This week I opened my weekly fruit and veggie box to find a huge bag of very ripe cherries. Logically, there was nothing better to do that lazy Sunday afternoon than bake a cherry pie! I don’t make pies often so I was a little skeptical about this one, however it turned out perfectly: rich, jammy and tart vegan cherry pie filling in the middle with flakey, sweet pastry on the outside. Luckily for you (and me) I managed to write down the ingredients as I went.
NOTE: This is also a dairy free cherry pie. It's also refined sugar free. You dairy/sugar lovers can add ice cream at the end :)
I have since made the pie filling again and let me just say - there is no reason this jammy goodness needs to be confined to a pie crust. It also works beautifully swirled through a banana smoothie bowl, baked with an oat/nut crumble on top, or warmed and served on top of a bowl of steamy porridge.
It’s cherry season in Australia which means there is an abundance of fresh cherries everywhere, but if you live on the other side of the globe you could also grab a bag of frozen cherries and this recipe would work much the same. To save time, I decided to use store-bought dairy-free, gluten-free shortcrust pasty. If you’re up for a challenge try making your own pastry from scratch. Otherwise grab your favourite frozen pastry and a bag of cherries and lets get started!
A quick note on pitting cherries (if you’re using frozen, pitted cherries feel free to skip this!):
There are many different techniques for pitting cherries however the one I find most useful is the chopstick method! To do this, hold a stemmed cherry between your forefinger and thumb in one hand and a chopstick in the other. Drive the chopstick straight through the middle of the cherry until the seed pops out the bottom - it’s that simple!
As a side note, cherries are ridiculously healthy for you. Check out this study.
- 3 cups fresh or frozen cherries
- 1 cup organic coconut sugar
- 3 tbsp corn starch
- 4 medium green apples, cored and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 packet of vegan shortcrust pastry (GF if you require)
- 1/4 cup almond milk (or other plant milk)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C / 350 F. If using frozen pastry, remove from the freezer and allow to defrost while you prepare your vegan cherry pie filling.
- If you are using fresh cherries, de-stem and pit them (use the chopstick method explained above!)
- Add pitted cherries to a pan over medium heat (no need for oil/water) and heat for a few minutes until the juices start to release
- Add the sugar and stir until all of the sugar has dissolved
- Add the corn starch and stir quickly to remove any lumps before they set
- Stir the cherries continuously for a few minutes until the whole mixture thickens and becomes rich and jammy. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile add the apples to a pan over med-high heat with the water and spices. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat
- Cook the apples for around 10 minutes until just soft and all of the water has been evaporated. Remove from heat
- Roll out around half the pastry and press into the base of a pie tin. Blind bake the pie crust for around 10 minutes or until the edges are just golden (to blind bake line the pastry with a piece of baking paper and some uncooked rice - this holds down the pastry as it cooks and prevents bubbles from occurring)
- While the crust is blind-baking, gently mix the apple and cherry mixtures together
- Remove the crust from the oven and spoon the filling evenly inside.
- Roll out the second half of the pastry and cut into strips around 5cm thick
- Lay the strips of pastry over the pie filing one by one, crossing them over as you go to make a lattice (find out how to make a lattice here)
- Once the pie is covered, use a fork around the edges of the pie to stick the strips to the body of the pie. If you have leftover pastry like I did you can use a few strips to cover these messy edges.
- Brush the pastry with a little almond milk to help it brown
- Place the pie back in the oven for around 30 minutes or until golden. Keep a close eye on the pastry and as soon as it is evenly browned it is ready!