For the crust:
- 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
For the filling:
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 can (14oz) of condensed milk
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups strawberry sauce or strawberry pie filling
- Fresh strawberries, to serve
For the strawberry layer:
- Prepare the strawberry sauce as instructed and have it cold (preferably) or at room temperature, but not hot.
- For the strawberry swirl, put 1/4 cup of the sauce in a small bowl and process it until completely smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender or some type of appliance to puree it, you can omit the swirl and use the whole amount of strawberry sauce for the bottom layer. Also, use part mashed strawberries and part chopped (from the sauce) to have different textures.
For the crumb crust:
You have the alternative of making a no-bake crust or baking it for 10 minutes (it will make it firmer).
- Preheat the oven to 325°F /170°C if choosing to bake it.
- Have ready a 9-inch round pie dish (pie plate).
- Grind graham crackers in the food processor until you have very fine crumbs.
- Add the brown sugar and pulse once or twice to mix.
- Drizzle the melted over the crumb mixture and pulse until combined, and no dry spots remain. It will look like wet sand.
- OR transfer the crumbs to a medium mixing bowl, add the brown sugar and mix with a spoon until well combined. Add the melted butter and mix with a spoon or spatula until the mixture looks like wet sand.
- Put this mixture in the prepared pie pan and press firmly onto the sides and bottom. I recommend you start with the sides and make sure the angle where the side meets the base is firm.
- Refrigerate or freeze until ready to fill OR
- Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack while making the filling.
For the cheese filling:
- Mix cream cheese in a large bowl until very smooth and no lumps remain. It’s easier if you use a handheld mixer but you can do it by hand with some arm muscle or if it’s at room temperature.
- Gradually add the condensed milk and mix until well incorporated. Scrape the sides a few times with a rubber spatula.
- Add the lemon juice and mix. The batter will instantly stiffen and thicken.
- Add vanilla and mix. I use a spatula at the end to fold everything and make sure it's all one well-integrated mixture.
- Spread the strawberry sauce on the bottom of the cold graham cracker crust.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture over the strawberries and spread it carefully to cover them completely. You should not have leftover filling unless you use an extra thick layer of strawberry mixture.
- Add dollops of the pureed strawberry sauce on top and lightly swirl it a few times with the tip of the knife.
- Freeze the pie until firm, about 3 hours, but it will depend on how cold your freezer is. Cover it well with plastic wrap when it’s solid and you can keep it frozen for a month.
- Take out from the freezer 10-15 minutes before cutting, and serve with fresh strawberries.
- Freeze leftovers, covered.
- Organization: read the recipe first and make sure you have ingredients at the right temperatures, equipment needed, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier!
- Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperature, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier.
- Strawberries: fresh strawberries are always my favorite, and homemade strawberry sauce is highly encouraged. But this pie is meant to be easy, so you can use purchased pie filling.
- Strawberry swirl: it's made by pureeing part of the strawberry sauce, but you can also use homemade strawberry puree if you happen to have some. And you can also omit it and simply use the total amount of sauce for the bottom layer of this pie.
- Storing this strawberry dessert: this pie is not meant to be kept in the refrigerator because the strawberry juice from the sauce will eventually seep into the crust, and you'll have a soggy bottom.
- Serving a frozen pie: take it out 10-15 minutes before serving so you serve it cold, but it has softened a tad, so it's easier to cut. That said, some people in my family eat it almost at room temperature if the pie has been at the table for a while, but I find it lacking in structure, a little soggy, and too soft to cut.
- Variation: substitute the strawberries for other berries, such as blueberries or raspberries. Or a mix.
- Ingredients I use:
Graham crackers: I'm sure you have your favorite type, so use those. I use the original graham crackers from Nabisco or honey graham crackers from Honey Maid.
Cream cheese: regular, full-fat cheese is needed for consistency and richness. I always use Philadelphia original cream cheese, but other good brands work.
Vanilla: I use pure vanilla extract or pure vanilla paste when available, but a good vanilla essence (artificially flavored) also works.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Freezing time: 2 hours
- Category: Pies & Tarts
- Method: Mixing + Freezing
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/8
- Calories: 468
- Sugar: 7.7 g
- Sodium: 178.8 mg
- Fat: 22.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 64.5 g
- Fiber: 1.6 g
- Protein: 3.4 g
- Cholesterol: 60.8 mg
Keywords: frozen strawberry pie