Thursday, May 31, 2012

No-Bake Strawberry Pie

Chocolate. Strawberries. Cream.

A magical combination. And even better--you don't ever have to turn on the oven to get it.

If you're looking for a way to showcase fresh spring berries in a quick, creamy, refreshing dessert, this recipe is for you.

Even with whipping fresh cream and photodocumenting the process (and a Very Important Pause to make sure my Wordfeud didn't time out and force me to forfeit to the DDH again), making the pie took exactly an hour (though it is supposed to chilled for thirty minutes before serving).

You can use whipped topping from the freezer aisle if you must, but trust me that freshly whipped cream is worth the extra step.

No-Bake Fresh Strawberry Pie
Adapted from Cooking Light May 2012.
Serves eight.

Process approximately 2 cups chocolate animal crackers or other chocolate cookies or wafers in your food processor until finely ground.

Goodbye, little animals.

Ground cookies.
Melt 3 oz. chocolate chips or finely chopped baking chocolate and 2 tsp. coconut oil in the microwave for 45 seconds or until chocolate is melted, stirring every 15 seconds. (You can use canola or vegetable oil instead of coconut oil, but then you don't need to melt it. Just stir it into the melted chocolate before adding to the cookie crumbs.)

Plus coconut oil.
Add melted chocolate mixture to the cookie crumbs in the food processor.

Process until well combined. At this stage, it looks like nothing so much as damp dirt.
Delicious, delicious dirt.
Gently press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a greased 9-inch pie plate and freeze for 15 minutes or until set. Mine was very crumbly and did not hold together particularly well. Once set, it did hold together better, but still makes a crumbly crust--which is not a bad thing, in my opinion, for a cookie pie crust.

Don't forget to grease the pan.

Dirt pie.
Beat 6 oz. cream cheese, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, and 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract on medium speed until smooth.

Cream cheese, sugar, vanilla.
Smooth and fluffy.

Place 1 cup heavy cream in a large bowl. Add a few splashes of vanilla extract and, if desired, several tablespoons sugar. I think the pie is sweet enough to use unsweetened cream, but do it to taste.

Yes, this is 2 cups. The recipe calls for two cups whipped, and 2 cups unwhipped makes way more than that. Luckily, I had extra strawberries and used the extra cream for dipping.  

Vanilla cream.
To do this, place the cream in a bowl and beat on medium high speed for about five minutes. At first, it will sort of splash around and make a mess. Then, it starts to froth, and then it becomes a thicker liquid. Keep going. It will reach the melty-whipped-cream stage. Keep going. This pretty much always takes right at about five minutes. You will know when it's done--it will keep its peaked shape when you pull the blades out and will be thick like, well, whipped cream.

Like this.
Once you have your whipped cream, fold it into the cream cheese mixture. Plop about half of the whipped cream on top of the cream cheese. Dig a spatula under the cream cheese and fold it up over the whipped cream. Do this several times, then add the rest of the whipped cream and repeat a few more times.

Scoop and fold.
Whipped cream folded into cream cheese won't be thoroughly blended, exactly, just mixed together loosely.

Carefully spread the cream mixture over the crust and set in the freezer while you do the next bit.

Ready for the freezer.
Microwave 2 Tbs. strawberry jam or jelly for 10 seconds or until softened. Add 1/2 tsp. lemon juice and 1 Tbs. fruit-flavored liqueur (optional) such as Chambord. Whisk until smooth.

Jam in the microwave.

Melted and stirred with lemon juice.
Add 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved (you can leave very small berries whole)

and toss to combine.

 Pull the pie back out of the freezer and arrange the berry halves on top. Chill for 30 minutes before serving.

Somehow I neglected to take a picture of the finished pie! In my defense, I still had dip to mix, veggies to chop, and agendas to print before getting to my meeting.

And there were not any leftovers.

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