Deep-dish cherry pie with lemon thyme ice cream
- August 2013
- Serves 8-10
- Takes 50 min to make, 40 min to cook, plus infusing, resting, churning and freezing
This cherry pie made with cream cheese pastry is served with a homemade fresh lemon thyme ice cream. You can decorate the top with any shapes you like.
Did you know? Cream cheese pastry is much more elastic and robust than traditional shortcrust – a good confidence builder.
- 51.2g (30g saturated)
- 53.3g (32.5g sugar)
- 800g whole cherries, stoned
- 3 tbsp golden caster sugar
- 3 tbsp cornflour
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Sunflower oil for greasing
- 15g unsalted butter
- 1 free-range egg, beaten, to glaze
For the ice cream
- 570ml double cream
- 275ml whole milk
- 20g fresh lemon thyme sprigs
- 9 large free-range egg yolks
- 150g caster sugar
For the pastry
- 80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 120g Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temperature
- 55g double cream (weighed on scales)
- 250g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
- ½ tsp sea salt
- To make the ice cream, heat the cream and milk together in a pan until the mixture just steams. Add the thyme, reserving a couple of sprigs, and leave the mixture to cool and infuse for 2-3 hours, then strain.
- Gently reheat the cream mixture to steaming point. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, briefly mix the egg yolks with the 150g caster sugar until combined. Gradually pour the hot cream mixture over the eggs and sugar, stirring constantly, until mixed together. Return this custard to the cleaned pan and heat gently, stirring until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon. Strain into a bowl or jug and leave to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, pick the reserved thyme leaves and any flowers and, when the custard is completely cold, add them and stir through, then transfer to an ice cream machine and churn until softly frozen. Transfer to a container and freeze until solid. (If you don’t have an ice cream maker, freeze the custard when cooled, then remove from the freezer every hour or so to break up the ice crystals with a fork. Repeat until frozen, then whizz in a food processor before returning to the freezer until solid.)
- To make the pastry, whizz the butter, cream cheese and cream together in a food processor until combined and smooth. Pulse in the flour and 1 tbsp sugar with the salt until just combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and bring the dough together with your hands. Divide into two pieces – one two-thirds of the pastry and the other the remaining third. Shape into flattish discs, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes or overnight.
- While the pastry is resting, make the filling. Toss the cherries with the 3 tbsp caster sugar, cornflour and lemon juice, then set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan170°C/gas 5 with a baking sheet inside. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out the bigger disc on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a pound coin. Lightly oil a 23cm loose-based fluted pie tin and line with the pastry, pressing gently into the edges. Roll off the excess using a rolling pin, then chill. Roll out the smaller disc of pastry slightly thinner, then stamp out shapes (whatever you like) with a cutter. Fill the pastry case with the cherries and all the liquid, dot over the 15g butter, then glaze the pastry shapes with beaten egg and lay over the filling – overlap the edges to make a pattern that will stay secure when baked.
- Glaze the edge of the pie with more egg, then bake in the top third of the oven for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp and the cherries have softened. Remove from the oven, let it stand for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and serve with the ice cream.
Cream cheese pastry is much more elastic and robust than traditional shortcrust, so it’s great to work with if you want to build up your pastry-making confidence.
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