tart

Growing up, my favorite fourth of July dessert was Flag Cake. Try this grown-up version, with a fresh strawberry filling, homemade whipped cream and delicious organic berries for the fourth, and for picnics and dinner parties all summer long!

Red, White and Blue Pie

Serves 6

Ingredients

For the crust:
125 grams (1 stick plus 1 teaspoon) butter
3 egg yolks
225 grams (1 cup) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
250 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder 

For the strawberry filling:
50 grams (scant 1/4 cup) sugar
500 grams (1 pound) strawberries 
1/2 envelope gelatin, dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water (optional)

For the whipped cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1/8 cup sugar

For garnish:
fresh blueberries and strawberries

Method

First, make the crust. Cut the butter into cubes, and allow to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, combine the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and butter.

Sprinkle the flour and baking powder over the mixture, and use your fingers to work it into a sandy texture. Form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill half an hour.

Wash and hull the strawberries and dice. Combine with sugar in a saucepan, and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, about half an hour or until the strawberries are cooked down and have released a thick syrup. Stir in the gelatin, if using, and allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dough from the fridge. The dough may fall apart easily, so instead of rolling it out, press it into a springform pie pan with your fingertips, or press equal parts into six mini tart pans for individual pies. For a large pie, bake for 50 minutes; for mini pies, bake about 20 minutes, until the crust has puffed up and turned golden brown. Remove and immediately press down with the back of a metal spoon. Cool.

When ready to serve, beat the cream with an electric whisk until it forms small peaks. Gently encorporate the sugar. Spread the strawberry filling over the crust, and then dollop the whipped cream into the center. Garnish with slices of fresh strawberries and blueberries.

Image: Emily Monaco