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Shelly Johnson’s Cherry Pie






150g (generous ½ cup) cherry jam
150g (¾ cup) caster sugar
1 ½ tablespoons cornflour
3 tablespoons water or bourbon whiskey
1.25kg (2lb 12oz) sweet cherries, pitted
(750g/1lb 10oz pitted weight)
1 large egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon
water, for glazing
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

450g (3 2/3 cups) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
50g (scant ½ cup) ground almonds
100g (generous ¾ cup) icing sugar
pinch of sea salt
250g (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons water

1 For the pastry, place the flour, ground almonds, icing sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the butter and rub in with the fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

2 Beat the egg with the vanilla extract and measured water. Stir the liquid into the flour with a fork, then your fingers, and bring the mixture together to form a firm dough. Divide the dough in half, flatten each portion into a disc, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

3 Meanwhile, place the jam and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, then mix the cornflour and measured water or Bourbon together and stir into the cherry mixture. Bring to the boil again, stirring all the time, until thickened. Remove from the heat, add the cherries, mix well and leave to cool completely.

4 Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F), Gas Mark 6. Roll out one pastry disc on a lightly floured surface and use to line the base and sides of a greased 24-cm (9½ -inch) pie dish (metal is best). Fill with the cherry mixture and brush the top of the pie edge with a little of the egg glaze.

5 Thinly roll out the remaining pastry disc and cut into long zig-zag shapes. Arrange them on top of the pie, pressing to stick them to the pie base around the edges.

6 Brush the pastry with more of the egg glaze and sprinkle over the sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes until the crust is golden, then reduce the temperature to 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4 and bake for a further 35–40 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is crisp, covering the pastry with foil, if necessary, to prevent it burning. Allow the pie to cool for about 1 hour before serving.

Damn Fine Cherry PIe

Extracted from Damn Fine Cherry Pie. Available here.