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Sour Cherry Pie with Candied Almond Semifreddo

Summer 2017
F201704040.jpg
food and drink

BY: Joanne Yolles

For this recipe, the crust gets pre-baked and the cherry filling precooked; both are extra steps taken to avoid soggy pastry. Sour cherries are meant to be on the tart side, but taste the filling after it’s cooked and add a little more sugar if you like. The accompanying Candied Almond Semifreddo will also add its own sweetness.

1 recipe All Butter Pie Pastry, divided and shaped into 2 discs (recipe follows)

SOUR CHERRY FILLING
¼ cup (60 mL) cornstarch dissolved in
3 tbsp (45 mL) cold water
6 cups (1.5 L) sour cherries, pitted (see TIP)
1 cup (250 mL) sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla bean paste (optional)

1 egg mixed with 1 tbsp (15 mL) water for egg wash
Granulated sugar for sprinkling

1. On a lightly floured surface, roll one disc of dough to a 12-inch (30-cm) circle and transfer to a 9-inch (23-cm) pie plate. Fold the overhang under itself so it is sitting on top of the rim of the plate, and crimp decoratively. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Place the oven rack in the lowest positon and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

3. Prick the bottom of the pie shell with a fork then line with foil, making sure to fold the foil completely over the top edge. Fill with pie weights (dried beans), building them up the sides. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the sides are dry and set. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 350°F (180°C). Remove the foil and weights and place the pie shell back in the oven. Bake until the crust is completely dry and beginning to take on colour, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

4. For the filling, dissolve the cornstarch in cold water and set aside. Combine the cherries and sugar in a large pot and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cherries release their juice. Increase the heat and bring the cherries to a simmer. Add the cornstarch mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture boils and thickens, and the liquid becomes translucent. Remove from heat, add the vanilla bean paste if using and transfer the cherry mixture to a bowl. Taste and add a little more sugar if desired. Cool completely.

5. Place the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

6. On a lightly floured surface, roll the second disc of dough to a 12-inch (30-cm) circle. Cut out pieces of dough with a cookie cutter and brush each piece with egg wash.

7. Transfer the cooled cherry mixture to the pre-baked pie shell. Top with the pastry cut-outs and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake the pie until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden brown, about 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack and serve with Candied Almond Semifreddo (recipe follows).

Serves 8 to 10

TIP Farmer’s markets in July are brimming with sour cherries, the only kind to use for this pie. Though pitting cherries takes time, it’s well worth the effort. Sour cherries are on the softer side so the pits can be removed with a slight squeeze. (Some Loblaws stores, and other grocers, now carry fresh pitted sour cherries, when in season—certainly a time saver.)

ALL BUTTER PIE PASTRY

This classic pastry can be used for a variety of pies, large and small. It makes enough for a double crust pie, but if you’re making a single crust, and you’re like me, you’ll make the full recipe and freeze the second piece for another time. You’ll be happy to have one on hand the next time around. For the Fresh Fig and Raspberry Galette, do not divide the dough in half. It may seem to be too much, but it gets rolled out into a large circle. For the Peach and Redcurrant Slab Pie, double the recipe and divide into two rectangles, about 5 x 7 inches (12 x 18 cm). And for the Wild Blueberry Hand Pies, substitute half the all-purpose flour with cake flour, divide the dough in half and shape into two 4 x 4-inch (10 x 10-cm) squares.

2½ cups (625 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) cold, unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch (1 cm) pieces
5 to 6 tbsp (75 to 90 mL) ice water

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter pieces and toss to coat with flour. With your fingertips or a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Some pea-sized pieces of butter should still be visible.

2. Drizzle 5 tbsp (75 mL) of ice water over the flour mixture and toss with a spatula or your hands until the water is incorporated. Gently squeeze the dough with your hands to bring it together. If the dough does not hold together, add more ice water in small increments, up to 1 more tbsp (15 mL).

