Star Spangled Berry Cherry Pie


Stars are celebrating this flaky and delicious crust.

When I first spotted Half Baked Harvest’s beautiful pie recipe on Pinterest, I knew immediately I wanted to try it.  The photos made my mouth water, especially the star-studded, sugar-crystal top of the pie, but it was the list of ingredients that made me say, “Yumm!”.  Vanilla, bourbon, fresh cherries, and blueberries – swoon!  This was the perfect recipe for our Fourth of July holiday weekend, so I set off to see how it turns out in a camp Dutch oven.


Ingredients for a flaky pie crust includes vodka which does not interact with the flour and does not create tough, gluten bonds

I adapted the pie crust recipe with America’s Test Kithchen’s technique of grating butter into the crust and using vodka, not water, to make a tender and flaky pie crust, then followed Half Baked Harvest’s directions for the filling.

Ingredients for a Star Spangled Berry Cherry Pie

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) frozen butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup ice cold Vodka
  • 2 pounds fresh cherries, pitted and cut in half
  • 1 pound fresh blueberries
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons King Arthur Pie Filling Enhancer
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • zest from 2 lemons
  • Sparkling sugar

For the pie crust:

Whisk together flour, almond flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.  Working quickly to avoid warming it up in your hand, grate the butter into the flour mixture using the large holes on a box grater.  Stop to toss the butter in the flour several times, using a whisk or a big fork.  The goal is to seperate the pieces of butter and keep them as cold as possible.  Place in the refrigerator.


The second important technique for creating a flaky pie crust (without a food processor) is to grate frozen butter into the flour mixture and toss gently.

Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks.  Save the egg whites for the pastry wash and add the egg yokes to the ice cold vodka.  Whisk the egg yokes and vodka together until it is a creamy, yellow color.  Retrieve the flour mixture from the refrigerator, create a well in the center, and add the egg yolk mix.  Using a large spatula, gently fold the egg yolks and vodka into the flour until it is crumbly.  Turn out on to a well floured counter.  Look at all that butter!!


Even though the pie dough looks dry, it will come together into a ball


Pie dough shaped into a simple ball and then cut in half.

Gently push the crumbly mixture together until it forms a ball, then divide it into two parts.  Wrap each in plastic wrap and shape it into a 2-inch thick disc.  Put the discs into the refrigerator for at least one hour to allow the dough to “tighten up”.  You can store them for a day in the refrigerator or put them into the freezer and store for weeks.  If you freeze the dough, it will need about an hour at room temperature before you can roll it out.


Pie dough, formed into two discs and wrapped in plastic wrap, ready to go into the refrigerator or freezer

While the pie dough is chilling out, prepare the fruit filling.  In a large bowl add cherries, blueberries, brown sugar, burbon, pie enhancer, vanilla, and lemon zest.  Stir.


Bright and beautiful fresh Rainer Cherries (2 pounds, pitted and halved) and one pound of fresh blueberries

Prepare a 12″ camp Dutch oven by cutting out a round piece of parchment paper to fit into the bottom of the oven.  Tear off a piece of parcment paper about 24-inches long and divide length-wise into thirds.  Fold each in half and place in the oven, meeting in the center to form a 6-sided star.


This cherry berry pie is ready for charcoal to bake at 350 degrees for at least one hour

Roll one of the discs of dough out and carefully transfer to the oven.  Repair any cracks and trim the crust up about 2-inches.  Add pie filling.

Roll out the second disc of dough and create the top with your choice of lattice, a solid top with slits, or other shapes.  I used two different sizes of stars.


Star shaped cookie cutter makes a perfect shape to create the top for this star spangled pie



Add a teaspoon of water to the egg whites and whisk together until frothy, then paint top of crust using a pastry brush.  Finish with a sprinkle of coarse sparkling sugar.

20140705-IMG_2477-Edit-1Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit (17 hot charcoals on top and 8 underneath) for 60 minutes or until top crust is golden brown.  You may need to change the charcoal after 30 minutes. Turn the top and bottom in opposite directions every 20 minutes to avoid a hot spot.  Remove charcoal and let the pie cool.20140706-IMG_2479-Edit-1This pie never truly set up, so I did not expect it to come out of the oven, so when it came out without breaking apart, we gave a whooop of joy!!

IMG_2485-Edit-1Here’s what happened when we cut a piece to eat….  The pie enhancer either didn’t work or I didn’t use enough.  IMG_2492-Edit-1I loved the crust – light, flaky, and so buttery!  This pie filling has a wonderful flavor and is not very sweet, making the cherries and blueberries the star of the show. Next time I bake this pie filling I will add two tablespoons tapioca and double the brown sugar to 1 1/2 cups.

All we need now is a scoop of vanilla ice cream!!

Enjoy and Happy 4th of July!!

This entry was posted in Recipes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Star Spangled Berry Cherry Pie

  1. sophiebowns says:

    This sounds perfect!


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