Icebox Strawberry Pie

A few weeks ago while strawberries were still in season in the St. Louis area, we went a bit crazy and picked quite a few pounds. Quite a few, about 45 pounds to be exact. They were just so sweet and tasty, I couldn’t stop. Unlike grocery store berries, which I refuse to buy, homegrown berries are diminutive, fragrant, and much juicer. My fingers and nails had a red hue for a day or two, but that was okay. We froze most of them, and I successfully made and canned delicious, sugar-free strawberry jam. My last jam making experience was a disaster when I attempted it with no pectin, significantly overcooked it, and crystallized the sugar, which resulted in strawberry CONCRETE. Chalk it as an experiment gone awry.

I also made an amazing icebox strawberry pie based on a recipe I saw on the Cooks Country website. It was described as “diner style,” and it sure it. When I was a kid, we went to the local Elby’s Big Boy restaurant for dessert, and they served a pie similar to this. It was my absolute fave, and I always got it. This is even better. It’s so fresh berry-ish. No surprise since it uses three pounds of strawberries, and part of the intense flavor comes from cooking two pounds to thick jam that is mixed with gelatin and more (fresh) berries. The original recipe calls for a pasty crust but I threw together a quick cinnamon graham cracker crust. This easy pie is a snap to make and perfect when you don’t want to be slaving over a hot oven on a hot summer day – the beauty of an icebox pie. I also skipped the whipped cream topping. I wanted the berries to shine. And they do.
The recipe cautions you need to be precise cooking down the berries to measure exactly two cups and no more, otherwise the filling will not set up or slice neatly.

Icebox Strawberry Pie
Serves 8

2 pounds strawberries, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
1 cup sugar
 Pinch salt
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
1 9-inch pie shell, baked and cooled, either pastry or graham cracker crust

Cook berries in large saucepan over medium-low heat until berries begin to release juice, about 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until thick and jamlike, about 25 minutes. Measure the mixture to no more than two cups. If it’s more than two cups, continue cooking longer.

Combine lemon juice, water, and gelatin in small bowl. Let stand until gelatin is softened and mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir gelatin mixture, sugar, and salt into cooked berry mixture and return to simmer, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

Fold fresh berries into filling. Spread evenly in pie shell and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours. Filled pie can be refrigerated for 24 hours.

Print recipe.


  1. A pretty and delightful seasonal tart. Scrumptious!

  2. 45 pounds! That's amazing. How long did it take? And where did you go? When we lived in Florida, we actually got better strawberries than any I've ever picked. But we lived less than 30 miles from where they were grown (and where most Florida strawberries are grown), and the local supermarket - Publix - always manged to get their hands on dead ripe strawberries that were too ripe to ship any distance, but could certainly be trucked 30 miles. Heaven. And this pie looks like heaven, too. Good stuff - thanks.

  3. Yum!! And now time to go overboard with the blackberries!! So glad to have met you yesterday at the Ellisville Farmers Market and to now be a follower :)

  4. This pie was so delicious! I had a great time snooping around your blog this month. I pinned a TON of recipes to try. Thankfully, my kiddos really love lentils and you have given me so many new ways to try them. I'm glad to be in SRC with you.



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