The fresh fruit section in bubbling with bags and bags of cherries, strawberries, peaches and plums as all the stone fruits celebrate their opulence! Summer is the best time to enjoy a vivid variety of fruits, and baking a Pie or Cobbler is the easiest way to use up a substantial amount of produce in one time, and of course, you end up with a beautiful and delicious dessert that you can share with your entire family.
Here’s a treat for all cherry-lovers out there, including me! This smaller and open version of a Cherry pie is a great way to bring color to your table. Instead of using a traditional pie crust, we roll out the pastry and edge it over a layer of fruit, just on the edges, so that most of the fruit stays exposed, and you can marvel its beauty as you see it bubbling away into the oven. It also looks prettier, and a wee bit tastier, because you can enjoy more fruit with less dough to dampen its taste. This recipe, adapted from Whole Foods website, is a very versatile recipe. I modified it to replace cinnamon with cardamom, and add some saffron to the cherry filling. You can use any fruit of your choice – berries, peaches, plums, anything that’s in season, and there’s hardly any room to go wrong!
Open-Faced Cherry Pie
Prep Time: 30mins
Bake Time: 45mins
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out pastry
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
10 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 tablespoons ice water, more if needed
1 pound fresh cherries, pitted and halved
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon saffron – soaked in 1 tbsp warm water, allowed to bleed
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
Note: Use a cherry-pitter for de-seeing the cherries, you’ll thank me for it!
Place both flours, 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl or food processor and whisk to combine or pulse to blend.
Add COLD butter and cut in using a pastry blender, or pulse in food processor. Add ICE water, one tablespoon at a time, until dough just begins to come together. Add a tablespoon or two more ice water if needed.
Gather the dough and shape into a disc. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss cherries in a medium bowl with remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cardamom powder, cornstarch, orange juice and orange zest. Allow the saffron to bleed in warm water, then add this to the filling.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Gently transfer dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Top with cherry mixture, leaving a 2-inch border on the outside which you can roll up over the fruit. Fold edges of dough up over fruit, leaving most of the fruit surface exposed in the center. Pinch the dough as you roll it up, so it stays tight and does not fall out while baking.
Bake until crust is golden and the fruit starts to bubble, about 45 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This is a very simple dessert to execute; but I CANNOT stress enough on using Cold butter and Ice Cold water to make the dough. These are essential to making a nice flaky crust, which does not crumble. The juicy fruit compliments the pastry very well, and the orange zest, cinnamon and saffron give it a unique taste and flavor.