Independence Day is at the top of my list for holidays, possibly tied with Thanksgiving. (Well, Thanksgiving might win. Might.) It’s important to me that one can celebrate these holidays regardless of political and religious beliefs — they’re holidays for everyone. It’s nice to put aside our differences and celebrate being American with pretty fireworks and great food.
Every year for July 4 (and if we’re being honest, Memorial Day and Labor Day too), I make a Berry Cream Pie. It’s one of my favorite dishes to make, period. I’ve been making it for so long, I don’t even remember where I got the recipe. (So if you know, tell me!) It makes for a lovely summer pie, even if it’s not a patriotic holiday. You can easily find fresh berries this time of year, and the cream filling is light and fluffy, perfect for a hot (or rainy) July day.
My inner design nerd loves to arrange all the fruit on top. I like to make use of the shapes available in my fruit. I usually plan the design on the top on a plate about the same size as my pie dish, and I try to do something different every time! I usually use strawberries and blueberries but you could also use cherries, blackberries or raspberries in this very American pie. Do you have a favorite July 4 recipe? // susannah
Click through to see my recipe for Berry Cream Pie!
BERRY CREAM PIE
Serves 8 to 10
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Dash nutmeg
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 9-inch graham cracker crust (recipe below)
- 1/2 pint ripe, sliced strawberries, stems removed
- 20-30 blueberries, stems removed
- Other fresh berries of your choosing
- In a bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg until well blended and smooth.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip cream with powdered sugar and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla until stiff peaks form.
- Fold half of the whipped cream mixture into cream cheese mixture and mix well until smooth. Repeat with the second half of the whipped cream mixture.
- In the bottom of a graham cracker crust, layer slices of strawberries. Over top, spoon cream mixture and smooth using the back of a spoon.
- Garnish with fresh berries. Chill until ready to serve, up to one day.
GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
Makes one 9-inch crust. Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
- 12 honey graham crackers, finely ground (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Dash cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse together graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon until combined.
- In a 9-inch pie dish, firmly press crumb mixture into the bottom and against outer edges. . Fill any holes and make sure the crust is evenly distributed.
- Bake until the edges of the crust are golden and the crust is fragrant, about 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack before filling.