Star-Spangled Berry Pie

The Editors
8 servings
Preparation Method
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This one-crust “Star-Spangled Berry Pie” is the ultimate Independence Day dessert! Ripe raspberries and blueberries are topped with stars; a white chocolate layer on the bottom takes this over the top!

The recipe once won first prize at Vermont’s Shelburne Museum pie contest. When the judge asked for the secret to the pie crust, it was simply Crisco shortening. Crisco contains hydrogenated vegetable oils, which we normally discourage but it does make for flaky pie crusts. Feel free to use an equal amount of unsalted butter as a substitute.

This recipe makes two crusts, but you’ll need only one for this pie recipe. (Label and freeze the second dough ball.)

Also, it’s best to prepare the crust in advance so it can chill. You are welcome to add more stars of different sizes across the top for an even more festive look!

Family and friends say this patriotic pie is better than any restaurant pie. Tell us what you think!

10 tablespoons (5 ounces) Crisco
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup ice water
8 ounces (approximately) white chocolate
2 pints fresh ripe raspberries, divided
10 tablespoons (approximately) sugar, divided
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons tap water, divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
2 pints fresh ripe blueberries, divided
White Chocolate Stars (or whipped cream)

In a food processor, pulse together Crisco, flour, and salt. Add ice water and pulse just until dough gathers from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball. You may need to add a bit more water; don’t over process. Gather dough into two balls. Wrap them individually in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight. (You may freeze them up to 6 weeks; defrost in refrigerator before using.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Dust a work surface with flour. Roll one dough ball out to an even round about 13 inches in diameter (for a 9-inch pie plate), 1/8-inch thick. Fold dough in half and lay it on top of a rolling pin. Lift gently and position it over pie plate. Unfold and ease dough into the pie plate without stretching it; cover the rim evenly.

Press dough gently against the sides and bottom. Trim the overhang to 1-inch. Tuck the dough overhang under itself and flute the edges. Lay parchment or foil into the pie plate, and place a layer of pie weights or dry beans on top. Bake 20 minutes; then take it out and let piecrust cool. Remove weights/beans.

Into a double boiler over simmering water, break chocolate into 2-inch pieces. Stir just until chocolate melts; don’t let it boil. Spoon about 3 tablespoons melted chocolate onto bottom of piecrust, to keep it from getting soggy. Set aside the rest of the chocolate.

Pick out 1 pint of the finest, firmest, and largest raspberries. Place a 3-inch biscuit cutter into the center of the pie crust. Arrange raspberries, tips up, around the outer circle. Place remaining raspberries into small saucepan over medium heat. Add 5 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon tap water. Add more sugar to taste if you like. Mash berries; stir and mash occasionally until thickened, about 10 minutes. Strain to remove seeds. Whisk 1 teaspoon tap water with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and whisk into raspberry sauce. Let cool slightly, then pour over arranged raspberries in piecrust.

Fill center ring with the best and biggest blueberries. Refrigerate the pie. Place remaining 1 pint blueberries into a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 5 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon tap water until berries are bubbling and thickening. Whisk 1 teaspoon tap water with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and whisk into blueberry sauce. Let cool.

When raspberries in piecrust have cooled, pour blueberry sauce over fresh blueberries in center of pie. When sauce has set a bit (about 15 minutes), remove the ring. Chill to set, about 40 minutes.

Optional: With the reserved chocolate, make the White Chocolate Stars. See instructions below. Moisten backs of stars lightly to adhere to the top of the pie.

White Chocolate Stars

Reserved white chocolate

Note: Use a cold rolling pin to roll out the chocolate; it sets up fast and you’ll want to work quickly. Have ready two or three different sizes of star-shaped cookie cutters, wax paper, two baking sheets lined with parchment paper or Silpat, a chilled rolling pin, and a sharp knife.

Reheat double boiler to melt reserved chocolate, but don’t let it boil. Tape parchment or Silpat to a cookie sheet. Pour melted chocolate onto parchment. Place another sheet of parchment or Silpat on top of the melted chocolate. Freeze five minutes, then remove.

Using a cold rolling pin, roll chocolate into a thin layer, 1/8-inch thick. Peel away the top layer of parchment or Silpat and cut out one star at a time with a sharp knife. (Be sure edges are cut through.) If the chocolate hardens too much to cut, reheat it in a 200-degree oven for a minute or so.

Place stars on a second lined baking sheet. Add stars to top of cool pie.

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The Almanac Chefs

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