Quickies Cocktail Challenge Update : I am pleased to announce that we've now received  8  great entries! Thank you very much and please, keep them coming guys. Send in as many entries as you like,  just remember to get them in by midnight of  September 27 2010 (ET)  - we're looking forward to shouting out the winner and showcasing a fantastic line up of entries on September 28 2010 (ET)  !! What's your motivation? A gorgeous cookbook! (take a detailed peek here) And now for today's post....

Stumbling around the internet can be a hazardous undertaking. First it was a blog named partly in honour of a fictitious FBI agent,  with a penchant for a cup of java and a slice of cherry filled pastry. Then it was this beautiful late summer berry laden delight made by a foodie pal, Sommer. A girl can take only so much;  my craving would be denied no longer. That damned diet I'd been whingeing about could wait! Off I went up hill and down dale in search of the dainty crimson drupes, but not one did I find. Duh! It was only the middle of September!! Even the few strawberries I saw, that might have made a respectable substitute, were looking pallid and wan *sigh*

I was despondent until my youngest piped up with "Mum, why don't you just use cherry tomatoes?! Cherries is cherries, right??" You have to love the little guy's thought process. I love how my entire family gets sucked into my little domestic dramas.

All this talk about pie and coffee and quirky FBI agents in immaculate suits reminded me of how I almost lost out on a significant relationship because of a TV series. It was 1991 and I was just about to settle in for an eagerly awaited instalment of the most bewitching melodrama on TV back then, when the phone rang.

The voice at the other end of the line belonged to someone I had been waiting tortured months, with bated breath, to hear from. But, once the opening strains of the haunting theme song filled my tiny living room, my knees almost buckled and all I could say was "Umm, could you call me back in an hour? I want to watch Twin Peaks" -  verbatim.

There was a momentary silence before I heard a faintly disgruntled "Sure". The line clicked sharply against my ear and I happily hung up. Can you blame a girl?? The intrigue, the mystery, a murder most foul, that surreal red room, the coterie of deliciously off kilter characters, Audrey Horne and her very....agile....tongue, Agent Cooper's endearing quirks (and jet black hair coupled with that determined jaw) and who, but who, would have ever suspected that David Duchovny could carry off a pencil skirt, false lashes, and my name with such insouciance?!? All of this, just the tip of the iceberg, and all of it, threathening to boil over behind the facade of a small, quaint, backwoods  town. Watching it was like lowering yourself, inch by inch into a tub of warm, unctuous, perfumed oil; gratifyingly sensuous and repellant in almost equal measure. They just don't make TV shows like that anymore.....

just the way agent cooper liked it...... though sadly, sans cherries *sigh*

Now, I can't say I remember the half of it, but Agent Cooper left a lingering impression and I still think he was the coolest thing to hit TV in the 90s, not least because of his cherry pie love, exacting requirements regarding coffee, "cremated" bacon and "freshly squeezed" grapefruit juice.

I still can't look at a slice of  cherry pie and not smile in remembrance. Fortunately my intruder, er.... caller, chose to overlook my flippant manner. He actually called me again. I'm still wearing his ring  ;)

Prep 30 mins        Cook 35 mins        Serves


400 g (3 1/2 cups) cherry tomatoes, wash, drain and cut across in half
100 g (2/3 cup) fine sugar
4 Tbsp Limoncello liqueur
2 level Tbsp corn flour (corn starch)  
5 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
A little milk or beaten egg or coconut milk for glazing


300 g (3 cups) plain or all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine salt
2 Tbsp soft brown sugar
80 g (1/2 cup) firm butter
170 ml  (slightly over 3/4 cup) water or milk

Put tomatoes, sugar and Limoncello into a non-reactive pot and cook over high heat until sugar dissolves and liquid is syrupy. This should take about 5 minutes after the mixture starts boiling.

Turn down heat. Combine the corn flour and lemon juice and whisk until smooth. Pour mixture into pot while stirring to prevent lumps. Allow mixture to boil again and turn clear. Turn off heat and stir in cinnamon. Leave aside to cool.

Preheat oven at 210 C (410 F) and line a baking tray with baking parchment. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar and whisk thoroughly.

Add the butter and very quickly break up and rub it into the flour until you have a coarse, crumbly mixture. Make a well in the middle of this mixture and pour in the water.

Draw the flour into the water with a spatula and when you have a shaggy dough, use your hands to push the mixture together into a dough, kneading as little as possible.

Turn dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and pat into a square. Cut into 2 equal rectangles and dust lightly with flour. Roll each portion into an even rectangle, one about 15 cm (6 in) by 30 cm (12 in). Lift one rectangle onto the baking tray and tidy up the shape if necessary.

Spoon the cold tomato filling onto rectangle on tray, leaving a border off about 1 cm (1/2 in) all around. Carefully lift other rectangle and cover the tomato filling, ensuring the edges of both rectangles as far as possible, meet.

Press down firmly on all edges with a fork repeatedly dipped in flour, to seal the pie. Neaten edges with a spatula dipped in flour . Prick pie all over with a fork and brush with milk, beaten egg, or coconut milk for a beautiful nutty aroma.

Bake pie for 10 minutes then reduce temperature to 180 C (350 F) and continue to bake for another 10 - 12 minutes or until golden.

Remove from oven and transfer immediately onto a cooling rack. Wait 15 minutes before cutting and serving, with a damn fine cup of coffee, black, of course.