I’ve made this vegan cherry pie with sweet, buckwheat shortcrust pastry so that it can be a gluten-free dessert. It doesn’t have to stay this way, however. If you prefer a standard shortcrust, then you can use the one from my apple pie recipe.
I’m sure I’ve said many times that a cold slice of yesterday’s fruit pie with a dash of vegan cream is, without a doubt, my favourite breakfast. I go nuts for it. Don’t worry, I’m not cramming down thick slices of fruit pastry every morning before work. It’s an occasional treat that I probably have a few times a year. I don’t make fruit pies very often, but when I do, it’s always the next morning I’m looking forward to.
This vegan cherry pie uses frozen cherries, as it removes all the arduous work during prep. They produce a fair amount of liquid, so it’s a good idea to cook them down a little with the sugar first, then use a slotted spoon to put the cooked cherries into the pie base. You can always add more of the remaining liquid from the pan if it’s looking too dry. Blind baking is also essential, as it is with so many shortcrust pies, to make sure you have a firm and cooked base before adding the wet filling.
If you’re looking for a main course to go with this vegan cherry pie, then my Vegan Tenders are the perfect choice.
Vegan Cherry Pie with Sweet Buckwheat Pastry
Prep time: 15-20 minutes. Chilling time: 1 hour. Cooking time: about 45 minutes.
For the Pastry:
450g buckwheat flour, plus extra for rolling
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp baking powder
75g icing sugar
200g vegan margarine, plus extra for greasing
150ml rice milk, plus extra for brushing
For the Cherry Filling:
2x 500g packs frozen cherries
250g unrefined sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
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First make the pastry. Put the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar into a mixing bowl and combine. Put the margarine in the bowl in separate little chunks, then use your fingers to work the margarine through the flour, over and over until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. This takes about 5 minutes.
Pour in the rice milk and use a table knife to mix it in. Bring it all together using your hands and form the pastry into a ball. Cover and chill for an hour before using.
Put the cherries, sugar and vanilla into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring from time to time while it heats up. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the cherries are soft and the sauce is reduced.
Preheat the oven to gas 6/200C/400F and grease a deep pie dish with the margarine.
While the cherries are cooking, roll out 2/3 of the pastry dough on a floured surface, until it exceeds the size of the pie dish with enough to cover the sides. Gently place the pastry into the dish (you can press down any cracks that appear while doing this), and trim away the excess.
Next, line the dish with greaseproof paper, so that the paper sits on top of the pastry, then fill the dish with dried rice or baking beans. Bake the pastry in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove the rice and paper and bake for another 5 minutes, so that the base is firm and slightly cooked.
Once the cherries are done, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the sauce and fill the pie with them. You can add a bit of the remaining liquid here to give the filling some moisture.
Roll out the other third of the pastry to the size of the pie dish and gently place over the top, trimming any excess. Press down the edges with the tines of a fork and then brush over the surface with the extra rice milk. Put two slits in the centre of the pie lid to allow steam to escape during cooking, then put the pie in the middle of the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown, and allow the pie to cool slightly before serving.
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