Icebox Strawberry Pie
Why this recipe works:
We used frozen berries for our Icebox Strawberry Pie (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. Because strawberries are low in pectin, the natural… read more
We used frozen berries for our Icebox Strawberry Pie (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. 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 mixed in fresh strawberries off the heat. This gave us the big berry flavor we wanted.less
In step 1, it is imperative that the cooked strawberry mixture measures 2 cups; any more and the filling will be loose. If your fresh berries aren’t fully ripe, you may want to add extra sugar to taste in step 2. Use your favorite pie dough or use our recipe. Chill the heavy cream in step 4 to help it whip more quickly.
- 2 pounds frozen strawberries
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
- 1 (9-inch) pie shell, baked and cooled (see note)
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
1. 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 2 cups).
2. 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.
3. ADD FRESH BERRIES 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.)
4. 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.
Don't Make This Mistake
In step 1, be sure to accurately measure the reduced strawberry mixture: You’ll need exactly 2 cups. Scrape the strawberry mixture into a large liquid measuring cup. If it measures more than 2 cups, return it to the pan to cook down. It may seem fussy to stop to measure, but the pie will not set or slice properly if you have more than 2 cups of the strawberry mixture.