To me, there’s little that’s more satisfying than feeding family and friends, and I don’t need much of an excuse. Long day? I’ll make you dinner! New baby keeping you busy? Here are a few frozen meals, ready to defrost and feed the family! Celebrating something (first lost tooth, a great report card, promotion at work, a sunny spring day)? That deserves cookies!
As I write this, it’s June, and around here, that means strawberries are ready to pick. Most everyone gets into the act—we pick strawberries, either from our own gardens, or at the nearest u-pick farm. We use them in myriad ways, turning out jars of strawberry jam and other tasty goodies, adding the berries to homemade ice cream, baking them into muffins and sweet breads, and freezing them for winter so the goodness lasts even after the last strawberry of the season is picked.
Our family never seems to tire of these delicious, sweet morsels. And because they are some of the first fruit to ripen in our area, we celebrate them daily. The sky’s the limit! But probably our favorite way to eat strawberries is in pie form, and especially in the following recipe.
1 quart* strawberries, washed, drained, and hulled
1 cup sugar
3 T. cornstarch
½ cup cream cheese, softened
1 baked and cooled pie crust
Sweetened whipped cream
*I tend to use about 5 cups of berries because it makes the pie fuller; I also use a 9-inch pie plate
Save out 2 cups of the choicest berries.
Mash remaining berries until juice is extracted. If necessary, add water in order to make 1 ½ cups liquid, using all parts of berries (this mixture will be thick and lumpy with mashed berries).
In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cornstarch.
In a large saucepan, bring the berry juice mixture to boiling, gradually stirring in the sugar and cornstarch mixture. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until boiling. Boil 1 minute, continuing to stir constantly. Remove from heat and cool.
Spread the softened cream cheese over the bottom of the cooled, baked pie shell, being careful not to pull up the crust from the bottom of the pan (use your fingers, if necessary to flatten bits of the cream cheese before laying them down on the crust). Spread the saved berries over the top of the cream cheese in the pie shell. Pour the thickened juice mixture over the berries, evenly distributing the syrup.
Chill at least 2 hours. Top with sweetened whipped cream right before serving.
The addition of cream cheese really takes the flavor of this pie up a notch. So the next time you’re tasked with making a dessert, try this unique pie. Family and guests will clamor for another piece and beg you for the recipe. It’s a keeper!
The above recipe is from The Homestead-to-Table Cookbook by Georgia Varozza. Learn how to make delicious soups, stews, breads, muffins, and more. Includes over 200 homestyle recipes.