We are so excited about the upcoming 4th of July and want to make sure you have all the right ingredients for a wonderful and festive celebration. We picked one of our favorite desserts – STAR-SPANGLED CHERRY AND BLUEBERRY PIE AND HOMEMADE VANILLA ICE CREAM. Let the Independence Day celebration begin!
STAR-SPANGLED CHERRY AND BLUEBERRY PIE (from “ad hoc at home” by Thomas Keller)
(Yields: 6-8 servings)
2 tbs cornstarch
2 tbs water
7 cups Oregon canned tart cherries
1 cup of fresh blueberries
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbs vanilla paste
1 tps pure vanilla extract
Basic Pie Crust (see recipe below)
1 large egg, beaten
Granulated sugar for sprinkling
Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve the cornstarch.
Put 5 cups of cherries in a large bowl, then set aside. Put the remaining 2 cups cherries in a blender and blend to a puree.
Combine the puree, sugar (3/4 cup if the cherries are sweet, up to 1 cup if they are tart), and vanilla paste (not the extract) in a medium sauce pan, bring to a simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring often to prevent bottom from burning, until mixture has been reduced to 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stirring constantly, add the cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring and cook until the mixture becomes translucent again. Remove from the heat, spoon a little of the puree mixture onto a plate and let cool slightly, then rub it between your fingertips to feel for any remaining grains of cornstarch. If necessary, cook slightly longer to dissolve the cornstarch. Transfer the filling to a medium bowl and stir in the vanilla extract, if using. Let cool completely.
Remove both doughs from the refrigerator (see basic pie crust recipe). Position one oven rack in the bottom of the oven and the other in the center and preheat the over for 400 degrees F.
Stir the puree into the whole cherries and pour into the pie shell. At this point, if the top crust is too hard to shape, let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes. Moisten the rim of the pie shell with some of the beaten egg. Use a star-shaped cookie cutter to make stars (I made 4) and then cut strips for stripes (I made 6). Cover the filling with the top crust and press edges of the strips together with the pie edges to seal.
Brush the top of the crust with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar if desired. Put on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Lower the heat to 375 degrees F, move the pie to the center rack, and bake until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling, 20 to 30 minutes.
Transfer pie to a cooling rack to cool.
The pie is best served 2 to 3 hours after it is baked, but it can be kept at room temp the day it is baked or wrapped and refrigerated for up to 3 days. To reheat, warm in a 325 degree F oven for about 15 minutes.
Basic Pie Crust
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling
1 ¼ tsp kosher salt
2 ½ sticks (10 oz) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and chilled
About 5 tbs ice water
Combine flour and salt in a large bowl, then add the butter and toss to coat with flour. With your hands or a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour, tossing and incorporating any pieces of butter that have settled at the bottom of the bowl, until the butter pieces are no larger than a pea. Drizzle ¼ cup of the water over the top and using a fork, mix the dough until it just holds together when pinched; add the remaining tablespoon of water if the dough is very dry. Knead the dough until it is completely smooth and the butter is incorporated.
Divide the dough in half with one piece slightly larger than the other. Shape each half into a 1-inch-thick disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
If the dough is too hard to roll, let it rest at room temp for a few minutes. Lightly flour the working surface and rolling pin. Lightly dust the top of the larger disk of dough with flour and roll it out to a 13 to 14 inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Roll outward from the center, rotating dough frequently and adding a little flour to the work surface or dough as needed to prevent sticking. Fold the dough in half and transfer to a 9 to 10 inch pie plate, gently easing the dough into the corners and up the sides.
Roll out the second piece of dough in the same manner, to a 12-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate both doughs for 15 minutes.
HOMEMADE ICE CREAM
(Yields: 1 quart)
1 packet Williams-Sonoma Vanilla Ice Cream Starter
1 ½ cups (375ml) cold half-and-half
1 ½ cups (375ml) cold heavy cream
In a large bowl, whisk together the ice cream starter and half-and-half until the starter has dissolved. Stir in the cream.
Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker (I love using my KitchenAid Professional 600 with the ice cream maker attachment) and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Here are the instructions for the KitchenAid mixer:
Assemble and engage freeze bowl, dasher and drive assembly as directed in attachment instructions. Turn to STIR (Speed 1). Using a container with a spout, pour mixture into freeze bowl. Continue on STIR (Speed 1) for 15 to 20 minutes or until desired consistency. Immediately transfer ice cream into serving dishes, or free in airtight container.
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