Reserve a third of the pastry in the fridge for the topping. Roll out the rest on a lightly floured work surface to about 0.5cm thickness.
Lift the pastry on to the prepared tart tin and ease it in to the edges. Refridgerate for 20 minutes.
(Let me pause for a moment here to share a tip I learnt from - YES - Junior Masterchef. Hilarious, no? Maybe this is a trick everyone else knows already but it was new to me, and it was new to Serena, so: the thing is, in the past, getting the pastry from bench/board to tin has been my downfall. Often have I wept, gnashed teeth, etc, over pastry breaking and splitting in my hands. And then a couple of weeks ago, I saw a kid on Junior MC doing the most simple, amazing thing: he rolled out the pastry on his benchtop, then rolled the pastry back around and over his rolling pin, carried it over and then let it unfurl gently into the waiting tart tin. BRILLIANT. We did this today and it was perfection!)
Line the pastry with foil and fill with pastry weights, dried beans or rice. Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the foil and weights, prick the base with a fork, and bake for 8 minutes.
Lightly beat the last egg and brush the pastry case lightly. Return to the oven for 2 minutes to seal, then remove from over and if necessary trim edges.
Roll out the reserved pastry to 0.5cm thickness and use a pastry cutter or sharp knife to cut into 1cm strips. If your filling's not ready, cover with a tea towel. (Serena was in sole charge of this part and she was great - she used a serrated bread knife to cut out the strips, which gave them nice little edges.)
We did the filling while waiting around for the pastry to blind bake, but I guess you can do it whenever you like. To make the filling, combine the cherries, raspberries, lemon zest and juice, and icing sugar in a large mixing bowl. Toss together gently to avoid breaking up the fruit. Tip into a colander to drain away excess liquid - we did this a few times, as we had a lot of liquid from the frozen raspberries. Mix gently with the cornflour. Then pile the fruit into the prepared tart shell.
Lay the pastry strips across the top of the tart to form a lattice. Brush the pastry with reserved egg wash, then sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for 20 minutes or until pastry is golden. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then carefully remove from the tin.
Serve with icecream (optional), while drinking coffee (essential) and watching Twin Peaks (not essential but a laudable life choice).
From The Good Life by Adrian Richardson, via the Kinokuniya Cookbook Catalogue October 2011.