Fruit pies are as American as the Fourth of July, and what would be a better dessert than a slice of blueberry pie or a cake containing blueberries?
Or how about blueberry muffins or a blueberry buckle for breakfast?
For July 4, why not celebrate in a red, white and blueberry fashion with those healthy berries?
Red, white and blue are the colors most prominent for the Fourth of July, and blueberry pie fits right in with that color scheme. The berries are quite healthful and taste really great baked into a flaky crust. Ice cream is a nice addition to this dessert.
-- Esther McCoy
With the emphasis on the birth of America during this holiday, why not celebrate by learning more knowledge about our great country as well?
It is because America declared its freedom from Great Britain on July 4, 1776, that we will observe a holiday on this special date.
Liberty flags were flown from trees and poles by the colonists who called themselves the patriots after the 1770 fight with some British troops. And then the first battle between the Minutemen and British troops occurred in 1775.
Some great men came to be known in history because of the Revolutionary War.
There was George Washington, chosen to lead the Patriot army and later to become the first president; Benjamin Franklin, who helped get aid from France to win the war; Patrick Henry, who spoke out for independence; Molly Ludwig Hays, wife of a patriot soldier who went to battle with her husband and cared for the injured Minutemen; Paul Revere, who rode the countryside on a horse warning colonists that the British troops were coming; and Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, announcing that the United States was a free country and who later became the third president.
Cinnamon is added to this blueberry pie filling for a wonderful taste. Lemon juice can be added to give the filling a more tart flavor. It is your choice. For a well baked, crust that is browned on the underside, choose pie pans of heat-resistant glass or enamel ware. Shiny metal does not bake the under crust as well because it deflects the heat. Blackened tin pans or aluminum pans with a satiny finish give good results, according to the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees for this pie.
7/8 or 1 cup sugar, depending upon the sweetness of the berries
5 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice, if you want a more tart taste
1 tablespoon butter
Mix sugar, flour and cinnamon and combine with the berries and lemon juice. Mix lightly but well. Put into a 9-inch pie shell and dot with butter. Cover with top crust, making a few slits to let the steam escape. Bake until nicely browned and juice begins to bubble through the slits in the crust in a 425 degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes.
These muffins are low-fat and contain both whole wheat and white flour, yogurt and orange juice. They are from the "Good for You Cookbook."
Blueberry Yogurt Muffins
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup unsweetened orange juice
8-ounce container vanilla low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 12 muffin cups with cooking spray or use muffin cup liners. Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl. Do not pack the flour into the measuring cups. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients just until moistened. Gently fold in blueberries. If frozen do not thaw as this will make a neater batter. Spoon into muffin cups, filling almost to the top. Sprinkle each evenly with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden. Remove from pans immediately. Cool on wire rack. Makes 11 to 12 muffins.
This cake can be baked in a 13-by-9-inch pan or a bundt pan. Drizzling the finished cake with a frosting made with 1 cup confectioners' sugar and enough lemon juice to make it a thin consistency would make it worthy of company. It is from the "Good for You Cookbook."
3 cups flour, plus a sprinkle of flour tossed with the blueberries to keep them afloat in the batter
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups blueberries, fresh or unthawed frozen
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Make a well in the center and add liquid ingredients and eggs. Mix well. Batter will be slightly thick. Stir in berries last.
Pour into greased and floured 13-by-9-inch pan or bundt pan. Sprinkle on topping and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes for 13-by-9-inch pan and 1 hour or more for the bundt pan.
Note: Sprinkle the nutmeg and sugar in the greased and floured bundt pan so it will be on top after removing from the pan.
This makes a luscious, fruity, homey dessert that was popular long ago. It is from the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook.
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cups shortening
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups canned and drained or frozen and unthawed blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup soft butter
Mix 3/4 cup sugar, shortening and egg together thoroughly. Stir in milk. Sift together 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt. Stir together with blueberries just until all ingredients are blended. Batter will look lumpy. Spread into a greased and floured 9-inch square pan. Combine the 1/2 cup sugar, flour, cinnamon and soft butter until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of batter. Bake in a 375 degree oven 45 to 50 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
(McCoy can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)