CUCINA/LE FESTE – CELEBRATIONS
I know. I know. The 4th of July is over. And so is Flag Day. But I’m a patriot everyday, and I couldn’t resist making this pie (or eating it). C’mon, it’s pie. Who doesn’t like pie, right? That’s why when my French cousin sent me a Facebook video suggesting I make a similar pie next 4th of July, I saw it as a challenge, more like a dare. Oh boy, was I gonna take on that dare, and I wasn’t waiting a year to do it. The results were so awesome – I mean just look at the picture – that I decided I had to share the recipe with all of you.
You may have seen a popular video suggesting you make this pie with strawberries and blueberries. I am not a fan of strawberries in pie. They can be watery and that makes it difficult to thicken the fruit filling and to keep a flaky crust. Plus, my mom loves cherry pie. My version, as a result, features blueberries and cherries.
Also, you could make this really easy on yourself. Just buy two pre-made pie crusts, which you will find in the refrigerated section of your grocery store, one can of blueberry pie filling, and one can of cherry pie filling. Then, roll out the pie crusts. Place one in the bottom of your pie dish and set the other aside. Create a wall using a folded piece of aluminum foil and place it standing upright in the pie to separate the cherry filling and blueberry filling. Then, dump in the fillings in their respective zones. Finally, use the other pie crust to cut out stars (I used a cookie cutter) and stripes, which I just did freehand with a knife. Make a quick egg wash and sprinkle some more sugar on top, bake it until the crust is golden and you’re golden.
If you want to go the homemade route all the way, here’s what you need to do:
Crust, adapted from the apple pie recipe from Disneyland’s Plaza Inn on Main Street U.S.A., which appears in Cooking with Mickey (Gourmet Mickey Cookbook) Volume II
2 Cups flour
1/2 Tsp salt
8 Tbsp butter (chilled)
1/2 Cup orange juice (chilled)
You can use any crust recipe you would like. I have always had great success with this one, but I have one warning. If you plan on making a slightly larger pie (with a full pie crust top), you should probably double this recipe. Since this pie features cutouts on top, this recipe is perfectly fine as is. Mix the flour and salt. Then, cut up the butter and work it into the flour mixture with a fork or pastry blender. You want it to look like crumbs. (The original recipe replaces most of the butter with shortening, but I just go all in with butter.) Finally, add the orange juice and mix until a dough forms. I always just automatically dump in all the orange juice. But some prefer to add a little at a time and not necessarily using the full half cup. Last but not least, break the dough into two balls and wrap each with plastic wrap before putting them in the fridge for at least the time it takes to prepare the filling, 20 to 30 minutes.
Blueberry Pie Filling, adapted from Taste of Home’s Contest-Winning Fresh Blueberry Pie Recipe
1/4 Cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
Big pinch of salt
1/8 Cup cold water
2 to 3 Cups fresh blueberries
1 Tbsp butter
Juice of half a lemon
Mix the sugar, cornstarch, salt, water, and blueberries in a pot on the stovetop. Bring to a boil and stir until it thickens, about two minutes. Let it cool before placing into your pie crust (on its side of the aluminum foil wall you’ve built).
Cherry Pie Filling, adapted from Taste of Home’s Homemade Cherry Pie Filling Recipe
1/3 Cup sugar
1/8 Cup cornstarch
Large pinch of salt
2 Cups fresh tart cherries pitted
1 Cup water
Lemon juice from half a lemon
The original recipe also calls for red food coloring, but I feel the natural color of cherries is just fine. My kid ends up with electric green poop whenever he eats food coloring, so I leave it out whenever possible. Can’t be normal. Just sayin. Anyway, to make the recipe, mix the sugar, cornstarch, salt, cherries, and water in a pot on the stovetop. Bring it to a boil and stir until it thickens, about two minutes. Then, take it off the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
At long last, you can build your flag. Use the steps previously described to make it look absolutely stunning in a matter of minutes. Remember, it’s not too pretty to eat. It’s delicious, so don’t let that good looks stop you.