strawberries and cream pie

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Those U-pick places tend to be better in theory than in practice for me. I do like knowing that my food is picked at its peak ripeness. It makes for some wonderfully sweet strawberries. On the other hand, ew, bugs. And thorns, and rotting berries that you can’t see under all the leaves and you don’t find until you reach under to grab for a nearby berry and squish!

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Not that you shouldn’t try it! Or you could just buy the pre-picked cartons in the farm store right nearby.

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It was worth it in the end though, because I love this pie. I’ve managed to make it once each spring since I found the recipe. And Dave and I managed to eat three-quarters of it within 24 hours this year! That’s something to be proud of.

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The thing is, I can’t resist cheesecake batter (sugary cream cheese!), and that’s mostly what this pie is. Cream cheese is mixed with sugar and a bit of almond extract, then whipped cream is folded in to lighten it. (I love when heavy cream is used to lighten something.)  The cream filling is topped with strawberries, which are kept whole for maximum visual impact, and then a bit of dark chocolate is drizzled over the top for some contrasting color and flavor.

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You don’t need fresh-picked strawberries for this pie. The little raspberry-sized berries we picked made it a little easier to cut nice slices, but bigger strawberries require less hulling.  And anyway, it’s hard to mess up this pie, with the sweet, creamy filling topped with slightly tart strawberries and just a bit of bitter chocolate, all supported by flaky pie crust.  This is the only strawberry dessert I make a point to make every single spring.

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One year ago: Poached Eggs with Arugula and Polenta Fingers

Strawberries and Cream Pie (adapted from Pillsbury’s Complete Cookbook)

Serves 8-10

You could definitely use the full cup of cream in the filling (which is what the original recipe recommends) if you have more cream around for the chocolate, but I didn’t and I kicked myself for not saving a bit of the 1-cup container of cream I’d brought. I used butter with the chocolate instead, but the chocolate hardened too much when it was cold and broke apart into shards when I cut slices.  Cream will keep it softer.

1 cup cold heavy cream, divided
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup (2.33 ounces) sugar
¼ to ½ teaspoon almond extract
1 pie crust for a 1-crust pie, completely baked and cooled
2 pints fresh whole strawberries, hulled
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1. In a medium bowl (or the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment), beat 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon of the cream on medium speed. When the cream is frothy, increase the speed to high and whip until the cream holds firm peaks.

2. In a separate large bowl (or the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), beat the cream cheese on medium speed until it’s soft and creamy. Add the sugar and extract and continue beating until combined.

3. Fold about 1/3 of the whipped cream into the cream cheese to lighten the mixture, then add the remaining cream and continue folding until it’s incorporated. Evenly spread the cream mixture in the pie crust. Arrange the strawberries, pointed side up, over the filling.

4. Melt the chocolate with the remaining 1 tablespoon cream over very low heat, stirring constantly, or in the microwave on medium power, or in a double boiler. Drizzle the chocolate over the strawberries. Refrigerate the pie until set, about 1 hour.

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Comments

  1. This.looks.amazing.

  2. Although I don’t like strawberries the hubby does, and I can easily pick them off my piece. I need to make this!

  3. That looks wonderful! I’ve always wanted to try one of those pick-your-own places but in the end, I always just end up hitting the grocery store :)

  4. This pie sounds incredible and your photos are beautiful!

  5. I was just thinking about picking strawberries this weekend and this pie would be the perfect dessert to make with them. Love it! And what beautiful photos to boot!

  6. This looks delicious! Last year I picked my own blueberries for the blueberry desserts and it was a lot of fun, although the mosquito bites sure weren’t! I’ve never done this with strawberries, though.

  7. Mmmm… Cheesecake batter… (I wonder if lemon juice or sour cream will provide that little bit of idon’tknowwhat in the filling. Yum!) It is very pretty indeed! Hungry again!

  8. Oh wow, that really is fabulous looking! And I agree – sugary cream cheese, what could be better? Cream cheese frostings are fantastic as well. No wonder you make it every spring!

  9. laughing808 says:

    I’m definitely gonna try this one, it’s looks so tasty!

  10. The pie looks soo luscious :)
    I wish I could jump into my monitor to have a piece :P

  11. This looks SO GOOD!

  12. looks delish!!!

  13. I love your recipe, with the addition of cream cheese it must be so yummy.

  14. Oh my goodness gracious! THAT is heaven in a pie dish. Mmmmmmmm

  15. This is cruel, cruel, cruel! With everything packed away for one full week during our move, I don’t know how I will survive without eating this!

  16. This looks absolutely delicious ! I love the cream filling ans the perfect strawberries !

  17. This looks AMAZING. It won’t be too long until strawberries are in season here; I will definitely make this pie. When they’re in season, they’re so cheap I can’t be bothered to pick them myself – they’re $2 a quart. Also, I hate the bugs in them; finding a spider in a strawberry is a deal breaker for me. ;)

  18. I have never picked my own strawberries but I bet it’s fun! Although probably a lot easier to drive to the local fruit market and buy a pint:) This pie looks great and super delicious.

  19. Wow! Gorgeous pie!

  20. Your pictures make everything look wonderful. I have a similar recipe on my site but yours sounds and looks delicious!

    Debbie

  21. What a beautiful pie, so perfect for the season!! Great photos too!

  22. This looks so wonderful! Going to make it crustless for a low carb dessert. Thanks for the inspiration! Found you on Tastespotting–beautiful blog! :)

  23. Pie Perfection!

  24. simple and delicious!

  25. Gorgeous pie! Perfect for summer… I can’t wait to make this!

  26. I have a strawberry plant in my garden, and am getting strawberries from it for the first time this year! I just may have to use this recipe.

  27. laurie says:

    Wow! Your pie looks amazing! My husband and I just picked 9 pounds of strawberries at our local Upick strawberry patch! I can’t wait to try it.

  28. Nothing better than a tart with the freshest strawberries. Yours look absolutely delicious. Love the pictures too.

  29. I’ve never done the u-pick thing, but I want to …and will have to keep those scenarios in mind when picking!!

    The pie looks fabulous, my dear :)

  30. Mmm…looks so good. Your pictures are lovely!

  31. That looks deliciously sinful!!

  32. This looks really great! Just went strawberry picking…last day of the “season” but my strawberries didn’t last 1 hour in my house…every last one of them eaten!!

  33. I made this today and absolutely loved it! I couldn’t even get a good picture because all I wanted to do was cut a slice and eat it. It’s delicious, and I may be having another piece later. :)

  34. Barbara says:

    QUESTION : Do you whip the whipping cream before adding it to the cream cheese mixture?

  35. Barbara – No, there’s no need. It’ll firm up when you whip it with the cream cheese.

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