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
2 pounds strawberries, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
1 cup sugar
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.