3. On the work surface, gently pat the dough out to a rough rectangle about ½ inch (1 cm) thick. Fold the dough in half, and rotate the dough 90 degrees. Repeat the pressing and folding 1 or 2 more times until the dough comes together.

4. For 1 double crust pie, divide the dough in half and form into 2 flat discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and flatten a little more with your rolling pin. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight.

Makes 1 double crust pie, or 2 single crust pies

CANDIED ALMOND SEMIFREDDO

This frozen dessert is creamy, sweet and crunchy all at the same time—like an ice cream, but no machine is required.

CANDIED ALMONDS
¼ cup (60 mL) sugar
2 tbsp (30 mL) water
1 pkg (100 g) slivered almonds

SEMIFREDDO
5 egg yolks
¼ cup (60 mL) sugar
3 tbsp (45 mL) Amaretto Disaronno
¼ tsp (1 mL) almond extract
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream

1. For the candied almonds, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Place the sugar in a small saucepan. Add the water on top but do not stir. Cover the pot and place over medium-high heat. Once the sugar is dissolved and the liquid comes to a boil, remove the lid. Continue boiling to 225°F (110°C) or just until the edges of the liquid begin to take on colour.

2. Off the heat, add the almonds all at once and stir with a wooden spoon. Place the pot back over low-medium heat and continue stirring. The nuts will clump together and the sugar will crystallize. Continue stirring until the nuts have separated and are golden brown. Transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet and cool completely.

3. For the semifreddo, combine the egg yolks, sugar, Amaretto Disaronno and almond extract in a medium bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk the mixture constantly until it is aerated, light in colour and hot to the touch. Remove from heat and cool completely over an ice bath or in the fridge.

4. Beat the whipping cream to stiff peaks and fold into the cooled yolk mixture. Fold in about two-thirds of the candied almonds. Transfer the mixture to a container, cover and freeze overnight. Top with a few extra almonds when serving.

Makes 3 cups (750 mL)

F201704040.jpg
food and drink

Sour Cherry Pie with Candied Almond Semifreddo

Summer 2017

BY: Joanne Yolles

For this recipe, the crust gets pre-baked and the cherry filling precooked; both are extra steps taken to avoid soggy pastry. Sour cherries are meant to be on the tart side, but taste the filling after it’s cooked and add a little more sugar if you like. The accompanying Candied Almond Semifreddo will also add its own sweetness.

1 recipe All Butter Pie Pastry, divided and shaped into 2 discs (recipe follows)

SOUR CHERRY FILLING
¼ cup (60 mL) cornstarch dissolved in
3 tbsp (45 mL) cold water
6 cups (1.5 L) sour cherries, pitted (see TIP)
1 cup (250 mL) sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla bean paste (optional)

1 egg mixed with 1 tbsp (15 mL) water for egg wash
Granulated sugar for sprinkling

1. On a lightly floured surface, roll one disc of dough to a 12-inch (30-cm) circle and transfer to a 9-inch (23-cm) pie plate. Fold the overhang under itself so it is sitting on top of the rim of the plate, and crimp decoratively. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Place the oven rack in the lowest positon and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

3. Prick the bottom of the pie shell with a fork then line with foil, making sure to fold the foil completely over the top edge. Fill with pie weights (dried beans), building them up the sides. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the sides are dry and set. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 350°F (180°C). Remove the foil and weights and place the pie shell back in the oven. Bake until the crust is completely dry and beginning to take on colour, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

4. For the filling, dissolve the cornstarch in cold water and set aside. Combine the cherries and sugar in a large pot and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cherries release their juice. Increase the heat and bring the cherries to a simmer. Add the cornstarch mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture boils and thickens, and the liquid becomes translucent. Remove from heat, add the vanilla bean paste if using and transfer the cherry mixture to a bowl. Taste and add a little more sugar if desired. Cool completely.

