Red, White and Boom!

Fire Ball

Photo Courtesy of Andrew Milne

Before you head outside to watch the fireworks next week, bring some sparkle (literally) inside to your next event. These dazzling centerpieces made of flowers and sparklers were triggered remotely to ignite at the same time, causing quite a display that’s sure to be oohed and ahhed over.

As American as Pie

Photo Courtesy of Vicky Wasik

While we love apple pie, we couldn’t resist the cherry popping display of reds in this perfect cherry pie.

For the Filling:

28 ounces pitted cherries (5 heaping cups; 790g), from about 2 pounds whole fruit (6 heaping cups; 910g) (see note)

1 ounce fresh lemon juice (2 tablespoons; 30g) from 1 small lemon

7 ounces sugar (1 cup; 195g)

3/4 teaspoon (3g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight

1 1/2 ounces tapioca starch, such as Bob’s Red Mill (1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon; 40g)

Old-Fashioned Flaky Pie Dough, rolled and chilled as per the directions for a double crust


For the Egg Wash (optional):

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1/2 ounce heavy cream (1 tablespoon; 15g)

1/8 teaspoon (1/2g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight


To Serve (optional):

Cherry Pit Whipped Cream


For the Filling: Combine pitted cherries, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and tapioca starch in a large bowl, folding with a flexible spatula until well combined. Scrape into prepared pie shell and top with remaining dough, using a solid sheet, cutouts, or a lattice-top design. (Check out my tutorials here.) Trim away excess dough and refrigerate pie to ensure top crust is completely chilled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 400°F.


For the Egg Wash (if using): Whisk egg, egg yolk, cream, and salt in a small bowl. Brush over chilled top crust in a thin, even layer. This will give the crust a glossy, golden sheen, but it is not necessary in any way.


Place chilled pie on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden, about 1 hour, then loosely cover with tented foil. (Alternatively, an empty baking sheet can be placed on the topmost rack of the oven to serve as a shield.) Continue baking until filling is bubbling even in the very center of the pie, about 15 minutes more. If crust completely covers filling, bake until pie reaches an internal temperature of 213°F on a digital thermometer. The time can vary considerably depending on the thickness and type of pie plate, the amount of top crust, how long the pie was refrigerated, et cetera.


To Serve: Cool pie until no warmer than 85°F on a digital thermometer, about 3 hours depending on the type of pie plate (at higher temperatures, filling will be runny and thin). Slice into wedges with a sharp knife, pressing firmly against bottom and sides of pie plate to ensure the under-crust is completely cut. If you like, serve with Cherry Pit Whipped Cream. Wrapped in foil, leftovers will keep up to 3 days at room temperature; warm 10 minutes in a 350°F oven to revive crust before serving.


Blue Berry Lime Rickey

 Photo Courtesy of Autumn Giles
This pretty purple drink combines the red, white and blue into a beautiful non alcoholic drink everyone can love. Better yet, the color resembles the best firework splash!


For the Blueberry Syrup:

8 ounces (a scant 2 cups) frozen blueberries

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon


For Each Soda:

1/4 cup blueberry syrup

1 tablespoon lime juice from 1 lime

8 ounces seltzer



For the Blueberry Syrup:
Combine the blueberries and water in a small saucepan over low heat until soft enough to smash easily with the back of a spatula, about 5 minutes. Carefully mash the blueberries with a potato masher until none remain whole. Increase the heat to medium and keep the mixture at a steady simmer for 8 minutes, stirring frequently.
While the blueberries cook, place the sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Line a fine mesh sieve with cheesecloth and place it over the bowl. Carefully pour the blueberry mixture into the sieve and allow it to drip until the dripping becomes intermittent, about 5 minutes. Lift up the sieve and stir the syrup until the sugar is dissolved. Place the sieve back on the bowl and allow to drip until the dripping stops, about 5 minutes longer. Save the solids for another use.
Let the syrup cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
For the Soda: Combine blueberry syrup, lime juice, and seltzer. Stir to combine, top with ice to fill, and serve immediately.


Facial Recognition Fireworks

Photo Courtesy of Mountain Dew

Capture guests emotions and turn it into live LED art. This canvas, made of LED sensor embedded skateboards, captured guest emotions through facial recognition sensors on the canvas. This ever changing firework like display was not only technically advanced but served as a stunning design element.

Tip Courtesy of Biz Bash

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