Saturday, 9 July 2011

French Baking Month: Little Cherry Pies

In the Lot region of France, where we holidayed and where, inspired by all the glorious fresh produce available, I went into baking over-drive, there was a beautiful village nearby called Montcuq. The advice we were given was to pronounce the 'q', unless you wished to be saying, erm, 'my arse'. 

Asking for directions to Montcuq without pronouncing the 'q' would, I've no doubt, get you some very, very bemused looks. 

A great story about Montcuq emerged. In 2007, Hasbro, makers of 'Monopoly' amongst other board games opened a vote to decide which towns and cities would feature in a new edition of a French version of the game. Web users, realising foreign visitors may not correctly pronouce Montcuq, soon began a campaign to feature the village on the new version as a joke. 

Montcuq duly won. 

However, Hasbro overrulled the voting and Dunkerque was featured instead, causing great outrage and protest. As a result Hasbro agreed to issue a special addition of Montcuq Monopoly, which can now be bought in the town. Locals choose the street names and a local artist designed the board. 

A great story.

Today's recipe is a simple, but sweet cherry pie. This was made with some leftover pastry from another recipe. Which was handy. But here's how to make enough for 4-6, depending on the size of the ramekins you'll be using.

Cherry Pie

125g/4 oz plain flour
pinch of salt
55g/2 oz butter, cubed
30-45 tbsp cold water

6 tbsps cherry jam
Punnet of cherries, stoned

1. Put the flour and salt in a large bowl, add the cubed butter and rub the butter into the flour until you create a breadcrumb type texture.
2. Add tiny amounts of the cold water to bind the dough together
3. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes before using
4. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/Gas Mark 4 and butter the inside of the ramekins
5. Line your ramekins with the pastry, fill with a tbsp of cherry jam and 4-6 stoned cherries
6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the jam and cherries bubbling away

Baker's notes...
  • To serve, a dollop of creme fraiche or a pouring of cream would work a treat
  • This will also hopefully be featured on A Slice of Cherry Pie's fruity blog round-up!


  1. Another wonderful recipe. I'm going to be trying your French Baking once I'm in France:-)

  2. Beautiful little tarts! Love the first photo.

  3. Great story indeed :) And yeah, saying I'm going to my arse might get some weird looks!

  4. These look so good. I really don't like cherries but in a weird way I always think they look delicious. I have been after some ramekins and so am adding this recipe to the 'reasons why I should get some' list. It's probably a good idea for me to make more things that I don't like anyway!

  5. who'd have thought a Q could make such a difference! so funny!
    cherry tart is a thing of beauty and yours looks fab

  6. Gorgeous - you can get some really delicious cherries in France but I like the idea of boosting their flavour by mixing with cherry jam too!

    Love the monopoly story!


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