1 – 9” baked pie shell
2 ¾ lb fresh strawberries
3/4 – 1 cup sugar (depending on your sweetness preference)
3 tbsp. tapioca starch (you can use corn starch, but the tapioca starch makes a clearer glaze, which I prefer. You can find it in the Asian section of any grocery store)
½ package room temperature cream cheese
¼ cup icing sugar
½ cup whipping cream
I know you can buy pre-made glaze, but with all the artificial flavors and food dyes in them, I’d much rather make my own. It’s a bit of work, but the rewards are a pie bursting with fresh fruit flavors.
Wash and thoroughly crush approximately 3 cups fresh berries. (about ¾ lb., or one small basket)
Bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes to release all the juices. Strain this mixture to remove the seeds. Measure the juice in a measuring cup. You should be left with about 2 cups of liquid, but this will depend on how juicy the berries are.
For every 1 cup of juice, mix together: 1 cup sugar and 3 tbsp. tapioca starch. If you end up with 1 ½ cups juice, then you would use 1 ½ cups sugar, and 4 1/2 Tbsp. starch. You do the math! Mixing the sugar and starch together before adding them to the warm liquid ensures that you won’t end up with lumps of starch in your glaze.
Whisk this into the juice, and bring it back to a boil, until thickened. Allow to cool completely.
I usually end up making quite abit of glaze at one time and using it all season long. The strawberry glaze is also delicious to use on fresh raspberries. Or you can use this same recipe and formula for fresh raspberry glaze. The formula is simple: for every 1 cup of cooked and strained berry juice, you need 1 cup sugar and 4 Tbsp. starch. This keeps for at least a month in the fridge, and can also be frozen in smaller amounts. You need about 1 cup glaze per pie.
Cream Cheese Filling:
Beat together the cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth and lump free.
Beat in the whipping cream until thick.
Now the hard part is not eating this all by the spoonful so that you still have some left for the pie!
Time to put it all together:
Spread the cream cheese filling on the bottom of the baked pie shell.
Wash and dry approximately 2 lbs. of fresh berries (about 3 small baskets) If the berries are large, I cut them in half.
Gently fold about 1 cup of glaze into the berries with a large rubber spatula. If the berries are very soft, I’ve resorted to using my hands so that I don’t squish the berries.
Gently (this pie sure has tender feelings!) pile the berries into the pie shell. I usually do about half the berries, turn the cut ones so that they’re cut side down, and then put the rest on top. Again, for the best presentation, take the time to turn the berries cut side down.
Chill for a few hours before serving. Top with sweetened whip cream, and watch the smiles on everyone’s faces! People have been known to lick their plates clean.