how to braid a pie crust

Cherry pie

And a talk about undisclosed emotions


For the pie crust

  • 600 g all purpose flour
  • 250 g cold butter, diced
  • 10-12 Tbsp cold water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • seeds from 1 vanilla pod

For the pie filling

  • 2 Kg cherries
  • 150 g whole brown sugar

For the eggwash

  • 1 egg
  • A dash of milk


How to make the pie crust

→ Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.


→ Add the butter and, using your fingers, cut in the butter until it resembles coarse meal. 


→ Add one Tbsp of cold water at a time, and mix gently until the dough just comes together. Pat the dough together. Divide in half, flatten into two discs, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

How to make the pie filling

→ Wash and stone the cherries. Put them in a medium pot together with the sugar and cook for 10 minutes.


→ Let them cool down a bit, then drain the released juice. Put the cherries juice back in the pot and cook over medium-low heat until it gets syrupy.


→ Set the cooked cherries and the syrup aside and make sure they have cooled down before filling the pie.

How to assemble the cherry pie

→ On a lightly floured surface roll out one piece of dough into a large circle, about 5mm thick.


→ Transfer to 24 cm pie pan. Trim the excess dough.


→ Roll out the second piece of dough about 3mm thick, then cut into 30 long stripes (24 5-mm-wide stripes for 8 braids; 6 10-mm-wide stripes)


→ Preheat the fan oven at 180°C.


→ Spoon the filling, cherries and syrup, into the lined pan and decorate the top alternating plain crust stripes and braids. Brush the top with some eggwash.


→ Bake for about 1h30 or until the top is evenly golden.


→ Let the cherry pie set and cool down for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Creative talk

Some days ago I totally lacked inspiration for a new project so I started to randomly leaf through some books on our bookshelf. I run into an article on Kinfolk magazine, introducing the word ‘sonder’. This neologism, coined by John Koenig, was described as ‘the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own’.


I was truly inspired by the evidence of this definition: it’s something that we experience everyday in life, as well as we don’t notice the powerful effect this thing has upon us.
From there, I googled the author’s name discovering the Dictionary of obscure sorrows, a whole collection of emotions that cannot be found into a general vocabulary of any language.
Somehow, we can’t put a name on how we feel, but we can turn these emotions into something else.


Cooking is my way to give a name to my emotions – positive and negative ones. And, in my own vocabulary, Cherry Pie stands for ‘I lost my inspiration but I’m gonna find it again’.


— Ambra


Two recommended emotional readings:

→ Ross, A. (2018). Word: Sonder. Kinfolk. Issue 30, Hospitality.

→ Koenig, J. (2021). Dictionary of obscure sorrows. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc.

keep wandering

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