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?
for the crust
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 12 honey graham crackers)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- dash cinnamon
for the filling
- 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
- 1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust
- 1/2 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 20-30 blueberries
- other fresh berries of your choosing, such as cherries, raspberries, blackberries or pomegranate arils
Make the crust.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a food processor, pulse together graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon until combined.
- In a 9-inch pie dish, firmly press the crumb mixture into the bottom and against the 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.
Make the filling.
- 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 at least 2 hours or until ready to serve, up to one day.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 331Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 162mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 20gProtein: 3g