About this recipe:Bored of mince pies? These Christmas cherry pies are the answer. These decadent little cherry pies can be eaten as casually as a mince pie, or can be dressed up as a fancy individual dessert for a Christmas dinner party. Filled with the flavours of Christmas, these little cherry pies will be a seasonal hit.
Makes: 12 cherry pies
340g plain flour
225g cold butter, sliced
110g golden caster sugar
1 pinch salt
4 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water
1 (850g) tin pitted black cherries, drained
zest and juice of 1 orange
30ml Cointreau® liqueur
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons icing sugar, for decorating
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Method Prep:20min › Cook:20min › Extra time:2hr › Ready in:2hr40min
Sift the plain flour into a large mixing bowl and add the cold butter. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the 110g golden caster sugar and a pinch of salt and mix well. Gradually add a little cold water until a soft dough forms. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the filling. Combine the cherries, orange zest and juice, Cointreau®, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6. Grease a 12 hole pie tin.
Remove the shortcrust pastry from the fridge and roll out onto a floured surface. Cut into rounds using a fluted biscuit cutter. Place in the pie tin and press down into the holes. Cut the lids at this time also and set aside.
Bake the pastry cases in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes until the shortcrust pastry rises slightly and is beginning to cook.
Remove from the oven and spoon the filling into each pie. Don't overfill at this stage or the filling will bubble over and cause a mess. Add the lid and brush with the egg.
Bake for a further 7 to 10 minutes until the pastry lid has turned golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Dust with icing sugar and serve.
Making great shortcrust pastry is focused around two things 1) working the dough as little as possible and 2) using cold ingredients and keeping the pastry cool. When it is time to add the water, add just enough to ensure that the pastry keeps a good form when it is rolled out, but not too much water making it sticky. Remember, you can always add more water, but you can't take it away once added.