American Sweetheart — The Stars & Stripes Pie


Whether you're headed for a cook-out or hosting the most spectacular Fourth of July barbecue, an All-American pie is a showstopper any patriotic party deserves. So why not make this drool-inducing treat the centerpiece of your Independence Day celebration. Scroll down for the lowdown on our cherries, blueberries and flaky crust of stars and stripes dessert which is also the perfect summer picnic dessert.

Ingredients for the crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp cold butter or margarine, cut into chunks
6 tbsp cold solid vegetable shortening, cut into chunks

Ingredients for the filling:
5 cups fresh, sweet, dark cherries, rinsed and pitted, or frozen pitted cherries (If using fresh cherries, buy about 1 3/4 pound; if using frozen, you'll need about 1 1/2 packages, 16 ounces each.)
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained, or frozen blueberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tsp butter or margarine, cut into small pieces
Vanilla ice cream to serve with (optional)

— Scroll down to read more —

Directions for Pie Crust

1. In a bowl, mix flour and salt. Add butter and shortening. With a pastry blender or your fingers, work the mixture until a few pea-size pieces form.

2. Drizzle 4 tablespoons of cold water over the mixture and stir with a fork just until evenly moistened. Gently squeeze about 1/4 cup of the dough into a ball. If it won't hold together, add 1 tablespoon of water and stir with a fork until evenly moistened. If the formed ball doesn't hold add 1 tablespoon of water again. Repeat until the dough is firm enough

3. With lightly floured hands, gently squeeze the dough into a ball. Divide in half and pat each half into a 4-inch-wide round. Lay one of the rounds on a lightly floured surface. With a flour-coated rolling pin, roll gently in short strokes from the center of the dough outward to form a 12-inch-wide round. If edges split, push back toward the center to make it relatively smooth. Occasionally lift dough and dust underneath with flour to prevent sticking.

4. Fold the rolled-out dough in half, lift gently without stretching, and lay folded edge across the middle of a 9-inch pie pan. Unfold the pastry and fit it into the pan without stretching. Trim dough 3/4 inch beyond pan rim.

5. Fill as directed below for cherry-blueberry pie.

6. On a lightly floured board, roll the remaining pastry dough into a 10-inch round.

7. With a pastry wheel or a sharp knife, cut six strips (3/4 in. wide) across the center of the round.

8. Place filled crust in front of you with the blueberry quadrant at the upper left. Lay the longest pastry strip across the pie with one edge adjacent to the bottom of the blueberry quadrant. Then evenly space the remaining strips across the pie parallel to the first strip. Cut away portions of strips over blueberry filling.

9. With a 1 1/2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter, cut 6 stars from the remaining pastry; arrange over blueberry filling.

10. Fold edge of bottom crust over ends of strips, flush with pan rim. Flute decoratively.

Directions for Filling

1. In a large bowl, mix cherries with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. In a smaller bowl, mix blueberries with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

2. Combine sugar and cornstarch in a third bowl and gently stir 1 cup of the mixture into cherries and 1/4 cup into blueberries.

3. Spoon cherry mixture over 3/4 of the pastry in the pan, leaving 1 quadrant free. Spoon blueberry mixture into the unfilled area. Scatter butter evenly over the fruit.

4. Top filling with stars and stripes as directed above. Set pie in a foil-lined 13- by-17-inch baking pan.

5. Bake on the bottom rack of a 400° regular or convection oven until fruit is bubbling in the center and pastry is well browned. That should take about 1 hour. If pastry edges brown too quickly (check after 40 minutes), cover loosely with foil.

6. Let pie cool on a rack for at least 3 hours; let stand at room temperature for up to 8 hours. Cut into wedges and serve with ice cream, if desired.