I’ve had this recipe for ages. It’s my go-to for any time when I want to make a quick Sunday lunch dessert (or if I need to take something relatively impressive to someone else’s house). Every so often I think that I should properly write the recipe out for you (piecing together the scribbles from my recipe notes), and guess what – I’ve finally got round to it! This easy biscuit pie crust is literally just pressed into the baking tin, and the filling can be as simple as a tin of cherry pie filling, or just some grated dessert apples (I’ve given some more suggestions below). Here’s how to make a really easy cherry pie with an easy biscuit pie crust.
You will need:
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
100g caster sugar
1 free range egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tin of fruit in syrup (or see below for more suggestions)
1 – 2 tsp cornflour
To make the easy biscuit pie crust:
Weigh out the flour, baking powder and caster sugar. Mix them around to combine, then chop the cold butter into cubes and add them into the bowl.
Now lightly just rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Next up, mix the egg and vanilla together and add them to the breadcrumby mixture. Bring it together into a soft dough.
Split the dough into two portions: 1/3 for the lid and 2/3 for the base.
Press the base dough into a buttered medium springform tin. I find it easier to dip my knuckles in flour and press them into the dough – push it up the sides of the tin to form the edge and give the lid something to stick to. Then, just fill your biscuit pie crust with your chosen filling.
To make a simple pie filling:
If you’re using a tin of fruit (I used cherries in juice), I find it easiest to pop the whole lot into a saucepan over a gentle heat. Remove a couple of tablespoons of the juice and mix with a teaspoon or so of cornflour. Add this into the saucepan and stir – miraculously it will thicken into the perfect pie filling! Loads of recipes add tablespoons of the stuff, but you really don’t need much. Start with a mixture of juice and 1 tsp cornflour, then you might need to do it again. Also, remember it will thicken up as you bake it. Remember to cool before adding to the crust.
Other simple pie fillings include grated dessert apples, mixed berries, that type of thing. You sort of have to come at it from the same angle as jam making, so high pectin fruits, like apples, pears and plums, can basically just be bunged into the pie and they’ll be fine. With fruits like berries with lower pectin, it’s worth tossing them in a tablespoon of cornflour (and maybe a little sugar), before piling them into the pie crust.
Same applies really – I always defrost my fruit, though, so I can see how much juice there is in there. If there’s a lot, I use the same saucepan/cornflour technique as for tinned fruits. I like this better than just draining the fruit – it makes a nicer, juicier pie filling.
Remember to taste your filling for sweetness. As this is a biscuit pie crust it’s already sweet so it’s nice if the fruit is a little tart, so don’t go mad.
Last thing, then, just roll out the last third roughly to match this size of your tin and pop it over the fruit filling, pressing the edges together with your fingers or a fork.
Bake at 180 degrees C/gas 4 for about 20 minutes until golden, then just allow to cool before removing from the tin. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
Ta da! Isn’t that a thing of beauty, and just the easiest thing ever? Once you’ve started with this easy biscuit pie crust, you’ll find you use it all the time. Leave off the top and use it for lemon meringue pie, custard tarts and more. Do let me know if you have a go, I think this recipe is life changing (oh, and also, do check whether your tinned cherries contain pips – I might have forgotten and nearly broken everyone’s teeth).