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Sour Cream Cherry Pie

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Recipe from Tarts With Tops On or How To Make The Perfect Pie by Tamasin Day-Lewis

Sour cream works well with acidic fruit like cherries and apples. You can use three beaten eggs with the sour cream and turn the filling into a custard sauce, or do what I prefer, coat the fruit stickily with the double hit of sharp/sweet sour cream and sugar.....Tamasin Day-Lewis

Serves 6

1 1/2 lb. cherries, pitted with a cherry pitter, or use the Morello cherries that you can buy in a jar
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup light brown sugar, or to taste

Shortcrust Pastry Dough (see ingredients and instructions below)
1 egg white
Demerara sugar for the top (optional)

Combine all the filling ingredients in a large bowl and leave for 15 minutes or so. Roll out the dough into 2 large circles, one a little larger than the other.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 C). Line a greased pie pan with the larger circle of dough, then mix the fruits, sugar, and sour cream again and tip them into the pie pan, mounding them up in the center. Place the second piece of dough over the top and crimp the edges together. Cut a hole for the steam to escape through and decorate with leftover dough pieces if you have any left. Brush the top with egg white and throw over a little demerara sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (180 C) and continue to cook for 30 minutes, or until browned and bubbling. Serve warm or cold with more cream.

Makes 6 servings.

Shortcrust Pastry Dough

3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsalted butter
pinch of salt

Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a food processor, then cut the cold butter into small pieces on top of it. I process it for 20-30 seconds, then add ice-cold water through the top, a tablespoon at a time--2- 2 1/2 tablespoons should be enough for about 10 oz. of dough--with the machine running. If the paste is still in crumbly bits after a minute or two, add a tablespoon more water, but remember, the more water you use, the more the crust will shrink if you bake it blind. One solution is to use a bit of cream or egg yolk instead of water. The moment the dough has cohered into a single ball, stop, remove it, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

If you're making pastry dough by hand, sift the flour into a large bowl with the salt, add the chopped butter, and work as briskly as you can to rub the fat into the flour. Use the tips of your fingers only, rather like running grains of hot sand through your fingers. Add the water bit by bit as above; wrap and chill the dough.

If you're making a double crust pie, divide the dough into roughly two-thirds and one-third. Then scatter a bit of flour on your work surface, roll your rolling pin in it, dust the palm of your hands, and start rolling. Always roll away from yourself, turning the dough as you go, and keep the rolling pin and work surface floured to prevent sticking. Proceed with making pie as directed ablove.

Photograph taken by Diana Baker Woodall 2004

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