Saturday, 12 July 2014

Strawberry Cream Pie with Pecan Shortbread Crust

Helllllooooo Summer!

As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew it was speeding to the top of my summer baking list.  It's strawberry season in Ontario - and the pickin's are good.

I think the strawberries could easily be substituted with what ever berries or fruit you like - blueberries and peaches immediately come to mind.

Strawberry Cream Pie with Pecan Shortbread Crust
from The Law Student's Wife 

Pecan Shortbread Crust
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tablespoon icing sugar
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cups unsalted butter, melted

Fresh Strawberry Topping
1 cup mashed plus approx. 20 nice ripe strawberries (1.5 quarts)
1/2 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Whipped Cream Cheese Filling
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup (4oz) ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a deep 10-inch pie dish and set aside.

2. Start with the crust. Melt the butter. Set aside.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, icing sugar, and pecans. Pour in melted butter and mix until combined. Press into the prepared dish. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely to room temperature. This is important.

3. Wash and hull your strawberries.  Mash 1 cup of strawberries, leaving some small chunks.  It's OK if you overestimate the number of strawberries needed to mash - just eat them : )  Add the mashed berries to a small saucepan along with the water.  Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add at all once to the berries in the saucepan - bring to a boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.  This is where Erin suggests to add a few drops of red food colouring.  I did not do this.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.

4. Pick out the best looking, ripe, red strawberries, approximately 20 or so.  Cut the tops off so that they stand up.

5. Whip the cream. In a different bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth, adding in the icing sugar gradually. Add vanilla. Continue to beat until completely smooth.  Fold in the whipped cream. Once your pecan crust is cool (and not before!), spread the cream mixture on top (make sure to leave room for the strawberry sauce!) and refrigerate for a half hour.

6. Place cut strawberries over the top of the cream in whatever design you want. Add as many as you can or leave spaces - entirely up to you.  Spoon your cooled strawberry sauce over top of the berries, in between the berries, so that all the cream is covered.  There will be some leftover, which is great, because it is delicious - I plan to eat mine over vanilla ice cream.

Chill pie at least 2 hours before serving.  Yum!

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