This year marks the 239th birthday of the United States. Flash back to 1776 and to the document that started it all:
Back in 1776 there were no cookouts, swim parties, or festivals. The War for Independence raged on against the British with no end in sight. But the Declaration of Independence had declared ourselves free from tyranny. It kept hope alive during the darkest days of the War for Independence.
When I moved from California to Virginia I had the chance to experience legal fireworks. We have been enjoying that pleasure every July. Cue the fireworks:
This summer has been especially hectic with our cookbook being released this winter. Between revisions and all of the editing summer has been flying by a a furious rate. While my vegetable garden is in season I love to make dishes with seasonal ingredients. This year my rhubarb has been quite prolific and we just knew that meant rhubarb pie.Pie is the definitely the quintessential summertime dessert. This year we decided to take it “up a notch” and make a Flag Pie. Blueberries for the stars, and strawberry rhubarb for the stripes. A marriage of patriotic fervor and pie. Blueberries meet a heavenly strawberry rhubarb combination. This showstopper will be the hit of your celebration.
American Flag Pie
9 Tbsp very cold unsalted butter
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
4 Tbsp very cold vegetable shortening
4-6 Tbsp ice water
For Rhubarb Strawberry Filling:
½ cup sugar
4 Tbsp Instant Clear Gel (available through kingarthurflour.com) or cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
3 ½ cups diced rhubarb
2 cups hulled and sliced strawberries
For Blueberry Filling:
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp Instant Clear Jel or cornstarch
1 ½ tsp lemon juice
Cut the butter into chunks and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the tube, then pulse until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a large piece of plastic wrap and form into a ball. Wrap well and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place about ¾ of the dough on a well-floured board or in a well-floured pie crust bag and roll into a circle large enough to fit the 9-inch pie pan. Gently fold the crust over the rolling pin and place it in the pan. Crimp the edges of the crust.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
To make rhubarb-strawberry filling, stir together sugar, cornstarch or Clear Jel, and salt. Toss with strawberries and rhubarb. Set aside.
To make the blueberry filling, stir together sugar and cornstarch or Clear Jel. Toss with blueberries, then stir in the lemon juice.
Fill a 90 degree wedge of the pie with blueberry filling and the remaining portion with strawberry-rhubarb filling. This is easy if you have an adjustable pie dam, but if not, create a dam with a piece of aluminum foil. Remove the dam or foil once you’ve filled both wedges.
Roll out the rest of the crust and cut out 4-5 small star shapes, using the rest of the crust to make stripes of varying lengths to fit on the pie. Place the strips parallel to one another over the strawberry-rhubarb section, cutting off the excess and pinching the ends to the edge of the crust. Place stars on the blueberry filling.
Spritz the crust with water and sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees F. and bake for an additional 35 – 45 minutes until the crust is nicely browned and filling is bubbling. (You may want to place a sheet of aluminum foil or a baking sheet under the pie to catch the drips)
Remove from oven and cool for at least an hour before serving.