If there is one thing I always wanted to try, but for some unexplained reason, never did and have been missing out on for all these years, it must be a cherry pie. Weird, I know. Poor efforts from someone who lists cherries in their top 3 favorite noms on earth. So the decision was made, the cherry pitter was out, and the happy times were ahead!
OK, I must admit, pitting cherries was not as much fun as I expected. I looked like a murder victim after I was done with them. But was it worth it? Hell yes! Every single stain! Plus a bit of a kitchen wall got a free makeover with some pretty red/pink/ burgundy patterns. But some things are better left unsaid…or until your other half notices it.
I decided to make my own pastry, because I was feeling brave, but you can substitute with ready pastry, which is also available in vegan option. And yes, making your own pastry may be a bit of a pain in a back side but again, totally worth it! And as always, I found kneading the dough strangely satisfying and stress releasing (whether or not you are imagining it to be someone’s face is a separate matter).
Then there is whipped cream. This creamy, fluffy, foamy goodness that almost makes you feel like you are about to open the door to a wonderland. There is something very special about cherries and coconut cream. It’s like a utopia in your mouth. Every bite was like a little slice of heaven and my taste buds were almost crying with happiness. You can’t not have this pie. And this whipped cream!
Now I understand what all this fuss is about. And you also have to understand. Cherry pie = happiness. There is no more time to waist my friend, if you are looking to get yourself in one of the best moods you have ever experienced in your life, go and make a cherry pie. Plus it photographs so well, I just couldn’t stop taking snaps of it (after I had a slice of it equal in size to my head), as you can see…
I saved myself a slice for the afternoon tea. But I had to reschedule it for the elevenses. It simply could not wait till the afternoon.
Cherry Pie with Coconut Cream
- 500 g cherries (halved and pitted, unpitted weight)
- 1 1/2 tbs cornflour
- 5 tbs coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 4-5 drops almond essence
- 225 g vegan butter or vegan margarine
- 400 g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 5 tbs maple syrup
- 2 flax eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 400 ml canned coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 3 tbs icing sugar
- Put the butter and flour in a food processor and whizz until the mixture looks like damp breadcrumbs. Add maple syrup and pulse to combine.
- Add flax eggs, and the vanilla.
- Pulse until the dough starts to clump together, adding a drizzle of water, 1 tsp at a time, if the dough feels dry – try not to add too much or the pastry will be tough.
- Tip out onto a work surface and knead briefly until you have a smooth dough.
- Break into 2 pieces, one a little larger than the other, wrap in cling film, pat into flat discs and chill for 30 mins.
- Heat oven to 180C.
- On a floured surface, roll out pastry to the thickness of about 5 mm.
- Use the pastry to line a 20 cm metal pie plate or tin, leaving a little excess pastry overhanging – trim with a pair of scissors if necessary.
- Line the base with baking parchment and baking beans, and blind-bake for 20 mins.
- Mix the cherries, cornflour, coconut sugar, almond essence and vanilla in a bowl.
- Remove the beans and parchment from the base, brush the pastry with some of the beaten aquafaba and bake for 5 mins more until golden.
- Turn the oven down to 160C.
- Tip the cherries into the centre of the pie.
- Roll out the remaining pastry to the same thickness as before.
- Slide the pastry onto a well-floured sheet of baking parchment.
- Brush some almond milk over the edge of the pie rim and all over the lid.
- Carefully lift the baking parchment and pastry, and slide the pastry lid onto the pie, removing the parchment.
- Trim the excess pastry, then use a fork to press the lid to the base.
- Brush top of pie with some more almond milk.
- Bake for 30 mins.
- Take out of the oven and let it cool.
Whipped coconut cream
- In a bowl, using an electric whisk, mix together coconut cream, icing sugar and lemon juice until thick.
- Serve pie with whipped cream on top.