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With the 4th of July approaching, I often think of our military heroes at this time of year. So many people in our country fight to keep our freedom. I know that first hand as my father is retired from the Air Force. As a child I can remember when I first heard about the Gulf War. I was in elementary school at the time and while I knew it meant our country was at war and my dad was in the military it didn’t hit home until he got a call saying that his unit might have to go to help with communications in the war. While he would have still been based in the United States, it was still a scary time for us but my dad talked about it with me and let me know he was doing his duty for our country.
Now that I’m an adult I’m proud of my father and he has always been a hero in my eyes. He is the strong, quiet type but behind that he is tough and willing to do what needs to be done. To honor him I put together a red, white, and blue brunch to salute my father. I made a few brunch items, including a red, white, and blue tart, and served coffee with Coffee-mate creamer.
To make our patriotic coffee moment special, I invited my mom, my husband, my brother, and his fiancee to brunch along with my dad. In additional to celebrating my father’s military service, both of my parents talked about their fathers’ who were in World War II. It was really neat to hear stories about how they both fought in the war and what part they played in history. My mom’s father was in the air force and flew a fighter plane and my dad’s father was in the army and fought on foot.
Another special moment I have that relates to my father being in the military is from my wedding. My husband and I actually had our reception at my father’s air force base. Our guests may have been surprised when they had to go through armed guards to get into our reception but since I went there often as a child, the base had special meaning for me. It’s also the place where my dad worked which made it more special then just your average hotel.
To help celebrate the military heroes in your family, why not have your own coffee moment with the new Coffee-mate patriotic creamers and this delicious red, white, and blue tart. The tart is easy to make with ready made pie crust, vanilla pastry cream, and fresh fruit.
- 2 refrigerated pie crusts
- 1 1/2 c. whole milk
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 egg
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 1 pint blueberries
- 2 c. strawberries, sliced
- 1 c. whipped cream
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Press one of the refrigerated pie crusts into a tart pan. Trim the edges. Use a fork and poke the bottom of the crust.
- Take the other pie crust and use a cookie cutter to cut out 8-10 mini stars. Place the stars on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Baking the cookies for 4-5 minutes and the crust for 10-12 minutes or until it is browned. Cool completely.
- Meanwhile, dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 cup of the milk. Mix well and set aside.
- Combine the remaining milk with the sugar in a medium saucepan. Cut the vanilla bean open and place in the milk. Bring the milk to a boil and then remove from heat. Remove the vanilla bean from the milk and dispose.
- Add the egg and egg yolks to the cornstarch mixture and beat well. Pour 1/3 of the boiling milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so that the eggs do not cook.
- Return the remaining milk to a boil on the stove. Slowly pour in the hot egg mixture, whisking constantly.
- Continue whisking until the cream has thickened (it took mine about 6 minutes). Remove from heat and beat in the butter.
- Add the vanilla and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap touches the surface of the cream. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- When ready to make the tart, fill the cooked pie crust with the pastry cream. Place the strawberries and blueberries on top of the pastry cream in a pretty paper.
- Place the whipped cream in a pastry bag with a star tip. Squeeze pretty dobs of whipped cream around the edges of the tart and where needed.
- Finally, place the cooked star shaped cookies on top. Enjoy.
A Hezzi-D Original Recipe