Offbeat Bites: Messy Summer Strawberry Pie

Chef’s note: This refreshing dessert is perfect on a hot summer day, and makes the best of berry-picking season. The pie is held together by a soft-set, almost creamy, gelatin that clings to the strawberries, allowing it to be sliced, but loses composure on a plate. The berries are crucial to this recipe, so get the plumpest, ripest strawberries possible.

This recipe was adapted from this one, so check out the original as well. Also check out my other no-bake pie recipes: minty-cool grasshopper pie and raspberry ice cream Jell-O pie, both perfect pies for the fast-approaching summer.

Unlike most other strawberry pies, this one contains no rhubarb and instead relies on gelatin as a binding agent.
Unlike most other strawberry pies, this one contains no rhubarb and instead relies on gelatin as a binding agent.

Ingredients:

  • 1 9-inch graham cracker pie crust

  • 2 lb. strawberries, washed and hulled

  • ¾ cup of sugar

  • ⅓ cup of fresh lemon juice

  • 2 ¼ teaspoon (1 packet) of unflavored gelatin

  • whipped cream, for serving

The strawberries need to be diced small so that they can fill the nooks and crannies between the whole berries.
The strawberries need to be diced small so that they can fill the nooks and crannies between the whole berries.

Reserve 20 large strawberries, all about the same size. Chop the remaining strawberries into a ¼-inch dice.

Toss the diced strawberries with the sugar and lemon juice. Let stand, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

The berries will be added back later, after a sauce has been formed.
The berries will be added back later, after a sauce has been formed.

Drain berries in a sieve over a glass measuring cup. Top off the liquid with water until it measures 2 cups.

Reserve berries. Transfer the liquid to a medium saucepan, and sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften for a minute.

Just barely bring the liquid to a simmer, stirring until the gelatin smoothly dissolves.

The ice bath chills the liquid and begins the jelling process.
The ice bath chills the liquid and begins the jelling process.

Stir in diced strawberries, then transfer to a metal bowl set in an ice bath. Stir frequently until the liquid has begun to thicken, about 20 to 25 minutes.

This acts almost like a glue for the whole berries to rest on.
This acts almost like a glue for the whole berries to rest on.

Spoon ½ cup of filling into the crust.

Arrange the 20 reserved whole strawberries onto the filling, cut ends down.

Fit as many berries as possible into the shell. I actually managed to fit all twenty in with a little bit of negotiation, but don't be too forceful either.
Fit as many berries as possible into the shell. I actually managed to fit all twenty in with a little bit of negotiation, but don’t force it.

Spoon as much remaining filling as possible over and between the whole berries.

Chill until set, about 4 hours. Slice and serve with whipped cream.

All photos by Lauren Quinn

 

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