No making required for strawberry pie

Take advantage of local berries this spring

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I stopped by Deans Farm last Saturday morning on my way back from an Easter egg hunt at church. It’s hard to ride by without stopping when I know fresh strawberries are in the field!

We snacked on the bucket of fresh berries all weekend, and by Monday, there were still some left, so I decided to try a new pie recipe to share in this column.

My go-to strawberry pie recipe is very traditional — made with Jell-O, sugar and cornstarch with plenty of fresh berries. My family loves it.

But I found a new one on the Kraft website that I decided to try. There are many similar versions on Pinterest as well.

The filling for strawberry cream pie is made with strawberry Jell-O, cream cheese and whipped topping. I wasn’t sure how the combination of Jell-O and cream cheese would taste, but the pie is very good and creamy and is such a pretty shade of pink.

The steps are easy and involve briefly chilling the bowl of Jell-O and cream cheese mixture in a larger bowl of ice before adding the strawberries and whipped topping.

Once the ingredients are combined, the mixture is chilled in the refrigerator. The directions say to chill it until it’s cool enough to mound. I should have left the filling in the refrigerator another 10 minutes, probably, because I poured the filling in the crust instead of mounding.

But it’s good either way!

I took the easy way out and used a prepared graham cracker crust instead of making my own. I also opted not to add additional whipped topping to the slice I photographed and tasted. The pie is sweet enough on its own!

If you have lots of berries this season, give this easy, no-bake recipe a try.

Strawberry Cream Pie

114 cups graham cracker crumbs*

2 tablespoons sugar

13 cup butter, melted

34 cup boiling water

1 package (3-ounce) Jell-O strawberry flavor gelatin

4 ounces (half of an 8-ounce package) cream cheese, softened

4 cups fresh strawberries, divided

212 cups thawed Cool Whip whipped topping, divided

Combine graham crumbs, sugar and butter; press onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Add boiling water to gelatin mix in medium bowl; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Beat cream cheese in large bowl with whisk until creamy. Gradually whisk in gelatin until blended. Place bowl in larger bowl filled with ice water. Let stand 5 to 8 minutes or until gelatin is thickened, whisking occasionally.

Reserve 4 large strawberries for garnish; chop remaining berries. Add 112 cups whipped topping to gelatin mixture; whisk until blended. Stir in chopped strawberries. Refrigerate 20 minutes or until thick enough to mound; pour into crust. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm.

Spread remaining Cool Whip onto top of pie to within 1 inch of edge. Cut reserved strawberries in half; use to garnish pie.


* I used a prepared graham cracker crust.