It pays to think outside the π because some unexpected combinations just work! Our house blended Ras El Hanout is a beautifully eccentric medley and it plays delightfully in fruit desserts. This rustic recipe doesn’t require a pre-cook of the filling. Just toss the filling ingredients together ahead of time and let them meld together. As a result, the juice from the cherries are infused with the Ras El Hanout and the flavors truly blossom. As lovers of spice we’ve used a heavy hand on the flavor here, so enjoy!
- 5 cups fresh cherries, pitted
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Ras El Hanout, ground
- 9 cups cake flour
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups unsalted cold butter, grated
- 3 tablespoons plain vodka
- 1 cup ice water
- In a large bowl combine the cherries, cornstarch, sugar, almond extract and Ras el Hanout. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for 1 hour before filling the pie.
- In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. With a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture. Knead the flour mixture by hand until crumbly. The butter should look pea-sized. Add the vodka and mix by hand. Add in the ice water a quarter cup at a time, until the dough is soft and doesn't split when pressed between two fingers. Form two dough balls and flatten into round disks. Let these chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
To assemble the pie
- Once chilled, roll out one dough ball into a 13-inch large circle on a floured surface. Pan spray your pie pan and neatly lay the rolled out sheet of pie dough into the pie pan. Gently pat dough into pan and add the cherry filling, spreading it out evenly.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out pie crust into a 13-inch circle. Cut that circle of dough into 1-inch wide strips. A sharp knife and a ruler works well.
- Lay five dough strips across the top of the filled pie parallel to each other and evenly spaced. Use longer strips in the middle and shorter towards the edges of the pie.
- Position the pie in front of you with the dough strips facing away from you. Weave the remaining strips across the pie at a 90 degree angle in an over/under pattern to create the lattice. Using scissors, trim dough strips overhanging the pie by 1 inch.
- Fold the ends of each strip underneath the edge of the pie so that it creates a thicker, 1/4-inch border that rests on the lip of the dish.
- Crimp edges of the pie crust and brush he top with egg wash before baking.
- Transfer the pie to the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until the crust turns golden brown. Reduce the temperature to 350° and bake for 1 hour until the juices start to bubble in the center.
- Cool the pie for thoroughly before digging in.
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Try this recipe with peaches or mixed berries too! Adjust the level of sugar to suit your taste and the sweetness of whatever fruit is in season. Crusts can be made ahead and the no-cook simplicity of the filling make this a great go-to recipe in any season.