Icebox Strawberry Pie
Diner-style strawberry pies always look inviting, but these no-bake desserts often taste more like plastic than pie. We wondered if better ingredients could deliver a pie that lived up to its looks.
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 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.