Happy (day after) 4th of July!
I’ve been moving over the past month. I’m not sure if a slow move is better than the 24 hours get-your-stuff-out-as-fast-as-you-can move. Both are stressful. Anyway, that’s my excuse for the lack of posts in the last month.
But the day before yesterday, I officially moved into my new house! So now I can get back to baking. And just in time for the perfect pie holiday: 4th of July!
I knew that I wanted to make a pie for the BBQ I was going to, but I didn’t want to just make a pie, I wanted to do something a little fun, and an american flag seemed like a good idea.
Now, I had no idea if this would work. I was really worried that once I put the pie in the oven, the blueberries and strawberries would seep together and you wouldn’t see the clear difference between the blue and the red. I almost separated the blueberries with parchment paper! But that seemed a bit extreme, so I just put it in the oven and prayed.
I chose to add basil because I really like sweets with a savory edge. Basil adds a little bit of surprise the end of your bite of pie and goes oh so nicely with the rhubarb.
For pies with intricate designs to work, chilling the pie is key. If you don’t chill the pie, the crust will sag, and your designs won’t look very pretty. Every step is important, but that being said. This pie is very simple to make and will surely be a hit at any BBQ!
4th of July Pie!
2 1/2 cups (313 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting surfaces
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar (doing a little less sugar will make it less cookie-ish)
1 teaspoon (4 grams) table salt
2 sticks (225 grams, 8 ounces, 16 tablespoons or 1 cup) unsalted butter, very cold
1/2 cup (118 ml) vodka or water, if you don’t have vodka
1 egg, beaten, for the egg wash
3 pints of strawberries, cored and cut into quarters
1 large stalk of rhubarb, cut lengthwise and then chopped into small pieces
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
1 pint of blueberries
3/4 cup cornstarch, divided (1/2 cup for strawberries, 1/4 cup for blueberries)
3/4 cup sugar, divided (1/2 cup for strawberries, 1/4 cup for blueberries)
Juice from half a lemon
Make the pie crust first.
Whisk together flour, sugar and salt in the bottom of a large, wide-ish bowl. Using a pastry blender, two forks or your fingertips, work the butter into the flour until the biggest pieces of butter are the size of small peas. Gently stir in the vodka (or water) with your hands, mixing it until a craggy mass form and then knead it just two or three times to form a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and flatten into a rectangle. Chill in fridge for at least an hour or up to two days. The longer you let it rest, the easier it will be to roll out later.
While the dough is resting, make your fillings!
In one bowl, toss the strawberries, rhubarb and basil, half cup of sugar and half cup of cornstarch together until well combined.
In a second bowl, toss blueberries, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup cornstarch together until well combined.
Roll out your dough so that it is at least an inch and 1/2 wider on all sides than your pan. Carefully place the dough in the pan, making sure that it lies flat in the bottom and corners of the pan. Cut the excess dough off the edges, roll the excess dough together and place in the fridge to chill.
Pour your strawberries evenly into the pie dough, making sure to leave a rectangle empty in the upper left corner. Then pour the blueberries into the empty corner. Squeeze the half a lemon over the whole pie.
Take your excess dough out of the fridge and roll it into another rectangle, the length of your pan. Using a ruler, cut 3, quarter inch wide strips of pie dough and place them evenly across the longest strawberry part of your pie. Then cut 5 more strips to fit the shorter part of your pie. Roll down the pie dough around the edges of the pie to cover the ends of the strips. With any leftover pie dough, cut out stars or hearts to place (artfully) over the blueberries.
Preheat the oven to 400°F and place your pie in the fridge to chill, for at least 20 minutes, while your oven preheats.
Carefully brush the pie dough with the egg wash before placing in the oven.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the pie crust is a golden brown.
Let chill to room temp. before serving.
Total Time: About 2 hours
NOTE: The amount of berries I used for this pie made a thin 8x12in pie. If I were to do this pie again, I would buy more berries or make a smaller pie.
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