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Cherry, Pistachios and Basil Pie

My top favorite summer fruit is without a doubt cherry. If I have a huge bowl of cherries in front of me, be sure it’ll quickly disappear. It is the ultimate fruit for me and because of its beautiful appearance it is also perfect for pretty summer desserts.

This pie combines fresh cherries, pistachios and basil. It is fresh, colorful and summery, and has the appearance of a flower thanks to its design at the top. The basil perfectly blends with the pistachios and cherries and adds some necessary freshness that makes the flavors lighter. This is a perfect pie for hot summer days!

Cherry, Pistachios and Basil Pie

Photo: Natalie Levin



Cherry, Pistachios and Basil Pie

24 cm round pie pan

For short crust pastry:
150 grams all-purpose flour
100 grams cold butter, cut into cubes
40 grams icing sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1-2 tbsp. cold water (as needed)

For pistachio and basil cream:
100 grams natural pistachios, peeled
5 medium basil leaves
75 grams cold butter cut into cubes
20 grams pistachio paste
100 grams sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
20 grams all-purpose flour
30 ml. milk
1 large egg
200 grams of cherries, pitted

For pistachio whipped cream:
250 ml. whipping cream (very cold)
30 grams pistachio paste
30 grams sugar powder
30 grams instant vanilla pudding or cream stabilizer

Decoration:
Whole cherries
Roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
Small basil leaves

Cherry, Pistachios and Basil Pie

Photo: Natalie Levin

Preparation:

  1. Crust: in a food processor with a steel blade put flour, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt and process until mixture is crumbly.
  2. Add egg yolk and continue to process just until large clumps of dough form. If the dough is not setting, gradually add a little water.
  3. Transfer the dough chunks on a lightly floured work surface and form a disc-shape with your hands.
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
  5. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface about 3-4 mm thick and line the pie pan. It is important to create a right angle between the sides and the base of the crust, which will ensure the edges remain high when baking.
  6. Using a fork create holes in the crust. Freeze the crust for about an hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 170c degrees.
  8. Blind baking: put a sheet of heat-resistant plastic wrap or baking paper on the frozen crust and fill with dry beans or special weights for baking.
  9. Bake for about 12-14 minutes.
  10. Remove the weights and the plastic wrap and continue to bake the crust for about 8-12 minutes or until it is lightly golden.
  11. Cool at room temperature.
  12. Pistachio and basil cream: in a food processor with a steel blade put pistachios, basil leaves, butter, pistachio paste, sugar, salt, vanilla and flour and blend at high speed until the mixture is crumbly.
  13. Add milk and egg and continue to blend until you get a uniform, thick cream.
  14. Pour the cream over the half-baked crust, and smooth the top.
  15. Arrange pitted cherries over the cream.
  16. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cream is golden and set at the edges, but still slightly soft in the center.
  17. Cool completely at room temperature.
  18. Pistachio whipped cream: in a mixer bowl with whipping attachment, whip cream, pistachio paste, powdered sugar and instant pudding until you get a very firm and stable cream.
  19. Transfer the whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a round 2 cm piping tip. Drizzle mounds of cream at the top of the pie.
  20. Arrange fresh cherries in the center and decorate with pistachios and basil leaves.

Notes:

  • The pie is at its best on the day of preparation, but it can be kept in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Instead of cherries you can use any other berries you like.
  • You can prepare the dough (including blind baking) for up to a week in advance and keep it in the freezer.
  • It is important to use fresh basil.
Cherry, Pistachios and Basil Pie

Photo: Natalie Levin

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