Cherry Pie

CherryPie_2

So I guess I better put it out there: after all my hoping and all signs pointing in my direction, I won’t be on the Great British Bake Off this year. And now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to continue in my pajama-clad adventures!

This week I decided to make a cherry pie with a latticed top. I originally found the recipe in a cookbook my friend Leslie gave me for Christmas, but it called for cherry brandy. Having none on hand I instead substituted a bit of Coke, which I think tasted pretty awesome. I also love the addition of the allspice to the pastry – it makes for an extra tasty flaky pie crust.

I’ll admit, the lattice is a little tricky to do – the key is to make sure your dough is good and chilled so that it doesn’t want to fall apart when you go to create the top. Best served warm with a scoop of ice cream on top, this pie is sure to cheer you up when you slice into it and see that there’s not a soggy bottom in sight!

Ingredients

For the pastry:

  • 2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • 2 eggs, beaten, plus 1 extra beaten
For the filling:
  • 6 cups fresh cherries, pitted (about a pound of cherries)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 teaspoons Coca-cola
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted

CherryPie_1

Directions

1. First make your pastry; sift together the flour, baking powder, and allspice into a large bowl. Then stir in the salt and sugar and mix well. Rub in the butter until the mixture looks like fine bread crumbs. Make a well in the center, power in the eggs and mix into the dough until it comes together. If you need to, add a tiny bit of ice cold water to help. Once it comes together, divide your dough into two halves, wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.

2. While your dough is chilling, make your cherry filling. Put half of the cherries into a saucepan over medium heat. Add in all of the sugar, then bring to a simmer. Once simmering, stir in the almond extract, Coke, and allspice.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and water until it makes a paste. Stir the paste into your saucepan with the cherries and boil until the mixture thickens. Stir in the remaining cherries and remove from the heat.

4. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Roll out your dough balls on a lightly floured surface until they’re large enough to cover your pie plate. Use one of them to line the pie plate.

4. Pour your cherry filling over the lined pie plate, then dot with the melted butter. Cut the remaining dough into strips that are about 1/2-inch wide, then lay them over the top of the pie filling, creating a lattice. Trim and seal the edges with a bit of water and crimp around the outside edge. Brush the top of the pastry with the last beaten egg – this will help give it a golden shine on the top.

5. Cover the pie with aluminum foil, then bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, then bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the top is golden. Allow the pie to cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting into it.

 

Coca Cola Cupcakes

Ben had purchased a bottle of Coke for the weekend, as we thought a friend as joining us for dinner. Turns out he had to cancel, and since I’ve been trying to be really good about not drinking soda I had to find a way to use up a good bit of it. Then I remembered when I made these cupcakes a few years ago and I set out on making them again, only better.

For the frosting on these, I swirled a mix of cherry and vanilla buttercream so that I ended up with two separate colors. One day I’ll do a tutorial on it, but for now I’d suggest Google. But these will taste just as good with only one flavor of frosting!

Big thanks to A Cozy Kitchen for the cake recipe. These tasted amazing, especially with the Coke glaze and frosting on top.

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 cups Coca-Cola
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2  eggs
For the glaze:
These measurements are approximate, because I just do these by feel/consistency.
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 4 teaspoons Coca-Cola
For the frosting:
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, softened (you want it just a tiny bit firm still so that the icing will be stiffer for piping)
  • 4 cups icing sugar (sifted)
  • Maraschino cherries
  • red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325° F (approx 160°C). Place cupcake liners into the pan.

2. Stir the butter, cocoa powder, and Coca-Cola in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts, then whisk in the sugars until smooth. Remove the mixture from the heat and set aside to cool.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda. In a small bowl, beat the two eggs, then whisk them into the cooled chocolate mixture.

4. Pour the chocolate mixture to the large bowl with your flour mixture, then gently fold it in. The batter should still have a few lumps in it – but that’s okay as long as everything is mixed together.

5. Pour about 1/3 cup of batter into each of your prepared cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

6. To make the glaze, mix the icing sugar with the Coca-Cola to get a thick, but runny icing (similar to the consistency I used for my cinnamon buns). Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the tops of the cupcakes. Don’t worry about covering the entire surface, just let it run off where it wants to. Oh, and this is best done while they’re still on the wire rack with a baking sheet underneath to catch the extra drizzle.

7. Now it’s time for the frosting. In a large bowl, use a mixer to cream the butter until it is light and fluffy. Then gradually mix in the icing sugar. To make the cherry flavor, add in some of the syrup from the jar of Maraschino cherries as well as the red food coloring to give it a pink hue. To make the vanilla flavor, just add in the vanilla and leave the frosting white. If you’d like to make both flavors and try swirling the frosting, be sure to divide the frosting into two separate bowls before adding any flavorings. Continue to mix on a high speed for approximately 5 minutes until light and fluffy.

8. Pipe your frosting onto the cupcakes in a swirl. Then top each one with a Maraschino cherry. If you’d like to do both flavors, mix the frosting in your piping bag by filling the left half of the bag with one flavor and the right half with the other. I find this is a lot easier if you put the piping bag into a glass and place a spatula or large spreading knife down the center to keep the frostings on their respective sides. Once both flavors are in there, remove the spatula and pipe as normal!