We found a bunch of really good strawberries on sale this weekend, and some gorgeous farm-fresh heavy cream. I decided to improvise the following:
- Two pie crusts, prebaked and cooled*
- Two one-pound packages of ripe strawberries
- Two tablespoons sugar
- Two tablespoons fruit-flavored liqueur, such as Chambord or Grand Marnier, optional
- One pint heavy cream
- One packet gelatin
- One 8oz package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
Wash, hull, and chop the strawberries. Mash lightly with the two tablespoons sugar and the liqueur, if using, and set aside. (A potato masher is useful for this. You don’t want to make jam—you just want to release the juices a bit.)
Measure out 3/4 cup of the heavy cream. Put two tablespoons of that in a bowl and sprinkle the packet of gelatin overtop to soften. Scald the remainder of the 3/4 cup and then add slowly to the gelatin mixture, whisking until the gelatin is dissolved.
Beat the remaining 1 1/4 cups heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
Separately, beat the 1/4 cup sugar into the softened cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat the gelatin and cream mixture into the cream cheese until smooth.
Stir the strawberries into the cream cheese mixture, then fold in the whipped cream. Spoon into the pie shells and refrigerate for several hours.
*Most such recipes would use a graham cracker crust. I prefer a regular flour-based crust, because it gives the pie a shortcake flavor. Use your favorite recipe or a good quality prepackaged crust.
As you can see from the (not entirely great) photo below, the pie still has a fairly soft texture. I only wanted to add enough gelatin to give it a bit of shape; I still wanted to retain a cloud-like softness.
As for how it came out? Oh. Wow. Let’s just say I’d better not make it too often or I’d eat nothing but pie.