Fourth of July Flag Cobbler

Fruit cobbler comes in many guises, from biscuit-topped peaches, to blueberries on a cake batter base to this red, white and blue version: basically, a blueberry/strawberry pie made in a 9" x 13" pan. And when the Fourth of July rolls around, what better way to show your colors than this?

Prep
45 mins
Bake
1 hr to 1 hr 33 mins
Total
2 hrs 15 mins
Yield
about 16 to 24 servings
Fourth of July Flag Cobbler

Instructions

  1. To make the bottom crust, stars, and stripes: Divide the pastry in half. Roll one piece into a generous 9" x 13" rectangle, and place it into a lightly greased 9" x 13" pan, pressing it to the edges if necessary. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

  2. Roll the other piece of dough into a 6" x 13" rectangle. Cut six 3/4"-wide x 13"-long strips; these will be your flag's white stripes. Use a star cookie cutter to cut 9 to 12 small (about 1 1/4") stars from the remainder of the dough. Place the stars and stripes, spaced 1" apart on a baking sheet, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

  3. Preheat the oven to 425°F while the crust is chilling.

  4. Prick the bottom crust all over with a fork. This will help keep it from puffing up too precipitously. If desired, for sparkle and crunch, brush or spray the stars and stripes with water, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar.

  5. Place the bottom crust on a middle oven rack, and the stars and stripes on a lower rack. Bake the stars for 10 to 12 minutes; the stripes for 18 to 20 minutes, until set and barely browned. You want them to be fully baked, but still be fairly light-colored. Remove them from the oven.

  6. Bake the bottom crust until it's a light golden brown, about 20 to 22 minutes. Check it several times; if it's puffing up, deflate it with a fork or the sharp tip of a knife. Remove the baked crust from the oven.

  7. To prepare the blueberry filling: Place half the blueberries in a saucepan and crush them a bit with a spoon. Stir in the sugar and enhancer. Cook over medium heat until the mixture starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the remaining blueberries and lemon juice.

  8. To prepare the strawberry filling: Place half the strawberries in a saucepan, crush them, and stir in the sugar, enhancer, salt, and water. Cook until thickened then remove from the heat and stir in the remaining strawberries and lemon juice.

  9. To assemble the cobbler: Spoon the strawberries over a bit more than 3/4 of the bottom of the pan, leaving a rectangular space in the top left for the blueberries.

  10. Spoon the blueberries into the bare space.

  11. Lay the six stripes atop the strawberries, leaving a long edge of berries showing at both the top and bottom of the pan. Trim the stripes where they meet the blueberry filling.

  12. Arrange the baked stars over the blueberries.

  13. Serve lukewarm, or at room temperature. Store any leftovers, well-wrapped, in the refrigerator for a couple of days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • As a result of reader feedback, as of 3/21/17 we've amended the recipe as follows: we reduced the amount of thickener (pie filling enhancer) in the strawberry filling, and called for precooking both the blueberry and strawberry fillings so that once the cobbler is assembled, all that is left to do is eat and enjoy it! As a result, the blog post attached to this recipe doesn't reflect its updated preparation method; but still includes lots of good tips around making the crust and assembling the cobbler.
  • You can make this cobbler a couple of days ahead; store it, tightly wrapped, at room temperature. The crust will lose its crispness as it sits. To refresh, place in a preheated 350°F oven, lightly tented with foil. Heat until it's as hot as you like — 30 minutes or so should do it.
  • If you don't have Pie Filling Enhancer to thicken the strawberries and blueberries, use an alternate thickener. For the strawberries, you'll need about 1/4 cup Instant ClearJel (mixed with the sugar in the recipe); or 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour. For the blueberries, substitute 2 teaspoons Instant ClearJel (mixed with the sugar); or 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour.
  • Why do you make six 13" stripes when you need only three 13" stripes (for the lower half of the flag), and three shorter ones (for the upper half)? Because it's easier to trim longer stripes to length than it is to guess ahead of time, before baking the pie, just how short they need to be.
  • If using frozen berries, we recommend thawing them and draining them of their juices to avoid a runny filling. Additionally, for the strawberry filling, skip the 2 tablespoons of water, and add an extra 2 tablespoons of pie filling enhancer or flour; and for the blueberry filling, simply add an extra tablespoon of pie filling enhancer or flour.