SWEET AS CHERRY PIE, GOES THE SONG. FIONA SMITH HAS TARTS AND PIES TO DELIGHT (AND YES, THERE’S CHERRY).
My grandmother was a big fan of baked desserts, her specialities being apple crumble and rice pudding. Maybe this has influenced me in my preference for this kind of dessert and top of my list has to be pie. Crisp pastry and a tender filling served with ice cream equals a winner in my book. Nana’s crochet collection has made it out of the back of the cupboard and into a stunning debut in Fiona Lascelles’ black and white backgrounds for this feature.
I have designed all these recipes to fit a 23-24cm (9 inch) pie dish or tart tin, such as your standard Pyrex glass dish, as this is the most common size. You might have a favourite old pie dish that is smaller which is still fine to use; you will just have extra base and filling, so make another small pie or a few mini pies for another occasion.
Pastry can get very dark around the edges when baking pies so I always have a foil collar ready to slip on to cover the rim when I feel it is getting too dark, usually after about 20 minutes. For pies that are first blind baked then baked again, I line the pastry shell with nonstick foil for the blind bake so the pastry doesn’t colour too much in this step.