This was going to be a post about the delicious and beautiful cherry pie I made the other day.
It is English cherry season and the greengrocer near my office has had dark, gorgeous, glossy cherries in the shop for a week or so, and I have been daydreaming about pie. So a couple of days ago I cracked open Nigel Slater’s Tender, the fruit volume, and got all excited about pie-making.
Nigel is ambivalent about stoning cherries; I gather he generally can’t be bothered, which is fair enough. But I never make cherry anything, let alone pie, so I thought I’d put the effort in.
Stoning cherries is a messy business. I had never tried it before. Mr Meg helped me, going for the ‘stab cherry with skewer and push the stone out the other side whilst liberally spraying the surrounding area with juice’ technique, while mine was a more traditional slice-and-yank-out-stone approach. When we were finished we looked like Lady Macbeth.
I made a sweet pastry crust, put the fruit in the dish, laid the pastry on top ripping it in the process but managing to patch it up with some improvised leafy-things, and popped it in the oven. I pulled the pie out when it was done, and it looked beautiful. I put it on a chopping board to take it into the living room for its photo shoot and… splatted it upside down all over the kitchen floor.
The immediate aftermath was pretty gruesome… if the police had happened to call in, I’m sure they would have asked where we’d hidden the body. It all got mopped up eventually though and we sadly scraped a few unsullied cherries off the bottom of the dish with a spoon, whilst imagining what a whole slice would have tasted like (answer- pretty damn good).
BUT (apologies for the length of this post, it does end happily, and soon, I promise) the next day I decided the best way to banish the memory of my cherry disaster would be to embark on another baking adventure, so I made…
nectarine and blueberry cobbler. Another Nigel Slater recipe, this time from the Kitchen Diaries. It was scrumptious! The photos are pretty average since it was dark by the time it came out of the oven, but crucially it survived the trip from the kitchen to the dining table in one piece, right-side-up. The remains are now lurking in the fridge ready to spring a delicious breakfast surprise on me tomorrow morning.
And they all lived happily ever after! Except for the blueberries and the nectarines, which got eaten.