With the 4th of July coming up I didn't really give a lot of thought to any patriotic themed desserts. However, randomly last night while watching Sabrina, I wanted to make a cherry pie. I can't remember what the connection was to Audrey Hepburn and cherry pie or if there even is one. So cherry pie does seem very American and I added some stars to end up with a semi-patriotic dessert after all.
I got the recipe from my 1950's Better Home and Garden cookbook. It should perhaps be renamed "How to be a Good Housewife" since that seems like what it was written for. It has a lot of good cooking tips though and apparently a good basic cherry pie recipe.
2 cups cherries (either canned or frozen)
1/3 cup cherry juice
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon butter, softened
red food coloring
Drain the cherries and reserve 1/3 cup of cherry juice. In a large bowl combine sugar and flour. Mix in cherry juice, almond extract, butter, and small amount of red food coloring (I used gel since that is what I had on hand but liquid would work as well). Add in cherries and allow to sit while pie pastry is made.
Perfect Pie Crust:
1 1/2 sticks very cold unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
6 to 8 tablespoons (about 1/2 cup) ice water
Dice the butter 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 fitted with a steel blade 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 feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball.
Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn't stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan.
I nearly made a lattice top for the pie but then found a star cookie cutter and then cut out stars with the remaining dough (which was a lot). Only 38 stars...I'll try to be more aware of US history next time I bake.