5. Place the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

6. On a lightly floured surface, roll the second disc of dough to a 12-inch (30-cm) circle. Cut out pieces of dough with a cookie cutter and brush each piece with egg wash.

7. Transfer the cooled cherry mixture to the pre-baked pie shell. Top with the pastry cut-outs and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake the pie until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden brown, about 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack and serve with Candied Almond Semifreddo (recipe follows).

Serves 8 to 10

TIP Farmer’s markets in July are brimming with sour cherries, the only kind to use for this pie. Though pitting cherries takes time, it’s well worth the effort. Sour cherries are on the softer side so the pits can be removed with a slight squeeze. (Some Loblaws stores, and other grocers, now carry fresh pitted sour cherries, when in season—certainly a time saver.)

ALL BUTTER PIE PASTRY

This classic pastry can be used for a variety of pies, large and small. It makes enough for a double crust pie, but if you’re making a single crust, and you’re like me, you’ll make the full recipe and freeze the second piece for another time. You’ll be happy to have one on hand the next time around. For the Fresh Fig and Raspberry Galette, do not divide the dough in half. It may seem to be too much, but it gets rolled out into a large circle. For the Peach and Redcurrant Slab Pie, double the recipe and divide into two rectangles, about 5 x 7 inches (12 x 18 cm). And for the Wild Blueberry Hand Pies, substitute half the all-purpose flour with cake flour, divide the dough in half and shape into two 4 x 4-inch (10 x 10-cm) squares.

2½ cups (625 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) cold, unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch (1 cm) pieces
5 to 6 tbsp (75 to 90 mL) ice water

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter pieces and toss to coat with flour. With your fingertips or a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Some pea-sized pieces of butter should still be visible.

2. Drizzle 5 tbsp (75 mL) of ice water over the flour mixture and toss with a spatula or your hands until the water is incorporated. Gently squeeze the dough with your hands to bring it together. If the dough does not hold together, add more ice water in small increments, up to 1 more tbsp (15 mL).

3. On the work surface, gently pat the dough out to a rough rectangle about ½ inch (1 cm) thick. Fold the dough in half, and rotate the dough 90 degrees. Repeat the pressing and folding 1 or 2 more times until the dough comes together.

4. For 1 double crust pie, divide the dough in half and form into 2 flat discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and flatten a little more with your rolling pin. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight.

Makes 1 double crust pie, or 2 single crust pies

CANDIED ALMOND SEMIFREDDO

This frozen dessert is creamy, sweet and crunchy all at the same time—like an ice cream, but no machine is required.

CANDIED ALMONDS
¼ cup (60 mL) sugar
2 tbsp (30 mL) water
1 pkg (100 g) slivered almonds

SEMIFREDDO
5 egg yolks
¼ cup (60 mL) sugar
3 tbsp (45 mL) Amaretto Disaronno
¼ tsp (1 mL) almond extract
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream

1. For the candied almonds, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Place the sugar in a small saucepan. Add the water on top but do not stir. Cover the pot and place over medium-high heat. Once the sugar is dissolved and the liquid comes to a boil, remove the lid. Continue boiling to 225°F (110°C) or just until the edges of the liquid begin to take on colour.

2. Off the heat, add the almonds all at once and stir with a wooden spoon. Place the pot back over low-medium heat and continue stirring. The nuts will clump together and the sugar will crystallize. Continue stirring until the nuts have separated and are golden brown. Transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet and cool completely.

3. For the semifreddo, combine the egg yolks, sugar, Amaretto Disaronno and almond extract in a medium bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk the mixture constantly until it is aerated, light in colour and hot to the touch. Remove from heat and cool completely over an ice bath or in the fridge.

4. Beat the whipping cream to stiff peaks and fold into the cooled yolk mixture. Fold in about two-thirds of the candied almonds. Transfer the mixture to a container, cover and freeze overnight. Top with a few extra almonds when serving.

Makes 3 cups (750 mL)

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