Welcome to Jenny Oliver’s brand new Cherry Pie Island series!
There’s nowhere more deliciously welcoming
When Annie White steps back onto Cherry Pie Island, it’s safe to say Dandelion Café has definitely seen better days! Her childhood home on the Thames-side island idyll is exactly the same retreat from the urban bustle of London as she remembers - but Annie’s not convinced that new owner of The Dandelion Cafe is a title she’s thrilled about.
One (shoestring budget) makeover, a few delightful additions to the somewhat retro menu and a lot of cherry pie tastings later, The Dandelion Café is ready for its grand reopening! But however delicious the legendary cherry pie, that’s definitely not enough to make her come home for good. However, the islanders themselves are a different story – but is Annie ready to let the island, and all those that live there, become her recipe for true happiness?
The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Café is Book 1 in The Cherry Pie Island series. Each part of Cherry Pie Island can be read and enjoyed as a standalone story – or as part of the utterly delightful series.
So, we all know how much i love a good cafe read so i was obviously going to read this, i always have high hopes for them, and this met all of them. Jenny Oliver has created a wonderful little island i want to visit, and a cafe i want to settle in.
So, we meet Annie who has been left a cafe, a cafe she isnt really sure what to do with it, her brother thinks the solution is to get rid, but maybe Annie doesnt want that- and why does her brother get a say, if only out of sibling rivalry - Annie keeps the cafe and sets about a revamp, with the help of a famous local and the community she starts to muck in. This is wonderful book that really deserves all the praise it is getting throughout the community, its sweet, delicious and heart warming, its about loyalty and friendship.
And if like me, you are now craving Cherry Pie - here is the recipe Jenny Oliver sent me;
for the crust:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- zest of 1 lemon Or use a grapefruit or orange
- 1 teaspoon rum
- 1 egg
- 1 cup butter
for the cherry filling:
- 2.21 lb cherries
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- Drop the flour on table (this will be our working surface- no mugs). Now add the softened butter- make sure it is cut into little squares, so it would be easy to work with it. Add the sugar, baking powder, salt, lemon zest and start kneading. Now add the egg and continue kneading. Don`t be afraid, if it looks messy, soon alll ingredients will incorporate.
- Add the vanilla extract and rum, knead a bit more, give it a bowl form and put in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- While the dough is chilling let`s do the first step of our cherry filling. Remove the cherry pits, move them into a bowl and add 1 cup of sugar.
- Done, now leave the cherries, let them loose some moisture. We will soon get back to them.
- After 20 minutes you can take the dough out and start the next step - rolling. Make sure your working surface is sprinkled with flour to prevent the dough from sticking.
- Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick. Don`t push too much while rolling.
- Carefully place onto a 9-inch pie plate (make sure it is buttered or sprinkled with non stick spray). You can use kitchen scissors or a simple knife to trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the pie dish.
- Preheat your oven to 302 °F (150 °C).
- Line the pie crust with parchment paper (or wax paper). Fill with pie weights - dry beans, rice. Be sure you filled at least two-thirds of it. Now prebake the dough in the oven for 10-20 minutes.
- Remove the pie crust from the oven. Separate the cherries from their juice. Now fill the crust with cherries and put it back to the oven for more 10-20 minutes.
- Now put a saucepan on a medium high heat. Combine cornstarch, flour, sugar, mix them untill well incorporated and add to the saucepan. Add also the milk and stir. Continue stiring for more 2 minutes and add the cherry juice. Don`t stop stiring untill you see, that your mixture gets firm. You can also add some cherry liquor in the end to give it deeper flavor.
- When the mixture starts getting firm you can turn the heat off.
- Remove the pie from the oven and pour the mixture all over it.
- Chill it for 30 minutes then move to the refrigerator for more 3-4 hours. For better taste you can leave it overnight.
This pie version is perfect for hot summer days- cold, light, with a wonderfull harmony of flavors.