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Fans of Twin Peaks will love Marika Gauci's cheeky homage to its hero, Dale Cooper, but this pie is a winner whether you're into 90s cult TV or not. Simply delicious!


This is my homage to the legendary cherry pie served at the local diner in the cult series from the 1990s. Twin Peaks was dark, twisted and often funny. The main character, Agent Dale Cooper, was a connoisseur of cherry pie and had a famous fondness for this one. If you aren't familiar with Twin Peaks, it's enough to know that a fresh cherry pie is the perfect summer pie.

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For the Filling:
110g sugar
3 level tbsp cornflour
850g cherries, de-stoned (roughly 700g when de-stoned)
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp water
½ tsp almond essence or 1 tbsp Amaretto
For the flaky pastry:
80ml ice-cold water
1 tsp lemon juice
100g butter
100g vegetable shortening (e.g. Crisco, Trex, Cookeen)
300g plain flour
a pinch of salt
1 egg, whisked with 1 tsp cold water, for glazing
sugar, for dusting

Essential kit

You will need a 22cm-round pie dish.

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Watch how to make the pie below


You will need: 22cm-round pie dish

First make the pie filling. Mix the sugar and cornflour in a bowl then carefully drop in the cherries. Mix to coat them in the sugar, then set aside for 5 minutes.

Transfer the coated cherries to a saucepan set over a low heat and add the lemon juice, water and almond essence. Mix to combine and cook with the lid on for 7 minutes. Your aim is to break down the cherries a little to make the start of a thick juice. Watch the time carefully, and stir occasionally; you don't want the cornflour and sugar to stick to the bottom of the pan. After 7 minutes take the pan off the heat and leave to cool completely.

Make the flaky pastry. Add lemon juice to the ice-cold water.

Cube the cold fats and loosely rub together with the flour using your fingertips, leaving pea-sized lumps. (Yes, it's GOOD to leave lumps for this recipe.)

Next add the ice-cold water mixed with lemon juice, and lightly bind together until you have a soft dough. Flatten the dough and wrap it in cling film. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling out and using it to line your pie dish. Refrigerate the dough (in the dish) for 15 minutes before adding the filling.

Once you've returned the pastry to the fridge for the second time, preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 and place a baking tray inside to heat up.

When your pastry and filling are completely cool, remove the pastry from the fridge and roll it out to roughly the thickness of a pound coin (about 2mm), using a one-directional rolling technique. Remember to flour your rolling pin and worktop and not your pastry, so your pastry doesn't dry out.

Don't stretch your pastry to fit the dish. Push the pastry down to avoid air pockets (you can patch up a few holes with leftover pastry). Leave an overhang of pastry to tidy up later once the pie is sealed. Tip your cold filling into the pastry-lined dish.

Decorate it using the lattice method. Use a long ruler and a knife to slice the pastry into roughly 2cm-thick strips. Egg-wash the rim of the pie, then weave the lattice strips across the top, pinching and crimping the edges to keep them tidy. Brush the white of an egg around the sides and bottom of the pastry shell and sprinkle lightly with flour before you add the filling to help the juices stay put and give the pie a golden bottom.

Place your pie on the hot tray in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 and bake for a further 35-40 minutes until golden brown on top and the filling is bubbling up. If the pie is browning too quickly, place some foil around the crust edge, leaving the middle to bake and bubble through. Leave to cool completely.

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