10 All-American Desserts for the 4th of July

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cherry tartFresh Cherry Tart for 4th of JulyOne of the most festive ways to celebrate the 4th of July is with a classic, yummy American dessert. There are plenty of treats that are reminiscent of this great country of ours either because -- like apple pie -- they're steeped in history or simply because Americans characteristically enjoy eating them. So, do your patriotic duty and partake in these sweet traditional confections:

Check out these 10 All-American Desserts for your Independence Day celebration.

1. Apple pie

There's nothing quite as American as apple pie ... or so the saying goes. Do a fancy old-fashioned lattice crust or serve open-topped with plenty of vanilla ice cream.

2. Cherry tart

Although most people tend to think of fruit pies as the quintessential American dessert, the tart is a not-so-distant cousin. Pay homage to one of our founding fathers, George Washington, with the Fresh Cherry Tart from Shutterbean:

Ingredients:

  • 9 graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 ounces bar cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound fresh sweet cherries pitted and halved
  • 1 tablespoon seedless raspberry jam

Instructions:

1. To make crust: In a food processor, pulse graham crackers and 2 tablespoons sugar until finely ground. Add butter, and process until combined. Transfer mixture to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of pan. Bake at 350 until browned -- about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, vanilla, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add cream, and beat until soft peaks form; spread mixture in cooled crust. Scatter cherries on top.

3. In a small saucepan, combine jam and 1 teaspoon water; heat over low until liquefied, about 2 minutes. Using a pastry brush, dab cherries with glaze. Refrigerate tart at least 30 minutes or, covered, up to 1 day.

3. Flag cake

A star-spangled cake will add patriotism to any party. Ice a sheet cake with white frosting. Then layer blueberries and strawberries in a simple American flag design.

4. Baked Alaska

Technically this is a French dessert, but no matter: Honor the 49th state added to the union with this traditional dessert made of ice cream and sponge cake completely sheathed in toasted meringue.

5. Red Velvet Cake

This classic Southern dessert lends a gorgeous red hue to a barbecue or picnic.

6. Boston Cream Pie

The official state dessert of Massachusetts is layers of sponge cake and vanilla custard covered in chocolate glaze.

7. Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Rich and buttery, chocolate chip cookies are an American staple. In fact, allegedly half of all cookies baked in American homes are of the chocolate chip variety. Sandwich two freshly baked cookies around your favorite ice cream for a fun party treat.

8. Brownies

Brownies are also standard American dessert fare. Brownie sundae anyone?

9. Elephant Ears

Is there anything more American than fried dough? (Answer: No, no there is not.)

10. Jell-O Salad

Jiggly Jell-O -- especially when it's fluorescent orange-colored and contains fruit and marshmallows -- is so American, it hurts.

Which dessert are you serving on the 4th of July?

 

Image via mar__/Flickr

baking, desserts, food, holidays, parties, traditions