This strawberry pie recipe is the must make recipe of the spring/summer and can be made 100% ahead of time!
Looking for a simple yet sensational pie? This fresh strawberry pie is the answer! You’ll love every bite of fresh, juicy, sweet strawberries coated in a light, luscious strawberry glaze all cocooned in a buttery, flaky pie shell. Add a big dollop of fresh cream and heaven awaits! This strawberry pie is recipe is the perfect addition to pool parties and barbecues (Memorial Day, 4th of July), special occasions (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day) and is equally sensational at baby showers, bridal showers, birthday parties or just because! This recipe stands out above the rest because it utilizes both fresh strawberries and a hint of strawberry Jell-O to create an irresistible sweet, fresh strawberry glaze that’s thick enough to coat the strawberries, but thin enough to delivers a loose filling. You can load the strawberry pie filling into the buttery homemade pie shell OR use a store-bought pie crust – so there’s no reason not to make this recipe today! This fresh strawberry pie also earns major points because it can be made 100% ahead of time, including the whipped cream, thanks to my stabilized whipped cream technique, for a stress-free dessert! I’ve included detailed instructions on how to make strawberry pie so even if you’ve never made pie before, it will be a runaway success – and it’s so much easier than you think!
I’m always excited for spring and summer because it’s synonymous with strawberry season! Which means we get to make mini strawberry pies, strawberry shortcake, strawberry shortcake cake, strawberry syrup, strawberry cheesecake, strawberry coffee cake and now this fresh strawberry pie!
How to Make strawberry Pie Recipe Video
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THIS strawberry pie RECIPE is:
- Easy to make
- Filled with the most sensational fresh strawberry pie filling
- Boasts extra strawberry flavor thanks to the Jell-O
- Can be made with a homemade or store-bought pie crust
- 100% make ahead friendly thanks to the stabilized whipped cream
- Perfect for every spring & summer get together!
Nothing screams spring and summer like strawberries, and nothing beats devouring them in fresh strawberry pie! I know you might be intimidated by making strawberry pie from scratch, but it is actually one of the easier desserts to make. You don’t have to make frosting, layer cakes, or worry about over baking. Instead, most of the “work” is hands-off chilling time of both the pie crust and the filling OR you can just use store-bought pie shell. Just watch my “how to make video” and follow my tips and tricks and you will be rewarded with the best strawberry pie of your life.
Why this recipe works
There are a lot of strawberry pie recipes out there, so why this one? With this recipe, my goal was to make the best pie: the best fresh strawberry filling, the best crust and the best whipped cream. Together these elements unite to create a strawberry pie that will have everyone coming back for seconds and thirds and begging you for the recipe. Here’s why this recipe works:
The strawberry pie filling
This strawberry pie filling is brimming with fresh and sweet strawberry flavor all married with a glaze that isn’t stiff or runny. The glaze is thick enough to coat the strawberries, but not thick enough to create a congealed mass – you’ll still have strawberries falling out onto the plate – just as it should be.
To accomplish this, this recipe uses 3 pounds of strawberries compared to 2 pounds found in most recipes (which just leaves you yearning for more strawberry flavor). Some of the strawberries are pureed with water then simmered with sugar and cornstarch to thicken. A splash of lemon juice and a few tablespoons of strawberry Jell-O is then added – just enough to infuse the glaze with an oomph of strawberry flavor while still keeping the flavor fresh and natural. The combination of the fresh flavor of pureed strawberries plus strawberry Jell-O cannot be beat! The glaze isn’t overly sweet, heavy, or stiff, just smooth, tangy, bright, summery perfection.
the pie CRUST
This pie crust is shortcrust pastry made with equal amounts of butter and lard (shortening) that results in a crust that is gloriously buttery and flaky, holds together when slicing and transferring, yet soft enough so it cuts with barely any effort.
Best of all, even if you’ve never made pie crust before, you’ll find that it’s SO easy to make in your food processor. Just pulse flour, butter, shortening salt and water together, chill, then roll – the hardest part is hours hands-off chilling time! If you want to see exactly how to make it, make sure to check out the recipe video at the top of the post or in the recipe card.
For the best crust, I used my homemade pie crust recipe which turns out perfectly every time. If making the homemade shortcut pastry, make sure to plan ahead. The dough needs to chill for at least 2 hours before rolling and then 45 minutes before baking. You can bake the pie shell up to three days in advance or further in advance and freeze it until you’re ready to fill with your luscious strawberry filling.
