It's Pie Time: Five Pies to Celebrate Independence Day

After all the hot dogs, hamburgers and barbecue chicken have been eaten on the Fourth of July, the best way to end the celebration is with a slice of pie, and a scoop of ice cream, of course. While you can keep it traditional and bake an apple pie for the Fourth of July, try some of these pies for a little variation in your holiday celebration.

Here are five pies you can make for your friends and family this Thursday to celebrate Independence Day.

5. Frozen Lemonade Pie

Keep everyone cool and refreshed with a sweet and tart frozen lemonade pie from Pat and Gina Neely. Make a classic graham cracker crust along with the filling the night before. Prepare the filling by whipping heavy cream until stiff peaks form in one bowl, then in another bowl combine chilled sweetened condensed milk with a six-ounce can of frozen lemonade concentrate. Fold the lemonade mixture into the whipped cream and put the filling into the sweet graham cracker crust to freeze overnight. Just an hour before you're going to eat the pie, top it with blueberries and raspberries mixed with granulated sugar and fresh lemon juice for a sweet-tart topping.

4. Miniature Hand Pies

If you have a bunch of family and friends coming over for the holiday, make a bunch of miniature pies with several different fillings so everyone can have their favorite. Use a boxed piecrust mix, then roll out the dough and cut out five-inch squares. Create several mixtures of fruit (berries, peaches, apples, etc.) with sugar, a splash of orange juice and a little zest, a pinch of salt and cornstarch to hold the mixture together, as Martha Stewart suggests, then place two tablespoons of fruit onto each pie square. Brush the sides of each crust square with an egg wash, then fold diagonally to seal the filling inside. Brush the tops of the pies with the egg wash, sprinkle some granulated sugar on top and cut a small hole on top so your pie doesn't explode in the oven. Bake the pies for approximately 25 or 30 minutes in a 375-degree oven.

3. Banana Pudding Pie

Making pies doesn't have to take a lot of time and it most certainly doesn't have to be complicated. Banana pudding pie is probably one of the easiest to make, and it's super refreshing during the summer time. Pulverize vanilla wafers in a food processor, stir with melted butter, then press the mixture on the bottom and sides of a pie pan, or line the bottom and sides with whole vanilla wafers for a quicker piecrust. Bake the crust until golden brown, then fill with banana slices, vanilla pudding, and more vanilla wafers. Bake the pie for another ten or 12 minutes, then once it is cooled, stick it in the fridge to enjoy after dinner. Don't even try to make a meringue on top of the pie because with this Houston humidity, you'll have a sweaty meringue topping. Instead, place mini marshmallows on top and toast in the oven for a few minutes for a golden, gooey finish.

2. Chocolate Icebox Pie

Satisfy that chocolate craving with an easy chocolate icebox pie from Pillsbury. Make the filling by melting chocolate chips in heated milk, then combine water, cornstarch, sweetened condensed milk, beaten eggs and vanilla with the melted chocolate. Boil the mixture until it thickens, then stir in the butter. Refrigerate the filling in a chocolate cookie crumb crust overnight, then top with whipped cream for a sweet, cool treat.

1. Cherry-Blueberry Flag Pie

Make a classic 4th of July pie by creating a stars-and-stripes design with the crust, cherries and blueberries. Use cherry pie and blueberry pie fillings to make your job a whole lot easier. Place the piecrust into the pie plate, pour 1/3 of the cherry pie filling into the crust, then create a section for the blueberry pie filling with cardboard. Woman's Day offers this recipe where a 6-inch square of cardboard is bent in the middle to create a wedge and placed in the upper left corner of the pie. Fill the cardboard with the blueberry pie filling, then fill the rest of the piecrust with the remaining cans of cherry pie filling and remove the cardboard. Use a cookie cutter to cut out stars from the piecrust, then place on top of the blueberry pie filling, followed by stripes of piecrust on the cherry pie filling. Brush the tops of the piecrust with an egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, then bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 25 minutes. Once it's done, you will have the perfect pie to celebrate Independence Day.

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Molly Dunn
Contact: Molly Dunn