Sunburst cherry blossom pie

  • For the pastry
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100g lard, chilled
  • 125ml ice cold water (plus 1 tbsp)
  • For the cherry blossoms
  • Leftover pastry
  • 8 red cherries
  • 15 dried cherries
  • 1 tbsp edible glitter
  • For the filling
  • 350g frozen dark sweet cherries, thawed
  • 300g frozen, pitted red tart cherries, thawed
  • 70g dried cherries
  • 3 tbsps melted butter
  • 60ml tart cherry juice concentrate
  • 3 drops almond extract
  • 3 drops red food coloring
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla pod pod (extracted seeds only)
  • 50g minute tapioca
  • 1 tbsp cream
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • For the glaze
  • 40g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp cream
For the pie pastry:

1) Place plain flour, salt and lard in a bowl. Cut in lard using a pastry blender until pea-sized pieces form. Add water and toss with a fork until mixture holds together. Refrigerate until chilled.

2) Cut in half and roll out bottom pastry to fit 23cm pie pan. Roll top pastry and cut spokes with serrated cutting wheel. Fold spokes to center and set aside.

3) Extra trim from pastry may be use for cutting cherry blossoms.

For the cherry blossoms:

1) Roll out excess trimmings from pastry. Cut off circles of pie pastry to desired size with round cookie cutter. With knife, cut into petals.

2) Place dried cheery or half of thawed cherry in center of each blossom and bake on baking sheet in a preheated 210C/Gas 6 oven.

3) Sprinkle with edible glitter, if desired.

For the filling:

1) Drain cherries. Place in a glass mixing bowl and microwave until at least room temperature.

2) Pour melted butter over cherries. Mix sugar, vanilla pod seeds and tapioca and add to bowl.

3) Combine cherry juice concentrate, almond essence and food coloring. Pour over cherries and mix gently.

4) Place in pie shell, unfold top pastry crust and cover the filling. Crimp to seal edges. Brush with cream and sprinkle with caster sugar.

5) Bake at 210 degrees C for 50 minutes. Cover crust with foil when desired color appears. Remove pie from oven.

6) Decorate with cherry blossoms and glaze. Serve warm.

For the glaze:
1) Mix together icing sugar and cream until a thin stream appears when the spoon is lifted from the bowl. Drizzle glaze over pie while still hot.

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