Sugar-free Cherry Cola Pie – Recipe

A couple of months ago I was in Cyprus attending a family wedding and while I vowed myself no to never fill up my gastro-cavity with Mc Donald’s while I am traveling abroad, I am but a mere human being and sometimes I get weak. Mc Donald’s in Cyprus had some funky offer on a special burger called: “Maestro” that gives you a free, neon colored, glass Coca Cola cup when you purchase it in association with Greek singing sensation: Sakis Rouvas. It was pretty late at night and I was with my dad and nephew, but the Maestro burger looked so good… like I said, I am only human! Pink is not my favorite color (at all), but for some reason I was inspired by the beautiful texture and matt finish of the neon glass, that I thought of using it as some kind of food styling project.

Pink… Cola… ?! And then it hit me; why not do a Cherry Cola Pie and balance it on the brim of the glass to display its sexiness? Alright! Let’s get started. Step one; shopping. Cherries? Luckily I managed to get a small quantity just before the end of their season. Coca Cola? Sorry, they only had Coke Zero. Oh! Wait a minute; if I use Coke Zero and make a sugar-free pie crust, then lo and behold my sugarless Cherry Cola dessert pie!! Damn! I am fucking brilliant. Sorry, not sorry.

And only because I love you guys so much have I decided to share this recipe with you.

  • You will need (for 2 small pies, if you are making a standard sized pie, you will need to triple the crust recipe and double the filling):
    • For the crust:
      • 125g AP flour
      • 60g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
      • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
      • 1 Tbsp diet sweetener of choice
      • 1/2 tsp salt
    • For the filling:
      • 330 ml Coke Zero
      • 150g cherries, washed, pitted and cut into halves
      • 2 tsp cornstarch, diluted into a slurry
  • Method:
    • For the filling:
      1. Add the cherries and Coke Zero to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.
      2. Skim off the brown foam that will float to the top for a clearer and cleaner result.
      3. Lower the heat to a medium low and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half and the cherries have cooked down.
      4. Mix the cornstarch slurry and then add it to the sauce pan while quickly stirring.
      5. Once the filling mixture starts bubbling again, remove it from the heat and set it aside t cool completely.
    • For the crust:
      1. Add the flour, salt, sweetener and butter to mixing bowl.
      2. Cut the cold butter into the flour using a pastry cutter or our hands until you get a crumbly consistency. Small clumps of butter are fine as long as they are no larger than a fava bean.
      3. Add almost half of the beaten egg into the crumble and mix it in until everything binds together into a flaky/patchy mass. Reserve the rest of the egg for brushing on the tops of the pies later.
      4. Wrap the dough mass in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
      5. Lightly dust a clean and dry work surface with flour and roll out a quarter of the dough at a time to create 4 circular sheets of dough.
      6. Press the two bottom sheets into the pie molds and built the edges by modeling the dough with your fingers up the sides of the mold. Refrigerate the bases and the two top sheets for 30 minutes.
      7. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
      8. Once chilled, take out the tart shells from the fridge and carefully fill them with the cherry cola filling.
      9. Use the two top sheets to seal in the filling and cut a few holes in the dough for the steam to escape while they bake. You can cut shapes or create a lattice to give your pie an attractive-looking top.
      10. Lightly brush the top of the pies with the remaining beaten egg and sprinkle a very fine layer of granulated sugar for a crystalline effect. Wait! Sugar?? Well, you can leave this part out if you want to be perfectly disciplined about the “sugar-free”.
      11. Bake your pies for 10 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius and then drop the heat to 170 degrees and continue to bake for another 15 minutes.
      12. Enjoy! 🙂

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