The whipped cream
My goal for this strawberry pie recipe was to create a dessert that was 100% make ahead friendly and stress free for entertaining – that includes the whipped cream. If you make traditional whipped cream and pipe, it onto the pie, it will deflate, or even worse, it will be weeping within the hour. This is where miraculous stabilized whipped cream saves the day.
Stabilized whipped cream is heavy cream that has been whipped with sugar and gelatin in order to give it structure but it doesn’t alter the flavor – it’s magic!
To use this stabilized whipped cream, you’ll pipe it onto the strawberry pie any time after it’s set, then refrigerate until ready to serve. The whipped cream will hold its shape long after the last bite of pie is gone. This mean your fresh strawberry pie can be 100% ready to serve without any last-minute hassle or stress.
Strawberry pie ingredients
This recipe uses mostly pantry friendly ingredients plus the fresh strawberries to create the spectacular dessert. Here’s what you’ll need:
STRAWBERRY pie FILLING:
- Fresh strawberries: you will need 3 pounds of fresh, ripe strawberries. It may seem like a lot, but it’s best to have a mounding strawberry pie than a sad, flat one.
- Sugar: use granulated sugar to make the syrup-like coating.
- Jell-O: strawberry Jell-O adds sweet strawberry flavor but will not make the texture thick and Jell-O like. Please don’t omit this ingredient or the water/sugar/cornstarch ratios will be off.
- Cornstarch: thickens the strawberry glaze.
- Lemon juice: brightens the glaze and enhances the strawberry flavor. Fresh or bottled is fine.
STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM (OPTIONAL)
You can make stabilized whipped cream or just plain whipped cream by omitting the unflavored gelatin and water.
- Heavy cream: look for “heavy whipping cream” at the grocery store. You must use heavy cream – no other substitutions will work. Take care that your heavy cream is very cold, remove it from the refrigerator just when ready to use.
- Sugar: use powdered sugar because it’s more than couple tablespoons, otherwise granulated can be used in a bind.
- Vanilla extract: use quality extract for best results.
- Unflavored gelatin: is a common baking ingredient and can be found next to the packages of Jell-O and pudding at your grocery store. It is what makes this “stabilized” whipped cream and not just whipped cream.
- Water: cold tap water is used to dissolve the gelatin.
Possible RECIPE VARIATIONS
- Berries: use a combination of strawberries and other fruits such as raspberries, blueberries, or peaches.
- Whipped topping: you can pipe the whipped cream around the edges of the strawberry pie or you can layer it over the entire top of the pie.
- Lemon Curd: add a layer of lemon curd on top of the strawberry filling.
- Lemon Curd Whipped Cream: try this bright citrus whipped cream used in my strawberry shortcake recipe.
- Mint: garnish the fresh strawberry pie with mint.
DO I HAVE TO USE HOMEMADE pie CRUST?
Nope! If you’re short on time, you can use a store-bought pie crust but if you do have the time, homemade is 100% worth the time and effort – it’s buttery and flaky in ways store-bought can only dream of.
How do you make my bottom pie crust crispy?
This strawberry pie recipe requires you to blind bake the homemade pie crust first. Blind baking might sound complicated, but it simply means pre-baking the empty pastry before you add the filling. This way you have perfectly flaky, crispy crust verses a soggy crust. I’ve included instructions on how to blind bake the crust below.
HOW TO MAKE strawberry pie
Don’t be intimidated by how beautiful this strawberry pie looks ;). It’s easy to make, it just requires some hands-off dough chilling time. Here’s a breakdown of the steps to make the best strawberry pie recipe:
STEP 1: MAKE THE CRUST
- Make the pastry dough according to these recipe instructions.
- Chill dough. Press the dough into an 8-inch disc, cover in plastic wrap, and let chill for at least 2 hours.
- Make pie shell. Once the dough has had time to chill, roll it out into a 12-inch circle. Gently transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate and press into the plate. Flute the edges as desired.
STEP 2: BLIND BAKE THE PIE CRUST
- Chill your pie shell before blind baking. The crust should be chilled for 45 minutes (or longer) after it’s transferred to the pan before blind baking. The colder the crust before baking, the crispier and flakier it will be. You want the fat to be firm going into the oven so it melts in the oven – not on the counter – this creates pockets of steam resulting in flaky layers. Equally as important, chilling the crust lets the strands of gluten relax which helps prevent constricting and shrinking.
