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Single slice of strawberry jello pie on white plate with white background

Fresh Strawberry Pie (similar to Shoney's)

A great seasonal dessert with homemade crust, a sweet, well-balanced filling, lots of strawberry flavor and a dollop of topping that adds creaminess. It's a close copycat to Shoney's strawberry pie with jello. 

*Not included is time making the homemade crust.

  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the crust:

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 pounds (25 ounces) fresh strawberries, weighed after hulled (about 1.8 pounds or 830g if weighed whole)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons (1.4 ounces) strawberry jello powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the topping:

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 8 whole strawberries

Instructions

For the crust: 

If you have the pie dough but didn't bake it, here are the steps.

  1. Roll pie dough on a lightly floured surface and line an 8-inch pie plate.
  2. Prick the bottom with a fork and put in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. 
  3. Preheat the oven at 350°F/180°C. This will take the ten or fifteen minutes that the dough needs to be in the cold. 
  4. Put a large piece of foil or parchment paper on top of the dough and fill with weight, this might be ceramic weights, dried legumes, dry rice, even flour. Something that can go into the oven and adds weight so that the crust doesn't rise and puff up while baking. 
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until you can easily lift the paper and remove the weight. You will see that the dough is white and starting to dry out. 
  6. Bake for a further 10-15 minutes, until golden and dried. 
  7. Let cool completely on a wire rack before filling. 

For the filling:

  1. Wash, dry and hull the strawberries. 
  2. Put in a large bowl and cover with the sugar. 
  3. Mix lightly and let macerate at room temperature for 30 minutes. 
  4. Transfer to a colander that is placed over a bowl and let the juice from the strawberries drain for about 15 minutes. 
  5. Have ready a large bowl with ice and water. 
  6. Gather this juice and mix with half the water. 
  7. Sprinkle the jello powder on top and mix until it's completely dissolved. 
  8. Put the other half of water and cornstarch in a medium saucepan, mix until dissolved and put on the stove at medium heat. 
  9. Add the gelatin mixture, whisking constantly. Don't 
  10. Cook until it thickens, stirring or whisking all the time, making sure it doesn't stick to the bottom and adjusting the heat if it's too high.
  11. Remove when it comes to a soft boil and whisk quickly until completely smooth. 
  12. Put in the ice water bowl in the same saucepan if it fits or transfer the jello mixture to a medium bowl. I usually use the same bowl from the strawberry juice. 
  13. Whisk regularly while the mixture cools down and starts to thicken, but just until it's like thick syrup. Important: don't let it set too much because you won't be able to mix it with the fruit! 
  14. Add the strawberries to the gelatin, mix to coat and pour into the baked pie shell. 
  15. Cover with plastic wrap or a freezer sheet and refrigerate until completely set. 

For the topping:

  1. Beat cold cream and cream cheese in a large bowl, adding powdered sugar. 
  2. When you start to have medium stiff peaks, change to a hand whisk and beat until you have stiff peaks. This is the best way to avoid over beating and curdling the preparation. 
  3. Put in a piping bag and make rosettes on top of the pie. Decorate with a whole or half strawberry.

Notes

Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!

Strawberries: use fresh ones. This pie is just not the same with frozen ones. I did try using frozen, and you can thaw them and use the water as part of the cornstarch gelatin mixture. But the flavor is just not there completely. And the appearance of shriveled strawberries is not very appealing either. So I don't recommend them. If you only have frozen, I suggest making a different dessert, like the Strawberry Crisp recipe, or using them for our wonderful Strawberry Sauce and topping a cheesecake.

Gelatin: my number one tip for working with this ingredient that many feel is difficult, is beware of the temperatures of the strawberry preparation when adding the gelatin. That said, this recipe makes it easier because it's all dissolved and mixed before heating it. So there's less room for issues.

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: 90 minutes
  • Category: Pies & Tarts
  • Method: Baking + Mixing
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: strawberry jello pie