Throughout the year we celebrate Old Glory by paying homage to our flag before community events and singing the Star Spangled Banner. Flag poles throughout America proudly fly the stars and stripes every day. I decided with the upcoming Flag Day holiday, June 14, it seems like a fitting time to make a refreshing tart, Stars & Stripes Tart. It just so happens this tart will be the dessert I bring to our end-of-the-year volleyball picnic on Sunday.
It is so easy to make and decorate with summer’s best fruits – strawberries and blueberries. So, come with me into the kitchen. First, heat the oven to 400° F. Combine the softened butter and sugar in a large bowl. Then beat this mixture on Medium speed until it is smooth and creamy.
Next, add the flour and milk and beat it on Low speed until all the ingredients are just mixed in. Too much beating in this step will only tend to toughen the tart crust and it will not be as tender as you would like. Beating too much develops the gluten in the flour.
After mixing, spoon the dough into a 13x9-inch baking pan. The mixture resembles cookie dough. This crust is a great sweet dough base for this fruit tart.
Spread the dough over the bottom of the 13x9-inch baking pan.
Then press all over the dough until it is smooth. Make sure to press the dough along the sides of the pan, too, until it forms a ½ inch edge along the bottom edge. The crust is like one BIG butter cookie!
Prick the crust all over with a fork. Poking small holes in the crust will allow steam to escape as the crust bakes.
Bake the crust for 14 to 18 minutes or until it is lightly browned. Then remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack and cool it completely. The crust could actually be made a day or so ahead of time.
A couple of hours before serving time or before you need to leave home to go to the picnic, zest an orange…
…and place all the filling ingredients in a small bowl.
Beat the ingredients at Medium speed until the mixture is well mixed and creamy.
Spread the filling over the top of the cooled crust. Then refrigerate the crust with the filling for one to two hours until the filling gets firm.
Just before serving, arrange fruit on the filling to represent the design of the American flag. First place 20 blueberries (4 rows of 5 blueberries) or 24 blueberries (4 rows of 6 blueberries) in the top left corner of the flag design.
The blueberries were rather large and so I used fewer blueberries than the original photo shows. The number of blueberries can be varied depending on the size you want to make the “stars” area on the tart. On our flag through the years the stars have represented the number of colonies and also the number of states in the United States.
Next I place sliced strawberry halves on the filling in rows to stand for the red and white stripes on the flag.
The finishing touch on my Stars and Stripes Tart is to carefully brush very slightly warmed and melted apple jelly over the entire top of the tart to give it a “shine”.
This tart could play a starring role on any summertime picnic table! There is no need to wait until the Fourth of July to serve this special summer dessert. Flag day is June 14. It’s a perfect date to initiate a celebration of Old Glory!
My Stars & Stripes Tart was devoured by everyone at the volleyball picnic this past weekend.
Celebrate the tradition of honoring Old Glory by making a Stars and Stripes Tart for your next summer picnic gathering! I’d love to know how you decorated a summer fruit tart like this one. Leave me a comment here or rate and review this recipe.
Coming up is another holiday, Father’s Day. See what Mallory made for her dad as an early celebration.
Cindy Manwarren is a Manager of the Test Kitchens for Land O’Lakes and writes for our Recipe Buzz® Blog.