- Use pie weights to prevent the pie crust from shrinking. As the pastry bakes, the fat melts and shrinks which causes the bottom to shrink and therefore the sides to slide down. Melting fat also creates steam which causes the dough to puff up if not weighed down with a filling. To remedy both of these problems, you need pie weights, rice, or beans – any oven proof weight – to fill the bottom of the pie shell. Now your center won’t puff up and the sides won’t shrink as much.
- Bake without pie weights to brown the bottom. You’ll bake the pie shell for 25-30 minutes with pie weights which bakes the edges and secures them in place but since the bottom was covered with parchment and weights, it doesn’t brown up. To remedy this, you’ll simply remove the parchment and pie weights and bake an additional 12-18 minutes or until golden.
- “Dock” the pie crust before popping it back into the oven. This means pricking holes in bottom of the crust with a fork which will allows steam to escape. And no, your filling will not seep through the holes!
STEP 3: MAKE THE strawberry glaze
- Puree strawberries. Set aside 1 ½ cups of the least attractive strawberries and add them to your blender along with some water. Puree until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
- Thicken glaze. Add puree to a small saucepan along with cornstarch, sugar and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until thickened to about the consistency of spreadable jam.
- Chill glaze. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in Jell-O and lemon juice. Cool to room temperature. Set aside.
STEP 4: MAKE THE strawberry pie filling
- Hull the strawberries. Hulling simply means removing the leaves on top of the strawberry and the white portion surrounding it – the “hull.” To properly hull a strawberry, use a sharp knife to cut a circle around the stem at an angle then remove the hull. If you don’t want to go to the trouble, you can simply chop the top of the strawberries off.
- Cut strawberries. For the filling, you want bite-size strawberries. Slice medium strawberries in half and any extra-large strawberries into quarters.
- Combine. Fold the fresh strawberries into the glaze to create a luscious fresh strawberry coating.
- Assemble. Transfer the strawberry filling to the cold pie shell.
STEP 5: chill strawberry pie
- Chill. Refrigerate the strawberry pie for 3 hours or until set, best if overnight. Meanwhile, you can make the stabilized whipped cream.
STEP 6: MAKE WHIPPED CREAM
You can make stabilized whipped cream or traditional whipped cream. Making stabilized whipped cream is the same process of traditional whipped cream, just with the easy added steps of dissolving the gelatin in water and microwaving it.
- Optional step for stabilized whipped cream: Add unflavored gelatin to a microwave safe bowl then pour the cold water over top; let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer the gelatin mixture to the microwave and microwave for 10 seconds. Stir the mixture, then set aside to cool.
- Whip cream to soft peaks: While you’re waiting for the gelatin to cool slightly, mix heavy cream, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until it thickens and forms soft peaks (the whipped cream folds over when you lift the beaters out of the bowl).
- Add gelatin: Once you’ve reached the soft peak stage, slowly pour the cooled gelatin mixture in as you’re mixing the whipped cream and continue to mix until the whipped cream forms stiff peaks (the whipped cream stands straight up and doesn’t fold over when you lift the beaters out of the bowl).
- Add topping: You can pipe the stabilized whipped cream onto the strawberry pie at any point. The beauty of stabilized whipped cream is it will hold its shape indefinitely. If using regular whipped cream, top just before serving.
HOW TO USE STORE BOUGHT PIE CRUST
When buying frozen pie crust, make sure to purchase a 9-inch deep-dish pie crust, a regular pie crust will not work because it is not deep enough. If you unpackage the pie crust and it’s cracked, make a smooth paste by mixing 1 tablespoon of flour with 1 tablespoon of water and use it to fill any cracks. You can use this same trick if your crust cracks after pre-baking as well. Which brings me to my next point, you will still need to blind-bake store-bought pie crust to prevent a soggy bottom. Here’s how:
- Remove the pie crust from the freezer and thaw for about 10 minutes or until just soft enough to easily prick with a fork.
- Prick the bottom and sides all over with a fork (about an inch apart to prevent crust from puffing up).
- Bake until golden, according to package directions.
Tips for Fresh Strawberry Pie Recipe
- Prep ahead. I suggest making your pie dough or go one step further and blind baking the pie shell a day ahead of time so all you have to do is pull it out of the fridge and fill when ready.
