I inwardly cringe every time I see a recipe for a baked strawberry dessert. Being that strawberry season is in session, that can add up to a lot of cringing.
While my fellow bloggers are raving over their strawberry desserts, I’m screaming like a banshee and throwing my dessert plate.
It’s not you, my friends, it’s me.
While I talk incessantly about the foods I love, I never mention the ones I don’t.
Baked strawberries have a texture that, in my opinion, is just plain wrong. Mushy, soft and gooey. Three words I don’t want to associate with strawberries. Ever. Unless I’m talking about jam.
It’s not that I have anything against strawberries. It’s the mushiness that scares the daylights out of me. The texture is all wrong.
I couldn’t help but wonder if I was missing out on something I might like.
They say you should embrace your fears, right? I devised a plan to hide the strawberries in a cheesecake-style pie, a dessert I find irresistible. Maybe I wouldn’t notice. Could I trick my own self? It works for kids with vegetables, right?
I trimmed off the green leaves of the strawberries, left them whole and stood them up on their flat ends over a graham cracker pie crust. I poured a lemony cheesecake filling around them like a big, fat bear hug and then baked the pie until the strawberries were soft and yes, the dreaded word, mushy.
Fearless, I dug right in without an ounce of trepidation even though I could see their little, pointed, bright-red ends peeking out at me over top of the pie.
It’s not you, it’s me.
The trick didn’t work.
I don’t like baked strawberries that are mushy like goo. It’s official now.
If you do, bake this pie! If you don’t, bake this pie and garnish the top with fresh, ripe, strawberries instead of baking them into it. Firm, not mushy ones. Or use another berry.
The filling is absolutely divine! Smooth and creamy with a hint of lemon. Cold and refreshing. Totally worth making, even if the strawberries are not my favorite. The filling is.
A delectable chilled pie filled with fresh strawberries and a soft, cheesecake style filling over a graham cracker crust.
- Pulse graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined. Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie dish.
- Place the strawberries cut side down evenly over the crust. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a food processor process eggs and sugar until smooth, about 1 minute. Add cream cheese, pulse to break up and then process until smooth. Add sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, flour and vanilla, process just until smooth, about 20 seconds. Pour the filling carefully over the strawberries.
- Bake 35-40 minutes, until the top looks firm and is set when you gently shake the pan. Cool on wire rack, cover and chill completely before serving. Slice with a warm knife, wiping clean after each cut.
Pie filling adapted from Williams Sonoma
Crust adapted from Martha Stewart
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