Fourth of July Pan Dowdy

Happy Fourth of July!

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.” – Erma Bombeck

Most July 4th celebrations have been cancelled due to you-know-what. How then shall we celebrate Independence Day 2020? Some of us will attend that big BBQ sans masks, while others will migrate to the beach, while still others hunker down at home.

Whatever you decide to do, I wanted gift you a great (and simple to make) July 4th dessert to share with family and friends this weekend. Serve with some home-made ice cream.

Blueberry and Cherry Pan /Dowdy

I found a form of this dish on a charming site–Half Baked Harvest–a blog written by a very talented you cook living in Colorado. However, there were some elements that I wanted to change and add, so we will just say that this is “adapted” from the blog’s original recipe.


2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
4 C fresh or frozen blueberries
4 C fresh or frozen sweet cherries, pitted
2 1/2 TB corn starch

1/4 C. honey
3 TB Brown sugar`
1/4 cup fruit liqueur (I used pineapple schnapps in the summer)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
1 TB lemon juice
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 large egg, beaten (for shellacking pastry)
Sugar topping (coarse sugar, if available)
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry sheets out. Cut out as many stars as you can with different size star cutters. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes. Note: I only used one sheet of puff pastry on this “practice” run, so you should have double the stars.

In a 10-11 inch cast iron skillet or large pie plate, combine the blueberries, cherries, and cornstarch, toss to evenly coat. Turn burner on low. Add honey, pineapple schnapps, vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. Gently stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.

Position the stars over the berries, leaving a few gaps so you can see some of the berry mixture. Lightly brush the stars with egg wash. After brushing with the egg wash one more time, sprinkle the stars with coarse sugar.

Place the skillet on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temp to 350. Continue baking for another 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly. If it starts turning too brown, cover with foil to help prevent burning.

Spoon the heavy cream in the open spaces between the stars, then return the skillet to the oven for about 10 minutes.

Cool for a couple of minutes. Then serve with vanilla ice cream.

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