Cherry pie


If you long to eat a gluten-free & dairy-free cherry pie, look no further!

I find gluten-free pastry needs to contain more moisture than the traditional kind, making it sticky and hard to handle. But if you use a chopping board and work quickly, you can even make a fully-encased pie like this one.

gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free

Preparation time 45 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling the pastry and 12 hours soaking the cashew nuts for the cashew nut cream Cooking time 1 hour Serves 8–10

dairy-free margarine, for greasing
1kg/2lb 4oz cherries, stoned
100g/3½oz/heaped ½ cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp cornflour
rice flour, for rolling the pastry
1 egg or egg yolk, beaten

110g/3¾oz/heaped ½ cup rice flour, plus extra for dusting
110g/3¾oz/heaped ¾ cup gram flour
75g/2½oz/scant ¾ cup ground almonds
75g/2½oz/scant ½ cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
1½ tsp xanthan gum
160g/5½oz chilled dairy-free margarine, diced
2 eggs, beaten
Cashew Nut Cream:

150g/5½oz/scant 1 cup cashew nuts
Put the nuts in a bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak at room temperature overnight or for at least 12 hours.
Drain and rinse the nuts thoroughly, then put them in a blender. Add 125ml/4fl oz/½ cup water and blend for 10 minutes or until smooth.
To make the pastry, sift the flours and xanthan gum into the bowl of a food processor and blend well. Stir in the almonds and sugar. Add the dairy-free margarine and blend until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the eggs and blend for 20–30 seconds until the mixture comes together to form a sticky dough. There should be a little extra moisture at the base of the bowl. If it is too dry, gradually add 1–2 tablespoons chilled water. If too sticky, add a little rice flour.
Shape the pastry into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and grease a 23cm/9in pie dish with dairy-free margarine. Put the cherries, fruit sugar and lemon juice in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20–25 minutes until the cherries have softened. Put the cornflour and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Stir the cornflour mixture into the cherries and cook for 3–4 minutes until the juice thickens.
Liberally dust a chopping board with rice flour and set aside one-third of the pastry. Roll out the remaining two-thirds of the pastry into a circle slightly larger than the pie dish, to allow enough pastry for the sides, and trim around the edges to neaten. Be careful as the pastry will still be slightly sticky. Put the pie dish, face-down, on top of the pastry, then, holding the board and pie dish together, turn them over to drop the pastry into the dish. Ease the pastry into place, pressing down carefully to remove any air pockets. Neaten the edge, using a sharp knife, then pour the cherry filling into the pastry case.
Dust the chopping board again with rice flour and roll out the remaining pastry into a circle very slightly larger than the pie dish, to allow enough pastry to press down at the edges. Using a pastry brush, brush the rim of the pastry already in the pie dish with water. Using a spatula, ease the pastry onto the top of the pie and press down around the rim with your fingers to seal and crimp the edge. Brush the top with the beaten egg, then, using a sharp knife, cut a small cross in the centre of the top pastry to let the steam out during baking.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is a rich, golden brown. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then serve hot, drizzled with cashew nut cream, if you like.

related ingredients: baking powder, fruit sugar, gram/chickpea flour, olive oil margarine, rice flour, soya cheese, soya margarines, xanthum gum

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