Monday, July 6, 2015

Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie

I promised to share my Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie recipe and this is my first attempt at sharing a recipe on my website with step-by-step instructions.

I like recipes with stories and this pie has a story behind it.  Several years ago Jennie James and I were on a road trip and we discovered a hidden jewel in the tiny town of Leslie, Arkansas (population 469).  Leslie is located at the Junction of Highway 65 and Highway 66.  We had originally stopped at the Serenity Farm Bakery and asked where we could eat lunch and the cashier suggested the Skylark Cafe and it was just around the corner.  The Skylark Cafe is located in a quaint Victorian home that is over 100 years old.  We were hooked from the building alone.

Seating is limited but we did find a booth to sit in.  The sweet waitress told us off the bat that if we wanted dessert we needed to order it first.  She began naming off the desserts (yes, many) for the day and we were totally lost.  She suggested we go to the cashier register and 'read the wall'.  We decided on two different desserts, then we could share with each other.  I ordered the Strawberry Cheesecake Pie and I honestly don't remember what Jennie ordered.  The pie was a slice of heaven.

Being the cook, I dissected the pie when I got home and tried to duplicate the recipe.  The following recipe is what I came up with on a rainy Saturday afternoon.  The complete recipe is at the end.  You can skip all my ramblings and go directly to the recipe or you can stick around and learn how not to make a big mess in your kitchen, when you use the wrong size pie crusts.

These are the ingredients you will need:  8 ounces cream cheese, two prepared pie crusts (this recipe makes two large pies), 1 small box of Strawberry flavored Jell-O (I use sugar free), sugar, Cool Whip and two 16 ounce containers of fresh strawberries quartered and cornstarch (I forgot to put it in the photo).

Begin by letting the cream cheese soften until it is at room temperature...and prepare your pie crusts and bake according to your package or recipe directions and let cool.  You can use a prepared graham cracker crusts but they really aren't big enough to hold all of this wonderfulness.  If you prepare your own graham cracker crusts be sure to use 9" pie pans.  Anything smaller and you will have strawberry filling all over your kitchen...this is experience talking.

Place the softened cream cheese in a bowl and add the 3/4 cup of powdered sugar and blend until it is well combined.

Now add the Cool Whip and blend.

When the Cool Whip is blended with the cream cheese, set the bowl aside

Looks good, doesn't it?

In a medium saucepan empty the box of Jell-O, dash of salt and sugar.  Add 1 cup of water to the Jell-O.  Mix cornstarch and 1/2 cup of water together until the cornstarch is dissolved.  Add this to the Jell-O and cook on medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to thicken it will also turn to a clear red when it is ready.

Now it is time to get to work.  Divide the cream cheese mixture evenly between the two baked pie crusts.  Refrigerate while you prepare strawberries.

Slice/quarter the strawberries into a large bowl.  There should be four cups of strawberries maybe a little more and of course you have to make sure they are good by tasting a couple.  Pour the Jell-O mixture over the strawberries and stir, be gentle you don't want to bruise the berries.

Almost finished, now spread the strawberries over the pies dividing as evenly as possible.  Refrigerate at least three hours.

When cool top with whipped cream of Cool Whip and enjoy.  I took these to a July 4th cookout and didn't get a photo of just a slice of the pie.  Sorry.


Makes 2 - 9 inch an


2 prepared 9 inch pie crusts, baked according to package or recipe instructions
8 ounce package cream cheese, softened (I used reduced fat)
9 ounces Cool Whip (I use Lite Cool Whip)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
4 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
3 ounce box of Strawberry flavored Jell-O (I use Sugar Free)
1 1/2 cups water (divided)
Dash of salt
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar (or you can use Splenda granulated)

Crust:  Prepared crust according to directions or your favorite recipe.

Filling:  Mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar together in a medium size bowl.  Blend in Cool Whip.  Spread evenly into the two pie crusts.  Set aside.

Topping:  In a large bowl quarter the strawberries and set aside.  Mix Jell-O, sugar, salt and 1 cup of water in a medium size saucepan.  Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 1/2 cup of water and add to the Jell-O mixture.  Cook until the mixture begins to thicken and changes color.  Pour over the strawberries.  Divide the strawberry mixture between the two pies.  The juice may run over, it it does just put the pie plate on a regular plate to catch the overflow.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  Top with whipped cream or Cool Whip and enjoy.

You may copy and paste to print this recipe.  I am still trying to figure out to make it 'printer friendly'.

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