To make the pastry, place the butter, plain flour and icing sugar into the bowl of a standmixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix until everything looks crumbly or like wet sand.
Alternatively, you can do this in a food processor or by simply rubbing the butter into the flour and sugar with your fingertips.
In a small bowl or cup, gently whisk together the egg and water.
Add the egg mixture slowly to the dry ingredients, and mix until everything just comes together. Do not knead the dough.
Wrap the dough in some cling film and leave this in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Remove the stones from the cherries, ideally using a cherry pitter (it is best to wear an apron while doing this). Alternatively, slice a piece off the cherry and try to extract the stone this way.
Place the cherries, sugar, lemon zest and 1 split vanilla pod into a large saucepan. Cover over medium-high heat for about 5-10 minutes until the cherries start to break down a little. You can mash the cherries with a wooden spoon to help the process.
Whisk together the lemon juice and cornflour and add this to the cherries.
Continue stirring until the mixture thickens. You want a fairly thick mixture so that it can hold its shape when you cut the pie later.
Remove the vanilla pod and set the cherry filling aside to cool.
Divide the dough into two balls, one slightly larger than the other.
Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F).
Roll out each piece of dough between two sheets of clingfilm, lifting the clingfilm after each roll as necessary. Roll the dough to about 5mm thickness.
Using the larger sheet of pastry, remove one sheet of clingfilm. Carefully place the pastry over the tart tin with the remaining clingfilm side facing up. Gently ease the pastry into the tart tin. Carefully pull off the clingfilm.
Trim off the excess pastry. Wrap the excess pastry in some clingfilm and place in the fridge to use later as decoration for the pie.
Fill the pastry shell with the cherry filling.
Using the smaller sheet of rolled out pastry, remove one layer of clingfilm. Place the pastry on top of the tart tin, with the remaining clingfilm side facing up, to form the lid of the pie.
Remove the remaining clingfilm and trim off the excess pastry by gently pressing the pastry against the edges of the tart tin.
Gently press together the edges of the pastry by using your finger against the inside rim of the tart tin.
Whisk together 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of milk to make an egg wash and brush this mixture over the pie.
Make some shapes from the reserved pastry and place these on top of the pie. Brush over the decoration with some more egg wash.
Sprinkle the pie generously with demerera sugar or granulated white sugar.
Bake the pie for about 35 minutes or until golden.
Serve the pie warm with a generous scoop of vanilla ice-cream. The pie is also lovely served at room temperature.
The measurements given above are as per the original recipe from Leila Lindholm.
I used a 22 cm tart tin for this cherry pie. The recipe produced enough pastry for this size tart tin with some leftover.
I bought 1.8 kg of cherries to make this pie and, after removing the stones, stems and any dodgy fruit, I was left with a mere 1.1 kg of cherries. I nevertheless proceeded to make the cherry filling as per the recipe which turned out very well, despite having less cherries than required.
For my 22 cm tart tin, I needed only half of the cherry filling.
I kept the remaining cherry filling in the fridge and made another cherry pie several days later when we had some friends over for dinner. The pie was made a few hours in advance of baking and I kept it, uncovered, in the fridge. When it was time to sit down to the main course, I quickly brushed the pie with the egg wash and sprinkled it with sugar, before popping the pie into the oven and serving it warm at the table for dessert. This time, the only change I made to the recipe was to sprinkle the pie with granulated white sugar instead of demerera sugar, and I found that I preferred the former. The granulated white sugar is perhaps more common on pies and it gave the crust a lovely sweetness against the slightly tart cherry filling.