Print

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert Jars

Sweet, salty and refreshing, these Strawberry Pretzel Dessert Jars are the perfect individual sweet treats to serve at a family gathering. The dessert jars are made up of layers of salty pretzels, fresh strawberry pudding and homemade whipped cream.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) cornstarch 
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar (see notes for ultra-sweet strawberries)
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolk
  • 2 quarts fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled and divided
  • 1 cup (227 grams) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons (40 grams) unsalted butter, diced

Pretzel Layer:

  • 4 ounces (about 1 cup) pretzel crumbs (see note)
  • 2 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (78 grams) unsalted butter, melted

For Whipped Cream:

  • ¾ cup (170 grams) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Freeze-dried strawberries, crumbled (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a heat-proof medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Puree 16 ounces of hulled strawberries in a blender until smooth. You will need 2 cups of strawberry puree.
  3. In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together cornstarch, sugar and salt. Whisk in eggs and yolks until you have a light yellow paste. Then add in pureed strawberries, milk 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.
  4. Place the saucepan over 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 strainer and into a bowl, using a spatula to push all the pudding out while leaving behind any cooked egg.
  5. Add in the extracts, lemon juice and butter to the pudding and whisk until combined. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent skin from forming and chill the pudding in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  6. Add pretzel crumbs, sugar and butter in a bowl to combine. Evenly divide the pretzel crumb mixture into 6 (8 ounce) jars, about 3 heaping tablespoons each. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, press down on the crumbs to tightly pack them into the jars.
  7. Remove the chilled pudding, and give it a whisk to loosen it up. Using a spoon, or a piping bag, divide the pudding into the jars, about 1/2 cup each.
  8. Finely dice the remaining strawberries, and divide them into the jars.
  9. Just before serving, make the whipped cream: To the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, heavy cream, sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until the cream has reached soft stiff peaks, about 2-3 minutes.
  10. Top the pie jars with whipped cream, and garnish with crumbled freeze-dried strawberries. Serve immediately.

Notes

To make pretzel crumbs, either pulverize pretzels in a food processor or blender, or you could finely smash them in a plastic bag with a rolling pin.

This recipe was developed using regular grocery store strawberries, which is to say ones that aren't super sweet. If you have amazing perfectly ripe, sweet strawberries, you can reduce the amount of sugar in the pudding to just ½ cup.

Make sure to place enough strawberries to yield 2 cups of strawberry puree. You will need 16 ounces of strawberries after they have been hulled. That means you will likely use more than 1 quart of strawberries to yield 16 ounces. If you don't have a scale, you can measure out the amount of puree you get in a measuring cup to ensure it is 2 cups.

Use gluten-free pretzels to make this recipe gluten-free.

Keywords: Strawberry Pretzel Pie Jars