Monday, March 26, 2012

Strawberry Frozen Pie with Vanilla Wafer Nut Crumb Crust

Happy Monday to you!  Hope your weekend was a wonderful one.  Thankfully, it rained just enough on Saturday to wash away some of the pollen that has been plaguing me and half the population in Nashville.  I have never seen as much pollen as we have this year.  Guess that's the payback for a mild winter, but I am willing to make the trade off.   Yes, I am having allergy symptoms, but I will deal with those for the time being.  The warm beautiful weather and beautiful blooming trees are worth a few boxes of tissues.

Our first born daughter and her family moved here in December, right before Christmas, which thrilled us all!  Her in-loves made their first visit this past weekend and we all had a cook out Sunday evening.  The entire Nashville family was there.  The weather was stunning, the grandsons all got to play outside to their heart's content and we got to catch up with Alma and Jack.  I play board games with Alma on FB just about every night, but we haven't seen each other in person for many years.  You know how you can pick up with some people right where you left off - never skip a beat?  That's how it is with them, they are such wonderful people.    We had a great time catching up AND they asked us to visit their summer home on the Maine coast which would be awesome.  Perhaps we will get there one of these days.  We definitely look forward to their return visits to Nashville, that's for sure!

Daughter #1 asked if I would make dessert.  Me?  Why of course!  Thanks for asking.  You know how I love to bake.  Because it has been so warm, I was in the mood for something summery and super delicious so I decided to make this Strawberry Frozen Pie which is outta sight!  I have been making this pie since the first year we were married (1969).  The first time I made it was for Dan's grandmother when she came to our house for dinner.  She loved it and I have been making it ever since.  It is actually a combination of two different recipes.  The crust is from a similar recipe, but it has egg whites in it and I don't trust serving raw egg whites, so I always used the filling from one recipe and the fantastic nut crumb crust from the other.  Here is what you need to make this excellent frozen pie:



1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (I use pecans)
1 stick melted butter


1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup dairy sour cream
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries, or 2 10 ounce pkgs frozen strawberries with syrup
1 cup sugar for fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sugar for frozen strawberries

Whipped cream or cool whip for topping (I made fresh whipped cream)

If you are making your own vanilla wafer crumbs (which I do), place about 1/3 box of vanilla wafers in a gallon sized zip lock bag, squeezing all the air out.  Roll with a rolling pin until you have small pieces - enough for 1 1/2 cups.  (I don't like the crumbs to be like dust, I like very small pieces, about the size of the chopped nuts).  I chop the pecans in my nut chopper.  If you don't have a nut chopper, use a knife and chop into small pieces.  Place vanilla wafer crumbs and nuts in a bowl.  Melt 1 stick of butter in microwave and add to vanilla wafer crumbs and nut pieces.  Press in the bottom and up the sides of a 10 inch pie pan.  I use my trusty corning ware pie plate that I got for a wedding gift.  I realize it is now an antique.  Sigh.  Put in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Cool before filling.

Using a mixer, blend cream cheese and sour cream  in a mixing bowl until well mixed.    Mix 1 1/2 cups sliced berries with 1 cup sugar and stir.  Add to cream cheese mixture.  (If using frozen berries, thaw berries and add 1/2 cup sugar and mix.  Add to cream cheese mixture.)  Blend with a mixer to break up strawberry pieces, don't completely pulverize.  You want some strawberry pieces in the filling.    Pour into crust.

 Freeze until firm.  I usually freeze overnight.  Remove from freezer about 5 minutes before serving and decorate with whipped cream.   That strawberry in the middle of the pie  in the picture is HUGE.  Kroger had giant California strawberries on sale and I do mean GIANT!  They were delicious.

How to make whipped cream:

Put 1 pint heavy whipping cream in a deep bowl and beat with mixer on medium high until it starts to thicken.  Add about 2 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla.  Beat until it forms stiff peaks.  Don't over beat or  you will have butter.  It should look like this.
I piped the whipped cream onto the top of the pie by placing it in a gallon sized zip lock back after cutting a corner off the bag and placing a large star tip in the hole.  Fill the bag with cream and pipe on however you want.  Now, this is a lot of whipped cream and I actually used part of it for the cheese cake I will write about tomorrow.  Just thought I'd let you know.  You could actually use about 1/2 of a pint of heavy whipping cream.

Now, let's discuss this pie.  Description?  Heavenly!  Delicious!  Amazing!  Fantastic!  Awesome!  Divine!!  And, it's really super easy.  Our 8 year old grandson doesn't like strawberries much, but he said it was the best pie he had ever eaten!  Today's endorsement from the world's pickiest eater.  Made me smile.  Jack and Alma raved about it - especially Jack who likes fruit type desserts, so it was definitely a good choice.  (Wait till we get to the cheesecake).  

Put this recipe in your arsenal and pull it out when you want something quick, easy, fantastic and special.  Summer is just around the corner and this pie is so good for warm summer days.  Think about making it for Easter, Mother's Day or Father's Day.  You will get requests to make it again.  The nut crumb crust is maybe the best crust ever and so much easier than a traditional pie crust.  The filling - well I could just eat it with a spoon right out of the bowl - it's somewhat like ice cream or frozen yogurt only better.  The combination of the crust with the filling - they write novels about those kinds of things.  That's all I can say about it.  You will just have to make one and eat it to understand.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

Good friends are like don't always see them, but you know they are always there.  author unknown

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