Practically Perfect Pastry for a Cherry Pie + a Vegan version

perfectpastry

I have many types of pastry in my repertoire.  Last summer I entered a cherry pie contest and had an opportunity to make about 3 dozen cherry pies in preparation.   I didn’t win the contest, but I have a black belt (red belt?) now in cherry pie.   My neighbors were so tired of eating pie, they began to sneak to the back of their house when I came up the walk.

The right pastry is everything with cherry pie.   Because the perfect cherry pie is tart and made with pie cherries, you want a perfect complement.   I decided just a hint of tart in the pastry seemed to work.    Because I’m currently enjoying year two of a love affair with cardamom, I sometimes use just a pinch of it in my pastry for cherry pie.

The most important thing to remember with any pastry is temperature:  Everything should be cold.  When I began making pastry, I would even freeze flour in order to give myself the best chance of success.

Here is the recipe, and below a vegan version which is excellent.  I will also post the complete recipe for a Cherry Pie in another post.

Pastry for a Cherry Pie

2 1/2 C Flour
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh, finely ground, cardamom*
1 C Unsalted butter – frozen
1/3 C Sour Cream
1/3 C Ice Water

In a small pitcher, whisk together sour cream and ice water.  Add a cube or two of ice to keep cold.  In a Cuisinart, pulse dry ingredients.   Add chilled or frozen butter, cut into about half inch pieces.  Pulse dry ingredients with butter until it resembles a coarse meal.  It should feel like small, hard pebbles.  While pulsing Cuisinart, dribble in your sour cream ice water slurry.   You may need a tidbit more water.   Pastry will “pull together” and is then ready.   Divide in half, press into a round disc, and cover with saran wrap.  Set aside to rest at least 30 minutes, up to 48 hours.

Vegan Pastry for a Cherry Pie

2 1/2 C Flour
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh, finely ground, cardamom*
1 C Shortening – Spectrum Organics
1/3 C Plain Soy yogurt
1/3 C Ice Water

Prior to making pastry, measure 1 C shortening (I use only Spectrum Organics and I cannot vouch for the coconut – I have not tried it) wrap in wax paper and put in freezer.  It should be chilled enough in about 30 minutes.  In a small pitcher, whisk together soy yogurt and ice water.  Add a cube or two of ice to keep cold.  In a Cuisinart, pulse dry ingredients.   Add chilled or frozen shortening, cut into small chunks.  Pulse dry ingredients with shortening until it resembles a coarse meal.  It should feel like small, hard pebbles.  While pulsing Cuisinart, dribble in your yogurt ice water slurry.   You may need a tidbit more water.   Pastry will “pull together” and is then ready.   Divide in half, press into a round disc, and cover with saran wrap.  Set aside to rest at least 30 minutes, up to 48 hours.

* Cardamom should only be freshly ground.   If you buy it already ground in the supermarket, it is relatively flavorless.   It only has good strong flavor when freshly ground, so the best idea is to keep pods on hand and grind as you need it.

pastry1

Chunks of shortening in pastry, ready to pulse

pastry2This is about how you want the mixture to appear, prior to adding water

pastry3Almost there – two more pulses and it will all pull together…

pastry4And, done!

THIS is what a practically perfect pastry looks like from the side:

pieslice

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One thought on “Practically Perfect Pastry for a Cherry Pie + a Vegan version

  1. Pingback: Methow Valley Skillet Pie | Seattle Flour Child

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