We did some serious strawberry picking over the weekend with our niece and her 5-year-old son. The fields were loaded with huge, red ripe berries. They were also loaded with people. I've never seen it so busy! After half an hour in the hot sun -- thank goodness there was a breeze -- we left the fields with quite a haul. My husband and I together picked 5 gallons! That meant an afternoon of washing, hulling and freezing berries. I reserved two quarts to make a strawberry icebox pie. More on that in a minute.
My method of freezing strawberries is to rinse and hull them (I use my thumb nail; my husband uses a paring knife). Then I line a few cookie sheets with wax paper and stand the berries on end, side by side, in a single layer, and pop the sheets into the freezer. Once frozen, I put the berries into zip lock freezer bags. We usually pick and freeze enough berries to last a year. In fact, we're almost out of last year's strawberries.
As I was prepping the berries, I remembered a recipe for strawberry icebox pie that I made in 2010. This recipe is very simple to make and is almost no-bake -- only the crust goes into the oven for 12 minutes; the rest is done on the stove top.
For now, I'll be enjoying this yummy strawberry pie. Nicely chilled, it's the perfect dessert for warm weather dining.
Strawberry Icebox Pie
10 organic graham crackers (2.5 x 5")
1 cup sugar, divided
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup no-sugar-added cranberry juice
2 quarts strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, blend graham crackers with 2 tablespoons sugar until finely ground; add butter and pulse until crumbs are moistened. Press mixture into the bottom and up the side of a 9" deep dish pie plate. Bake until crust is lightly browned, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
2) In a medium saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, cranberry juice, 2 cups sliced strawberries, cornstarch and salt. Using a potato masher, gently mash strawberries. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently until very thick, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in the remaining strawberries. Pour into cooled pie crust. Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours, or up to 1 day.
3) In a large bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of sugar and continue to beat until soft peaks return (do not over-beat). Spread whipped cream over pie, leaving a border of strawberry filling around edge. Garnish with a whole berry.
from Everyday Food