Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Strawberry Icebox Pie


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.


The only thing I was unsure of was the graham cracker crust. Since going gluten free, I've avoided wheat-based cookies, including graham crackers. However, I have found that I'm not bothered by some organic wheat products, like Annie's organic mac & cheese and my favorite pizza place, which uses Italian wheat. This has led me to suspect it could be the herbicides used in U.S. wheat crops that cause the symptoms I'd been having -- and I've heard other people suggest the same thing. I decided to try this recipe using organic graham crackers -- a sort of experiment. So far, so good. I might be on to something. Next, I think I'll try baking with organic wheat to see if it affects me negatively.

For now, I'll be enjoying this yummy strawberry pie. Nicely chilled, it's the perfect dessert for warm weather dining.

Strawberry Icebox Pie

Ingredients:

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

Directions:
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



 

4 comments:

  1. Yumm. That would be dangerous in my house, I would invariably have more than my fair share! I love pies, especially ones with graham cracker crust which is what I use most often. The last photo captures the beauty of the little red fruits perfectly.

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  2. My goodness those are beautiful strawberries!

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  3. Oh my gosh ...this looks divine. Have to pin it. I hope the organic graham crackers are ok for you!!!

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  4. This looks like the perfect way to use strawberries - they are at their peak right now here in California!

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