The slits cut in the top of this Pie are modeled after jalousies, or window blinds with adjustable horizontal slats. But instead of sunlight, cherry-studded custard peeks its way through.
Tips: Don't rush the removal of this pie from its pan. Wait until it fully cools, then work slowly to slice and remove. The longer you wait, the firmer the custard becomes and the easier it is to serve.
Food Fact: Custard powder, one of the ingredients called for in the custard filling, is similar to American pudding mix. Made mostly of thickeners and vanilla flavoring, it's easily found in supermarkets like Fairway, or others with an "International Foods" section. Bird's is probably the brand you'll spot, in a red, yellow, and blue tin.
Reprinted with permission by Angela Boggiano. Copyright © 2013. Published by Octopus Publishing. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.
- Yield:serves 6-8
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:2 hours, including baking and cooling
- 500g ready made puff pastry
- 200ml double cream
- 300ml full fat milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 125g caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons custard powder
- plain flour for dusting
- 400g fresh or frozen cherries, pitted
- Milk, for glazing
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
For the custard filling: Place the cream and milk in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Place the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla extract and custard powder in a large bowl and whisk together until smooth.
Pour the hot milk and cream over the egg mixture whisking continuously. Leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400f/gas 6. Place a baking sheet in the oven to preheat. Cut the puff pastry in half and roll one piece out on a lightly floured work surface until you have a rectangular sheet measuring 12 x 8 inches. Carefully place into a rectangular pan measuring 11 x 7 in and about 2 inches deep. Prick the base all over with a fork. Spread the cooled custard into the tin and then arrange the cherries on top.
Roll out the remaining piece of pastry to a 12x6-inch rectangle. Brush the edges of the pastry with a little milk and then lay the other sheet of pastry over the top of the filling and press down gently to seal.
Brush the top with more milk and sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Place the tin in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
Before placing in the oven make incisions in the pastry with a sharp knife to reveal the filling. Place the pie on the preheated baking tray and bake for 10 minutes then reduce the temperature to 325°F/160°C and continue to bake for a further 45 minutes until the pastry is golden and cooked through.
Leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan then serve warm or cold cut into squares.