Icebox Strawberry Pie
- 1 pie crust
- 2 lb frozen strawberries
- 2 T lemon juice
- 2 T water
- 1 T gelatin (unflavored)
- 220 g Sugar (Granulated) (1 cup)
- 1 pinch Salt (Table)
- 1 lb fresh strawberries (hulled and sliced thin)
- 4 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 3 T Sugar (Granulated)
- 1/2 t vanilla extract
- 1 c whipping cream (chilled)
Blind bake your pie crust in a 9" pie pan until fully cooked. Set aside to cool.
COOK FROZEN BERRIES Cook frozen berries in large saucepan over medium-low heat until berries begin to release juice, about 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until thick and jamlike, about 25 minutes. Mixture should measure exactly 2 cups: remove to a measuring cup, and if it isn't yet 2 cups or less, return to heat until it is. If it's less than 2 cups, add water to bring up to 2 cups, and mix thoroughly.
ADD GELATIN Combine lemon juice, water, and gelatin in small bowl. Let stand until gelatin is softened and mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir gelatin mixture, sugar, and salt into cooked berry mixture and return to simmer, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
ADD FRESH BERRIES If your fresh berries aren't fully ripe, you may want to add sugar to them, to taste. Fold fresh berries into filling. Spread evenly in pie shell and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours. (Filled pie can be refrigerated for 24 hours.) Set out cream cheese to soften.
MAKE TOPPING With electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth, about 30 seconds. With mixer running, add cream and whip until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Serve pie with whipped cream topping.
Notes from Source:
* We used 2 pounds of frozen berries (which worked well for cooking and cost less than fresh) and cooked them down in a dry saucepan until they released their juices and the mixture was thick, concentrated, and flavorful.
* Be sure that the reduced berries measure 2 cups exactly; if the mixture measures any more, the filling will be loose.
* Because strawberries are low in pectin, the natural thickener found in citrus fruits and many other plants, we added some lemon juice, which perked up the flavor and tightened the texture of the filling a little. To thicken the filling further, we added a bit of unflavored gelatin, which produced a clean-slicing, not-too-bouncy pie.
* After stirring in the gelatin—which we combined with the lemon juice and water—along with sugar and salt, we then stirred in fresh strawberries off the heat. This gave us the big berry flavor we wanted.
* Diner strawberry pies typically get a squirt of Reddi-wip, but we made our own. We whipped cream cheese into real whipped cream along with vanilla and sugar for a slightly tangy topping that balanced the sweetness of the berries.