It’s the beginning of cherry season in the Southern parts of Australia and it’s time to make pie. These lovely little pastries or hand pies are a two-bite seasonal delight that heralds in the much anticipated West Australian stone fruit season. The addition of buckwheat flour and cardamom give them a ‘Christmasy’ taste-connection to Eastern European baking traditions where cherries are a beloved fruit in the dessert kitchen; and the nigella seeds, an interesting savoury note to round off the sweet cherry filling.
(Makes approx. 20)
500 g cherries, pitted & halved
4 tsp arrowroot (tapioca starch)
5 tbsp caster sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
300 g plain flour
70 g + extra buckwheat flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom
250 g unsalted butter, chilled & diced
100 ml chilled water
1 egg yolk
2 tbps milk
- To make the filling, stir the filling ingredients together and gently heat in a small saucepan for 5 minutes until the cherries have softened. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool before covering with plastic wrap and chilling.
- To make the pastry, place the flours, sugar, salt, cardamom and butter in the bowl of a food processer and blend for a few seconds until the butter is in very small pieces. Add the water and blend again until the pastry just starts forming into a mass. Transfer to a work surface and press the pastry together into a flattened disc. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 200 c. Roll the pastry dough out to approximately 2 – 3 mm thick and cut out 8 cm diameter discs using a round cutter. Place half the discs on a baking paper lined baking tray.
- Beat the egg yolk and milk together and brush around the edges of the pastry bases. Spoon a little of the filling onto the middle of each base, allowing a 1 cm border around the edge. Roll each remaining pastry circle out a little thinner before pressing on top of the bottoms. Press around the edges with the tines of a fork and then trim using the same round cutter.
- Brush the tops of each pastry with a little egg wash before pressing 4 small holes into the tops using the fork. Sprinkle over a little nigella seeds and refrigerate for 15 minutes before baking in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown.