* APOLOGIES APOLOGIES APOLOGIES FOR THE QUALITY OF THESE PHOTOS! - my camera decided to stop working THE MOMENT I began baking...what is a girl to do?! I thought about keeping this recipe from you until I got a chance to bake it again and take some good photos but then...well, you see this glorious little cherry pie is not made for waiting, after T and I gobbled the entire thing last night (not our fault - the pie combined with the fact that we were watching a program about chocolate making meant we were powerless to stop the inevitable) I realised that to withhold this recipe from you would be beyond cruel. *
So be a sweetheart and pop the kettle on, whilst I give a little moan about why you haven't seen my face around these parts for a while...
You see, I have a part time job now, and it's not all that great because it's a sandwich shop and they sell cold meats. Yeah, not very much fun for a vegan girl to be handling cut up pieces of flesh....
When I took the job I thought it would be OK, told myself I'd just have to grit my teeth and get on with it. But it's hard, especially when I have to serve the customers with a great big fake smile plastered across my face as they ask me what type of chicken I would recommend.
Before working there I'd never been around meat, never eaten it, never bought it, never even looked at it up close. Why would I? I grew up in a vegetarian house and I was vegan before I moved out. I think I can count the number of times I've walked down the meat isle in the supermarket on one hand. And even those accidental times I kept my head down, not wanting to see the plastic packets containing squished, pink and brown flesh that once belonged to something that had a beating heart.
On my first day at this job I had to keep asking my work colleague to point to what the customer wanted, since I didn't know what any of the meats looked like. After the day was over I felt like I could smell the grease and blood on my skin and when I got home I showered twice.
I've been there a month now, and it hasn't got easier. They sell some kind of beef and I gag every time I have to pick a slice up. When I had to bring the box of chicken pieces down to the counter I fought back tears as thoughts of my mums chickens that roam free around the garden flooded my mind.
I hated myself. I felt like such a hypocrite, standing there serving 4 different types of chicken when just the other day I was cuddling mums chickens at home. If anyone tried to hurt them I'd protect them like the family that they are, yet here I am, working in a job where I put animals into sandwiches.
Now I'm not an idiot, I know that by simply working there I am not contributing to animal suffering, if I wasn't serving meat sandwiches then somebody else would be. But I am not at peace with myself. I do not want to be a part of this, and I hate the fact that I have allowed myself to take a job I not only hate but that brings me self loathing, all because 'I needed a job'.
I feel like I owe an apology, although I don't know who to. Maybe to myself for not standing tall enough and becoming a bit lost.
So that's why I made this cherry pie, to comfort and remind myself that there is still so much good in this world, so much to be thankful and grateful for and so much to create without any need for anything to suffer.
I am currently looking and applying for new jobs, so wish me luck!
It makes me happy to share this little recipe with you, it's very simple, warm and cosy and you can play around with the ingredients and really make it your own.
My Little Cherry Pie
For the pastry crust-
3 oz Vegan butter
6 oz Plain flour
2-3 tbsp Brown sugar
1 oz Ground almonds
A little splash of soya/almond/coconut milk for glazing
For the filling-
11 oz/300g (approx) Ripe, juicy cherries
Shot of dark rum
1-2 tbsp Brown sugar - 1 tsp extra for sprinkling
1 oz Ground almonds
2 oz Dark chocolate
1 oz Flaked almonds - plus extra for sprinkling
Firstly, make the pastry.
This is a shortcrust pastry, so pop the butter and flour into your favourite mixing bowl and with cold hands, rub the butter into the flour until it looks like bread crumbs.
Now, add in the sugar and ground almonds - you can taste a tiny bit to make sure it's sweet enough for you!
Now add cold water, a tbsp at a time. You should only need a very small amount of water, remember you want the pastry to hold together in a ball, but for it still to be quite dry and a little bit crumbly. It is a little bit harder to work with, but the dryer the pastry the more flaky and crumbly sweet it will be once baked.
Now wrap the dough in clingfilm and let it chill out in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
Now you can prepare the filling!
Cut the stones out of the cherries, or if you've got a fancy olive pitter you can use that.
Cut the cherries in half and pop them into a small bowl.
Add the sugar, ground almonds, flaked almonds and rum to the bowl and stir to make sure the cherries are all coated in the sugary mixture.
Now break up your chocolate into small chunks and stir them into the cherries. (If you LOVE cherry bakewells and you have any almond extract you can add a few drops now to make the almond flavour more intense.)
Once your pastry is chilled...
Roll it out onto a floured surface and then transfer it onto a baking tray.
Spoon the cherry mixture into the centre on the pastry circle, leaving a ring of uncovered pastry around the edge.
Now grab the sides of the pastry and fold it into the centre, as if you were trying to wrap the cherries up in a parcel - but leave the middle uncovered.
It depends on how thickly you rolled your pastry, as to how much of the cherry filling will be on show, but that's the great thing about Galettes, they're meant to be rustic and wonky!
Now brush the pastry lightly with your milk of choice and sprinkle on a few extra flaked almonds and a tiny bit of sugar.
Bake at 200 c until the pastry looks golden brown and the cherries have started to bubble and go juicy and the chocolate is gooey and melting everywhere....mmmmmm.
Happy baking! x