I should warn you, this is my favorite Holiday. So, Star-Spangled Pies seemed like the obvious recipe to post. I’ll take the smell of BBQ and fireworks over Christmas madness any day.
Happy Birthday America!!!
Holiday traditions are somewhat magical in that they bring us together year after year. For me, the Fourth of July growing up was all about firework shows, neighborhood block parties, parades, and BBQs! I remember summers growing up in North Carolina on Lake Norman, feasting on cherry pies and slightly burnt hot dogs. Ahh… simpler times. 🙂 I have THE BEST Sweet Cherry Pie recipe that never fails. Definitely worth adding it to your recipe collection.
Over 1,000 years ago, fireworks were accidentally created by the Chinese. They would roast bamboo, which explodes with a bang when heated due to its hollow air pockets, in order to ward off evil spirits.
Hundreds of years later a Chinese chemist accidentally mixed together potassium nitrate, charcoal, and sulfur creating an early form of gunpowder. They stuffed this substance into bamboo shoots, tossed it in the fire and BOOM! The first firecracker was born.
The early forms of fireworks burned in pale shades of white and gold. In time, significant events were marked by the display of fireworks (births, wedding, holidays). During the Renaissance, pyrotechnic schools were all over Europe, particularly in Italy. Italians became famous for the most colorful firework displays. Adding trace elements to the explosive powder, such as copper, turned the explosions blue and green.
These pies were very simple to make. Large containers of berries were on sale at Whole Foods so I picked up one of each. I made the pie crusts and let them chill for a few hours. Meanwhile, I put blueberries in one large bowl and sliced strawberries in another. I combined 1 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of salt, and sprinkled the mixture into each bowl (half in each). I left the berries on the counter for a little while to macerate and when I came back I added 1 teaspoon of almond extract to each bowl. Viola! Time to assemble. You will need a star shaped cookie cutter unless you are crafty with a pairing knife. I bought this set from Amazon and really like them. Fox Run Star Cookie Cutter Set, 5-Piece. They are sharp and make a nice, clean cut. I also got free same day shipping!