- Choose in-season strawberries. Make fresh strawberry pie when strawberries are in season! Fresh strawberries will deliver the sweetest, deepest flavor. Strawberries are in season from spring to early summer, making strawberry pie perfect for Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, end of school and Father’s Day.
- How to pick strawberries: choose strawberries that are dark red, firm, fragrant and fully ripe – but not soft! Ripe strawberries will deliver the sweetest, deepest flavor.
- Don’t soak strawberries. Rinse and drain the strawberries carefully. Dry berries on towels in a single layer – you don’t want any excess moisture or your strawberry filling will be runny. Never soak strawberries in water or they’ll become water logged and lose flavor and nutrients.
- Chill the crust. The pie crust will shrink if you don’t chill it before blind baking. Chill for at least 45 minutes.
- Use cold ingredients to make the crust. It is important that the shortening, butter and water are very cold because keeping the fat cold until it enters the oven is what ensures a flaky crust as opposed to a crunchy one. According to Baking Illustrated, as the fat pellets melt during baking, steam is produced which creates pockets in the dough resulting in flaky layers – so we need our fat to not melt before the oven.
- Handle the dough as little as possible. After you’ve blitzed the ingredients together in a food processor, try to handle the pie dough as little as possible. This will prevent the flour from being over worked, and it will keep the butter cold — both of which will ensure a flaky pie crust.
- Don’t over-thicken the glaze. The glaze should be the consistency of spreadable jam after simmering. You don’t want it thicker before chilling or it will set-up like Jell-O instead of remaining a thin coating.
- For a prettier presentation, arrange the strawberries. You can pour the strawberries into the pie shell and spread into an even layer and call it a day or I like to turn all of the top strawberries over, cut side down, for a prettier presentation.
make ahead STRAWBERRY pie
Strawberry pie can be made 24 hours in advance. You can also chop the strawberries and puree the strawberries ahead of time, but I would wait to thicken the glaze and assemble until ready to fill the pie shell.
I do recommend getting a jump start on the homemade pie shell a day ahead of time. The pie crust can be prepped to different stages depending on your schedule:
- Make pie dough: make the pie dough, shape it into a disc, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 2 days before using.
- Form pie shell: transfer dough to the pie plate to make the pie shell, cover, and refrigerated for up to 2 days. It can also be covered in multiple layers of plastic wrap and frozen for 3 months.
- Bake pie shell: blind bake and cool the pie shell. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Why is my strawberry pie runny?
You should not have any problems with the strawberry pie being runny using this recipe – but you must follow the recipe. The amount of cornstarch in the recipe will create a thick glaze after simmering and be thickened further by adding Jell-O. Once you add the strawberries and chill the pie, the filling will set, but the glaze should still be loose enough that the strawberries don’t stick together.
To ensure your filling isn’t runny, here are a few tips:
- Take care to fully dissolve the cornstarch in the strawberry puree before you bring the mixture to a simmer, otherwise, it will clump and not activate properly.
- Be sure to let the filling come to a full boil before turning down to a simmer in order to fully activate the thickening power of the cornstarch.
- Cook until the filling looks thick. The thicker the glaze is, the less runny the filling will be. Cooking the mixture thoroughly will also reduce the liquid, making a thicker filling.
- You MUST let the filling cool completely before adding the strawberries. If it’s warm, it’ll will start to cook the berries, causing them to release moisture, which will make the filling runny, weepy, or not set up.
- Once the strawberry pie is assembled, make sure to let it chill in the refrigerator for a full three hours to let the filling completely set before slicing.
Strawberry pie Facts
Can I use a graham cracker crust?
No, please do not use a graham cracker crust. It can become soggy due to the wet strawberry filling.
How many Strawberries do you need for a pie?
You need a generous number of strawberries because some are pureed to become the glaze and the rest will be halved or quartered for the filling. The rule of thumb is that 2 cups of berries is about ¾ of a pound (one pint). For this recipe you 3 pounds of strawberries, so that is 4 pints or 8 cups.
NO, frozen strawberries have too much moisture and will not work for this strawberry pie recipe.
How do you thicken strawberry pie filling?
