This Strawberry Cream Pie is made with fresh strawberries and real cream, two flavors that will really add a WOW factor to any picnic or family gathering.
Strawberry Cream Pie Recipe
This Strawberry Cream Pie is made with exactly what you think it should be: fresh strawberries and cream. The strawberries are made into the most delicious pudding, put inside a sweet cookie crust (or graham cracker!) and topped with a big pile of freshly whipped cream. Garnish it with freeze dried or fresh strawberries if you’re feeling like bumping up the strawberry flavor even more. Everyone will love you for it! If there is one sweet pie to make this summer, this is definitely the one.
- 1 batch Pate Sucree dough or Graham Cracker Crumb Crust
- Egg yolks
- Vanilla extract
- Almond extract
- Lemon juice
- Unsalted Butter
- Freeze dried strawberries, to garnish
How to Make Strawberry Pudding from Scratch
The strawberry pudding takes center stage in the production of this pie. It uses fresh, pureed strawberries as the base, as opposed to a jello mix. The pudding is made in one pot and doesn’t require any tempering of the eggs. You start by whisking together the sugar, cornstarch and egg yolks until it forms a paste. Next, add in the pureed strawberries and cream and heat the whole mixture up slowly, while alternating between whisking and scraping up the bottom of the pot. The trick is to slowly heat the egg yolks with all of the ingredients at once so they don’t scramble. The added cornstarch helps stabilize the egg yolk mixture so that doesn’t happen. Additionally, it helps the mixture to thicken to the proper consistency. Once you’ve cooked the pudding, strain it, and whisk in butter and vanilla and almond extract. A few tips on making the pudding:
- Make sure to have a rubber spatula and a whisk handy. I use both to make sure the the mixture cooks evenly. I swap between using them while I’m cooking the pudding to make sure I’m getting all the mixture out of the crevices of the pot while whisking to ensure a consistent cook.
- Don’t walk away from the pudding. It only takes a few minutes to cook. Also, it’s especially important to stir almost constantly in the beginning when you are cooking it to ensure no egg yolks get stuck to the bottom of the pot and scramble.
- Straining isn’t essential, but it does get rid of some of the strawberry seeds depending on how big the holes in you sieve are. It makes the final pudding smoother.
- Make sure to put the cooked pudding directly into the prepared pie crust. It will set pretty firm; you want to make sure the pudding does so inside of the pie crust instead of a bowl. If you whisk it after it’s been cooled, it has the potential to break down some of the structure of the pudding and will make serving the pie difficult because the pudding could be loose.
Choosing your crust
There are two crust options for this pie. A Pâte Sucrée is a sweet cookie-like crust that is very stable and a great choice for this pie. If you are looking for really clean looking slice, choose this one.
The other option is to make it in a Graham Cracker Crumb Crust. The slices of pie won’t be as neat as the photo below because this is a heavier pie filling, but it will certainly taste delicious. And, a graham cracker crust is super easy to make. I’ve made the pie both ways and both were delicious, so it’s just a matter of what you feel like making and for what you are making it for.
Make Ahead Tips
As with most pies, there are a few steps you need to complete to get to the finished pie. A lot of these components can be broken down into steps and done ahead of time. As always, I encourage you to make the pastry and roll it out ahead of time. The more time you give the gluten to chill out, the better your pie will be.
- Make the Pate Sucree dough (or graham cracker crust) ahead of time. You can do it up to 2 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.
- Roll out and bake the pastry: This can be done about 1 day ahead of time.
- Make the strawberry pudding: It should be noted you cannot* make the pudding alone ahead of time. It has to be made and placed directly in the baked crust immediately.
- Whip the cream: The cream is stabilized so it can be made up to 3 days ahead of time. It may need a quick mix with a hand whisk the further ahead it is made.
- Assemble the pie: The entire pie can be assembled 1 day in advance, minus the garnish of freeze dried or fresh strawberries. It can last up to 2 days, but leave the cream off until you are ready to serve in case it needs a brief whisk.
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- 1 batch Pate Sucree dough, chilled at least 2 hours or Graham Cracker Crumb Crust
- 1/3 cup (40 grams) cornstarch
- ½ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- Pinch salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 quart (16 ounces) strawberries, greens removed and pureed
- 1–1/4 cup (10 ounces) heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Freeze dried strawberries, to garnish
For Stabilized Whipped Cream:
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 cup (8 ounces) heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and set aside a 9” pie plate.
- Roll out the pie crust: Let the Pate Sucree sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften. Roll out between two pieces of plastic wrap to an 11” circle. Take off the top piece of plastic wrap, invert dough in a pie plate, and remove remaining plastic wrap. Fold under the edges and crimp as desired. Freeze for 30 minutes
- Parbake: Place a piece of aluminum foil inside the middle and fill it with pie weights or dried rice/beans and bake at 350ºF for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the weights and foil, and dock the pie crust with a fork to prevent it from rising. Return it back to the oven to fully cook, about another 10 to 15 minutes, or until it’s fully cooked through.
- Make the Pudding: Place a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together cornstarch, sugar and salt. Whisk in egg yolks until you have a light yellow paste. Then add in pureed strawberries and cream and whisk together until it’s fully combined. Use a spatula to get into the crevices of the saucepan to make sure there are no bits of eggs. Turn on the heat to medium and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, and occasionally taking a spatula and scraping up any thickened pudding in the edges of the pan. Cook until the pudding has completely thickened and large bubbles are forming and popping, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; immediately pour through the sieve into bowl, using a spatula to push all the pudding out while leaving behind any seeds or cooked egg. Add the extracts, lemon juice and butter to the pudding and whisk until combined. Pour the pudding into the prepared pie crust and smooth over the top. Place plastic wrap directly on surface of pudding to prevent skin from forming (or if you don’t care about the thickened crust forming, skip this) and chill the pie for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Make the whipped cream: To the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through for 2 minutes. Add heavy cream and beat on medium speed until the cream has reached soft stiff peaks, about 2 minutes more.
- Assemble pie: Remove plastic wrap from pie and place whipped cream on top of the pie. Using an offset spatula spread the cream evenly on top of the pie. If using, crumble the freeze dried strawberries on top of the whipped cream.
- Serve immediately or keep chilled until ready to serve, up to 1 day.
- You can skip the stabilized whipped cream and top this pie with a simple whipped cream, using these instructions.
Keywords: Strawberry Cream Pie, Strawberry Pudding Pie