Before I made this pie (and then ate a quarter of it during a revision break), I’d never actually eaten cherry pie before. I think this is down to two factors: I basically never bake with cherries (yo, £4.50 for a 400 g carton. I’d normally rather just eat them straight up) and I also don’t bake pie that much; check my archives, you’ll see how true this is. I adore pastry, especially this almondy, mega buttery one but I usually find that there’s just TOO much fruit in pies for my taste. I want a generous pastry:fruit ratio, man. I want butter.
I haven’t really been around all that much pie in my lifetime, save one pie: Gooseberry pie.
As my dad grows gooseberries, my mum always ends up making pie with them (because other than making fool, there’s not much else you can do with them) using a special pastry – the amount of butter in it and the use of ground almonds makes it a verrrry delicate dough which sinks down and hugs the fruit as the pie bakes. The resulting pie has a bumpy, kinda cobblestone-y look to it which is ADORABLE. The key to success there is the large, rounded shape of the berries..
..and what’s similar between gooseberries and cherries? Their shape! So I subbed the gooseberries for whole, pitted cherries which had been soaked in amaretto (*insert thumbs up emoji*) and voila, the same bumpy pie effect was achieved.
(Err do you see what I mean about the amount of pastry I require in order to enjoy pie?)
It was a bit more effort than I was anticipating to pit the cherries (if you don’t bake with cherries, you probably won’t own a cherry pitter…e.g. me) but I found using a paring knife and a pastry tip was easy enough. It just looked a bit like I’d had a knife accident and bled everywhere for a lil bit :/ so make sure you don an apron/don’t wear a white top if you’re in the make-shift cherry pitting game.
I think that cutting the cherries in half and removing the pits that way would also work but the bumpiness wouldn’t be as extreme soo it’s totally up to you! oH and if you DO happen to have gooseberries and wanna use them instead Go. For. It. You might just have to increase the sweetness of the filling cos gooseberries are tart az.
Otherwise I really recommend trying pie my way (I’m talking about how it’s like 50% crust) or if you really have to make it fruitier then double up the filling and just don’t tell me you did that.