To thicken strawberry pie filling, you’ll need to simmer the pureed strawberries, water and cornstarch on the stove. Some recipes use tapioca starch or flour, but I find cornstarch delivers the best structure, flavor and appearance for strawberry pies. Flour can leave the glaze cloudier. When simmering the glaze on the stove, you want it quite thick because it will thin some once combined with the strawberries.
To store the strawberry pie, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days, although it’s best if eaten within two days. The longer the pie sits, the softer the bottom crust becomes.
How far ahead can I make this pie?
This strawberry pie is best if eaten within 24-48 hours of when it was made or the crust can get soggy. The Jell-O in the glaze helps it last longer, but still aim to eat it sooner rather than later. If you know you will be serving the pie after 24 hours, brush the bottom of the crust with an egg wash the last half of blind baking to help prevent the crust from getting soggy.
Strawberry pie needs to be refrigerated once first assembled in order for the strawberry filling to set. After that, you technically do not have to refrigerate strawberry pie because it does not contain eggs. Strawberry pie will last for up to two days at room temperature, but your pie will last longer, and taste better if chilled in the refrigerator.
No, you cannot freeze the assembled strawberry pie because it will become mushy once thawed. You may, however, freeze the pie dough, unbaked pie shell or baked pie shell for up to 3 months.
Strawberries are a fabulous fruit to freeze – but not for pie! Frozen strawberries don’t have the same texture once thawed so save them for syrup, smoothies, jams, acai bowls, oatmeal, etc.
Tools Used in This Recipe
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- 1 pie crust recipe (or store bought – see notes)
- 3 pounds strawberries, hulled, divided
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 tablespoons strawberry gelatin (powdered Jell-O)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (optional for stabilized, see notes)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons water (optional for stabilized, see notes)
- 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Note: You can complete baking the crust up to 3 days ahead of time then cool, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Prepare pie dough according to recipe directions and bake following the BLIND BAKE instructions in the recipe (click on "pie crust recipe"). Let the pie shell cool completely before filling.
- Add puree to a small saucepan along with cornstarch, sugar and a pinch of salt; whisk to dissolve the cornstarch. Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until reduced and thickened to the consistency of spreadable jam. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in Jell-O and lemon juice. Cool to room temperature. Set aside.
- Refrigerate for 3 hours or until set, best if overnight. Serve with fresh whipping cream.
WHIPPED CREAM (OPTIONAL)
- Optional for stabilized whipped cream: Add unflavored gelatin to a microwave safe bowl then pour the cold water over top; let stand for 5 minutes. Microwave for 10 seconds. Stir the mixture, then set aside to cool.
- Add heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl. Whip using an electric hand mixer just until soft peaks form.
- Turn the mixer to low and slowly pour in the gelatin mixture. Mix until well combined then increase the speed to medium and continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
- Transfer whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a large tip. You can pipe the stabilized whipped cream onto the strawberry pie at any point after it’s set and continue to refrigerate. The beauty of stabilized whipped cream is it will hold its shape indefinitely. If using regular whipped cream, top the pie just before serving.
- Store-bought pie crust: purchase a 9-inch deep-dish pie crust, a regular pie crust will not work because it is not deep enough. Remove the pie crust from the freezer and thaw for about 10 minutes or until just soft enough to easily prick with a fork. Prick the bottom and sides all over with a fork (about an inch apart to prevent crust from puffing up) and bake until golden, according to package directions.
- Stabilized whipped cream: you can make stabilized whipped cream or omit the water and unflavored gelatin to make regular whipped cream. Stabilized whipped cream is heavy cream that has been whipped with sugar and gelatin in order to give it structure but it doesn’t alter the flavor – it’s magic! It can be added to the pie any time after it’s set, then refrigerated until ready to serve. The whipped cream will hold its shape long after the last bite of pie is gone. This mean your fresh strawberry pie can be 100% ready to serve without any last-minute hassle or stress.
- Unflavored gelatin: is a common baking ingredient and can be found next to the packages of Jell-O and pudding at your grocery store. It is what makes this “stabilized” whipped cream and not just whipped cream.
- Prep ahead: I suggest making your pie dough or go one step further and blind baking the pie shell a day ahead of time so all you have to do is pull it out of the fridge and fill when ready.
- Storage: store strawberry pie covered in the refrigerator. The pie is best if eaten within 24-48 hours of when it was made or the crust can get soggy. The Jell-O in the glaze helps it last longer, but still aim to eat it sooner rather than later.
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