I do not remember where I got this recipe from, but it's handwritten in my messy recipe binder. It is an easy recipe, but time consuming, so I recommend making the dough and custard the day before. You will need to weigh all ingredients with a digital scale, including the liquids.
So here it is:
INGREDIENTS FOR THE PASTA FROLLA (CRUST)
-300 g 00 flour
-2 large eggs (110g)
-150 gr frozen unsalted butter
-150 gr sugar
-Zest of 1/2 lemon
-1/4 tsp salt
INGREDIENTS FOR CUSTARD
- 360 g half and half
-4 large yolks (60g)
-120 g sugar
-40 g 00 four
-1 vanilla bean
-Zest of 1 lemon
-Pinch of salt
-20-24 sour cherries Fabbri or Toschi
METHOD FOR CRUST
Grate butter with cheese grater using the larger holes. Add butter to dry ingredients including zest. Work with your finger until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add eggs and work with your hands, or in a mixer with a paddle attachment, until dough forms. If it's too dry, add a littlebit of cold water, 1 tsp at a time.
When dough forms, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
METHOD FOR THE CUSTARD
Scrape seeds from vanilla pod, and add both seeds and pod to milk, add the lemon zest as well. Scold milk and turn off. While milk is heating up, mix yolks, sugar and flour until smooth. Slowly add a small ladel of hot milk to egg mixture and stir until well combined, then slowly add the egg mixture to the hot milk while stirring with a wisk. Cook the custard on low, while stirring, until it thickens and when the raw flour taste is gone. Strain the custard through a sieve, into a shallow, glass or metal dish, and cover with plastic, making sure the plastic wrap is actually touching the custard so it won't form a skin.
Refrigerate until cold, and firm.
Once the dough and the custard are cold you can start assembling the pie.
Dust your work surface with some flour. Cut 2/3 off the dough, and roll in a circle, to a 0.5 cm thickness. Place in a 9"pie dish, scoop custard in, arrange the sour cheeries as you wish. Cover the top with the remainder of the dough cut in strips in a criss cross or lattice design. Brush with egg wash and bake at 325°F for 50-60 minutes or longer.
It might look done on top, but bottom will still be light and soft. Make sure you check the bottom before taking it out of the oven.
Once cooked, place on a rack to cool, dust with icing sugar and enjoy! Buon Appetito Amici!