Vegan Cherry Pie
I love pie, I love pie season, and I love cherries. And that's why I am so darn stoked to have made such a delicious cherry pie recipe for you all this year! I know I say this about a lot of pies but I can't help it... this might be my new favourite pie?? It is perfect for getting you into the fall/halloween spirit and goes so well with a spooky movie and a cup of coffee or tea. I hope you all decide to give this one a go, it truly is one for the books! As always tag me @mealsbymiri on Instagram if you give it a go so I can see how it turned out!
600g all purpose flour
300g dairy free unsalted butter
170g white granulated sugar
1.25 tsp fine table salt (reduce to 0.75tsp if using salted butter)
Approx 90-95g cold water
1,2kg frozen red cherries 300g granulated sugar
1/2tsp almond extract
2tbsp lemon juice
7tbsp corn starch*+7tbsp water
*If you want a runnier pie filling you can reduce this, or reduce the amount of total cook time by 5-10 minutes for the filling. The filling will also set more the colder it is.
To finish off:
1.5tbsp melted vegan butter
1.5tbsp maple syrup 2-3tsp granulated sugar
Whipped dairy free cream and chopped vegan chocolate to serve
To make the dough; add the flour, sugar and salt to a bowl and give it a good whisk. Add chunks of dairy free butter and either pinch them with your fingers or use a pastry cutter to slice it into small chunks through the flour. The chunks should be about pea sized and evenly distributed throughout the dry mixture. Then, gradually add your ice cold water while carefully kneading/stirring until it begins to come together. You may need to adjust the amount of water slightly, but you'll know it's done once it comes together as one shaggy dough that you can carefully knead into two equal sized discs. Do not kneed too much as you want to keep the chunks of butter intact. This will give you that flaky pie crust we're looking for!
Wrap each piece in cling film and chill for at least 1 hour in the fridge. Once rested roll out one half of the chilled pie dough into a disc somewhere between 0.75-1cm thick - using lots of flour to prevent it from sticking. Transfer it to a pie tin that's about 27.5cm in diameter. You can use a smaller pie tin too but you'll just have a bit more excess dough and filling. Trim away some of the excess dough around the edges (you want a few cm overhang on every side) and fold the rest on top of the edge of the tin. Crimp your crust as you like. Place back in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
Then, poke the crust slightly with a fork, add a sheet of parchment paper into the tin, then some tin foil and pie weights (dried beans or peas will work too) into the crust to prevent it from puffing up in the oven. Blind bake the crust at 200C for 20 minutes. Once it's done baking, remove the pie weights/dried beans and leave the crust to cool on the countertop as you make the filling.
Thaw your frozen cherries. Add them to a pot along with any juice that might've seeped out as they were thawing. Add sugar, lemon juice and almond extract to the same pot. Bring them to a simmer, and keep simmering without a lid to reduce the mix down for 15 minutes. Mix cornstarch with water. Gradually add to the pot until the filling thickens into your desired texture (The filling will get stiffer as it both bakes and cools. The amount listed makes for a fairly "stiff/hard" pie filling that can be sliced into pretty clean slices, so it's all up to you and how you like your pie). After adding the corn starch mixture, cook for an additional 10-15 minutes to thicken and reduce further. Let the filling cool until it's at room temperature.
Pour the filling into the pre-baked and cooled crust. At this point you want to preheat your oven back up to 200C.
Roll out the second half of dough into roughly the same diameter as the first. Slice the dough into strips about 3cm thick and layer them in a lattice pattern on top of the pie. You can do this by first placing the strips vertically across the pie and then folding up every second strip to place down a horizontal one. Then fold the strips back down and fold up the vertical strips that were down before to place down the next horizontal strip of dough. Continue this process until all the horizontal dough strips are placed and you should have a lattice.
Once you've added the lattice top, mix maple syrup and butter and brush all over the crust and lattice topping. Sprinkle on a few spoonfuls of granulated sugar. Tent the crust by making a ring of tin foil that fits outside of the pie tin, folding it over on top so it just covers the crust without touching it. This will prevent the edges from browning faster than the rest of the pie and becoming burnt/overcooked. For tips on how to do this check out the Preppy Kitchens apple pie video here.
Bake the pie on a wire rack in the middle of the oven at 200C for 40 minutes, then for 5 more minutes without the tin foil tenting if needed to give it a golden top. Remove from the oven and let it cool down before slicing into it. I let mine set in the fridge overnight, but that's mostly because I wanted a hardened filling to make photographing it easier. You do you! I do recommend letting it cool for at least a couple hours at room temperature though. Serve the pie with some vegan whipped cream and chopped chocolate and enjoy!