Heading toward the big summer holiday celebration, it’s time to get out the red, white and blue ingredients.
Whether you’re using strawberries and blueberries, blue and red M&M’s, dried cranberries, food coloring (judiciously) or cherry pie filling, it all adds up to a fun way to enjoy the Fourth of Juy. Here are some dessert recipes, plus one salad, that won’t tax your time or energy before the weekend arrives.
With its red-white-and-blue color scheme, this pie from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette would be a perfect dessert for a Fourth of July picnic. You may need an extra pair of hands to fill the crust – have somebody hold his hands in a “V” to create the blueberry wedge.
AMERICAN FLAG PIE
Pastry for a double pie crust, homemade or store-bought
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup pie filling enhancer, such as cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups lightly packed diced rhubarb, fresh or frozen
2 cups hulled, quartered strawberries, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons pie filling enhancer, such as cornstarch
2 cups blueberries, washed and drained
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
White sanding sugar, for garnish
Line a 9-inch pie pan with about 2/3 of pastry. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Make strawberry filling: Whisk together sugar, enhancer and salt and toss with rhubarb and strawberries. Set aside.
Make blueberry filling: Whisk together sugar and enhancer. Toss with blueberries, then stir in the lemon juice.
Fill a 90-degree wedge of pie shell with blueberry filling and the remaining 270-degree wedge with strawberry-rhubarb filling.
Roll the remaining crust into a 10-inch-long rectangle about 3/8-inch thick. Cut dough, lengthwise, into 5 to 6 (3/4-inch-wide) strips. Cut 3 to 5 (1 1/4-inch stars) from remaining dough.
Place strips parallel to one another over the strawberry-rhubarb section, cutting any excess off the ends and pinching them to the edge of the crust. Place the stars atop the blueberry filling.
Brush stars, stripes and outer crust with water and sprinkle with sanding sugar, if desired.
Place pie on baking sheet (to catch drips) and bake 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 35 to 45 minutes, until filling is bubbling and crust nicely browned.(I had to cover the pie with aluminum foil about half way through to keep it from over-browning, but it still got too dark. I thing King Arthur either manipulated the image of the pie pictured on its website, or added the stars-and-stripes outer crust toward the end of baking.)
Remove pie from oven, and let cool for at least an hour before serving. Yield: 1 pie.
RED, WHITE AND BLUE SHORTCAKE STARS
1 1/2 quarts strawberries, sliced (6 cups)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 2/3 cups Bisquick
1 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
2 cups blueberries
3/4 cup whipping (heavy) cream
2 tablespoons granulated or powdered sugar
Mix strawberries and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Let stand 1 hour.
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix Bisquick mix, milk, cherries, 6 tablespoons sugar and the butter until soft dough forms.
Gently smooth dough into ball on surface sprinkled lightly with Bisquick mix. Knead 10 times. Roll dough 1/2 inch thick. Cut with floured 3-inch star-shaped or round cutter. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Stir blueberries into strawberries. Beat whipping cream and 2 tablespoons sugar in chilled medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff. Split shortcakes in half. Fill and top with berries and whipped cream.
TIPS: Get a jump start on making shortcake! Before baking, cover and refrigerate the cut dough on the cookie sheet for up to 4 hours, or wrap and freeze for up to 48 hours.
Shortcakes contain a lot of sugar, so having a dark bottom crust is normal. Be sure to place the cookie sheet in the center of the oven to ensure even browning.
Makes 12 servings, each with 460 calories, 18 grams fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 750 mg sodium, 72 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 5 grams protein.
4TH OF JULY CHEX MIX
1 bag (8.75 ounces) Chex Mix Honey Nut snack mix
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
2 cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cup blue and red candy-coated chocolate candies
In a large bowl, combine the snack mix, blueberries, cranberries, and sunflower seeds.
Place the white chocolate chips into a medium, microwave-safe bowl. Melt in the microwave on High for 60-90 seconds then stir. Melt for an additional 30-60 seconds, if needed.
Drizzle the melted chocolate over the snack mix, and stir until well coated. Turn the mix out onto a large piece of wax paper, sprinkle with blue and red candies, then allow the white chocolate to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour to harden. To serve, break the mix up into large chunks.
Makes 14 servings.
FIREWORKS PIE FRIES
1/2 cup apple pie filling
1/2 cup cherry pie filling
1/2 cup blueberry pie filling
3 boxes refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on boxes
1 egg, beaten
Red, white and blue coarse sugar crystals
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Red and blue food color
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line large cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper.
Crush, process or blend each of the pie fillings until semi-smooth and spreadable.
Unroll pie crusts. Spread each flavor pie filling onto each of 3 crusts. Top each with 1 remaining pie crust, gently pressing to seal. Brush beaten egg evenly over top of each; sprinkle with their matching color sugar crystals.
Cut each filled pie-crust stack into 1-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip once crosswise so “fries” aren’t too long. Place in single layer on cookie sheet.
Bake about 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool.
Meanwhile, in each of 3 separate bowls, stir together 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar with a few drops of water, stirring just until thick. Leave 1 bowl with white dipping glaze. To make blue and red dipping glazes, stir a few drops of blue and red food color into each of the 2 remaining glazes.
Serve “fries” with dipping glazes. Serves 12.
Note: If you want to skip the dips, you can simply drizzle the glaze over the fries.
RED, WHITE AND BLUE CANDY-TOPPED BROWNIES
1 box fudge brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box
1 1/2 cups red, white and blue candy-coated chocolate candies
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of 13-by-9-inch pan with cooking spray or shortening.
Make batter as directed on brownie mix box. Spread in pan. Bake 13 minutes.
Sprinkle candies over partially baked brownie. Bake 11 to 13 minutes longer or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour. For brownies, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store covered at room temperature.
Tip: Cut brownies into triangles for a celebration touch
Makes 24 servings, each with170 calories, 7 grams fat, 110 mg cholesterol, 85 mg sodium, 27 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 21 grams sugar, 1 gram protein. Exchanges:1/2 starch, 1 1/2 other carbohydrate, 1 fat. Carbohydrate Choices: 2.
RED, WHITE AND BLUEBERRY SALAD
1/2 jicama, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 bag (10 ounces) chopped or hearts of romaine lettuce (6 cups)
2 1/2 cups cubes (3/4 inch) seedless watermelon
1 cup fresh blueberries
Vinaigrette of choice
Cut jicama slices into star shapes using a small (1-inch) star-shaped canapé cutter.
In large bowl, toss remaining ingredients. Pour dressing over salad mixture; toss until well coated. Sprinkle jicama stars over top. Serve immediately.
Tips: You can tote this easy salad to a potluck. Pack the dressing and the salad separately, then pour on the dressing just before serving.
Refrigerate unused jicama in resealable plastic bag for up to 1 week to use in any summer salad.