Extra-Flaky Cherry Pie

IMG_6700I had never been a particularly big fan of cherries growing up. I’d eat fresh when they were offered but they weren’t ever used in baking by family members. I can count my food dislikes on one hand, I pretty much love everything. Although one of my most loathed flavours is bitter almond, something that accompanies cherry in a lot of recipes. This means Cherry Bakewell tart is pushed to the side lines meaning my childhood memories of baked goods have not a cherry in sight.

When I started working in professional kitchens, one of the first things I noticed was the quality of the produce. Unlike anything you’ve ever tasted in the supermarket. Every ingredient had so much flavour, especially the fruit. Every year when cherries come into season, we receive large punnets of dark shiny cherries. Beautifully sweet and rich with their wine coloured juice, sometimes they seem too precious to do anything with other than leave them.

I’m also not an avid pie maker. Although I’ve always thought there was something so lovely about a pie that brings people together. Its humble but charming. Faced with the task at hand, I was determined to choose an extra flaky pie crust recipe. Enter Stella Parks. After much research, I chose Stella’s recipe knowing that the large butter layers and folding technique would ensure separate crisp layers.

My perfect cherry pie is crisp, buttery and golden. The filling needs to be firm enough to hold together when cut, but soft enough to that it remains silky when eaten. This turned out to be all those things. Delicious fresh. Delicious cold from the fridge. Delicious warmed in the microwave with ice cream. Delicious however you like it.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake with Cherry Compote

IMG_2540IMG_2533‘What shall I make this week?’ Is probably the question I ask most to family and friends.

Sometimes I sit for hours scouring the internet, desperately clawing for an idea that might take my fancy. I flick through practically new cook books I’ve never used. Shut the book, empty-handed and empty minded, only to remember why I didn’t ever use them before.

Other times, like this sweet time, an idea drifts out of nowhere and flutters into my lap. I stumble upon a thought or, most likely, my appetite leads me to something I don’t often eat. I love creating something I haven’t made in a while. I’m struck with a new feeling of vigour and I relish in my precious time in the kitchen. My little escape.

Nothing makes my mouth water more than an indulgent slice of sugary temptation.

Sitting there like bait. Something that has a humble, rustic quality¬†to it. Something that I don’t worry about eating and basically ruining because it’s too pretty. I read a quote recently that resonated with me; a quote I couldn’t agree more with.

‘Real food means big-flavoured unpretentious cooking. Good ingredients made into something worth eating. Just nice, uncomplicated food.’¬†– Nigel Slater Continue reading “Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake with Cherry Compote”