How To Make Award Winning Cherry Pie | Evening collection

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The big winner of this year’s South Side Pie Challenge, held October 9 at Nichols Park, was Amanda Houser, who won the laurels for her “Cherry Crumble”.

Houser, a perennial powerhouse in the Hyde Park pastry scene, had already won the competition in 2019 with a “Pitch-Perfect Key Lime Pie”. She shared the recipe for her latest effort with the Herald.

I discovered this recipe at the height of the pandemic. I have struggled to make a flaky crust in the past. Like most everyone, I was looking for ways to distract myself during my forties. The crust technique is called Pate Brisee and is the easiest and most efficient way to make a pie crust.

Crust:

200 grams of flour

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 teaspoon of salt

1 egg yolk at room temperature

30 grams of whole milk

130 grams of unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces

Crumble:

120 grams of cake flour

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of ginger

40 grams of light brown sugar

40 grams of fine sugar

60 grams of unsalted butter

Filling:

800 grams of sweet black cherries (it is better to freeze them and let them thaw completely)

30 grams of cornstarch

100 grams of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Instructions:

First cut the butter and set aside. Combine the milk and egg yolk in a bowl and set aside. In a blender fitted with a paddle, combine the flour, salt and sugar for 20 seconds over low heat. For the next 45 seconds, add the slices of butter one at a time. Add the mixture of milk and eggs; leave to mix for 30 seconds. The dough should be a shaggy mess – it is very important not to over mix. Discard on a clean surface. Gather the dough. Use the palm of your hand to press and push the dough away from you – this creates streaks of butter in the dough and a flaky crust. Form a disc wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Liberally pour the flour onto a surface then take the dough out of the refrigerator. Roll it out into an 11-inch circle. Place in the pie bowl. Make sure the dough is hanging 1/2 inch from the container. Repair all the holes. Take a fork and make holes all over the dough. Wrap and refrigerate for an additional 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 F. Place a baking sheet on crust and fill to top with uncooked rice or beans. Bake blind for 35-45 minutes. Turn halfway. To know it’s done, lift a baking sheet filled with rice or beans and the dough should be golden in color.

For the crumble: Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. To melt the butter. Pour the butter over the crumble. Mix until small balls form with your hands. Bake on a baking sheet at 350 F for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool.

For the Topping: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until completely combined.

Take the filling and pour it into a blind baked pie shell and cover with crumble. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour, turning halfway through cooking. When baking is complete, cut the crust.

Let cool and enjoy.


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