Patriotic Pies and Pot-lucks

Image: "Berries" by Max Straeten, via

Image: “Berries” by Max Straeten, via

Are you gathering with friends and family over the July 4th weekend? Wondering what to bring to the pot-luck? Bring a pie! Its easy to tote, doesn’t need ice, can be made ahead and is a fun we-be-fancy dessert to share!

In Michigan rhubarb is abundant and berries plentiful; all make yummy pies. Using those fruits as starters, here are a few of my favorite pies shared during holiday weekends.

Red, White, and Blueberry Cream Pie

This pie tastes like a cross between cheese cake, cream pie, and a regular berry pie. It is my most requested dessert!

One 9” pie shell, unbaked, pressed into pie plate.

Filling, mix together, set aside for about 5 minutes:

1 tsp corn starch

2 tbl flour

1 ¼ cup sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 cup sour cream

1 egg beaten

Fruit: 3 cups fresh berries. I usually use a pint of blueberries, half-pint red raspberries, and quartered strawberries to make up the difference. Evenly spread fruit into bottom of unbaked pie crust.

Pour filling mix over berries. Bake 400º for 35-40 minutes (use a pizza pan underneath in case it bubbles over).

Crumble Topping: mix together

2 tbl sugar

3 tbl chopped pecans or walnuts

3 tbl flour

3 tbl butter

After 40 minutes, remove pie from oven, and sprinkle topping over pie. Return to oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Chill before serving.

For my birthday–May 30th–my grandmother would bake a rhubarb-custard pie instead of cake. Though best served chilled, we would occasionally eat it warm with vanilla ice cream.

Grandma’s Rhubarb-Custard

9” pie crust for top and bottom


1 ½ cups sugar

3 tbl instant tapioca

2 egg yolks

Let stand for 15 minutes, and then add…

3 cups fresh rhubarb, sliced in ½” pieces

Place pie shell in 9” pie plate; add filling, cover with crust. Crimp edges and cut vents into top crust. Brush with beaten egg whites and lightly sprinkle with about a teaspoon of sugar. Bake 350 º for 1-1 ½ hours until crust is brown. Use a pizza pan underneath pie in case it bubbles over.

This blueberry pie is a quick and easy pie with a little zest, great for any occasion!

Margaret’s Blueberry Pie

9” pie crust for top and bottom


4 cups blueberries

1 ½ cup sugar

3 tbl corn starch

2 tbl instant tapioca

½ tsp grated lemon peel

1/8-1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 tbl cold butter (cut into eighths and dotted on top of filling)

Mix filling, pour into pie shell, dot with butter, and add top crust. Crimp edges and cut vent holes in top. Bake 400 º for 45 minutes, until crust is brown. You guessed it…use a pizza pan underneath pie in case it bubbles over.

So there you have it, simple as pie!

A lovely practice as you make your dessert is to offer prayers for those with whom it will be shared:

Loving Father, I thank you for the opportunity to pray for and share this food with [name of person]. Bless him and keep him safe as he journeys to our gathering, keep his Guardian Angel strengthened to guide and protect, and let [name of person]always draw nearer to you. Amen

Copyright 2016 Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB


About Author

Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB lives an eremitic life and is the author of Cultivating God’s Garden through Lent, A Garden of Visible Prayer: Creating a Personal Sacred Space One Step at a Time, 2nd Edition, and A Catholic Gardener’s Spiritual Almanac. A freelance writer with a Benedictine spirituality, Margaret has a master’s degree in communications and is a Certified Greenhouse Grower, Advanced Master Gardener, liturgical garden consultant, and workshop/retreat leader.

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