Moving Woes and Birthday Pie

There always seems to be one box that goes missing during moving.  Unfortunately, my one missing box contained a number of kitchen items that while at first didn’t seem necessary, have become increasingly frustrating to do without. My most recently realized missing item – a potato masher. Not an everyday need, but today I could have used it.  Mashing strawberries with a fork or a whisk just doesn’t pack the same punch as getting them done quickly with a potato masher.

Speaking of strawberries – on today’s docket was strawberry & cream shortbread pie.  It’s a simple, cool dessert fit for anyone’s summer birthday! Since strawberries are in season right now it seems like the perfect time to use as many of them as possible. 

Strawberry & Cream Shortbread Pie

for the crust
1 3/4 c crushed shortbread cookies – or vanilla wafers – or graham crackers if you prefer them
1/4 c sugar
1/3 c melted butter

for the strawberry glaze
1 c crushed strawberries – about 1/2 a pound
3/4 c water
1/2 c sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 lbs strawberries cut up

for the cream
8 oz cream cheese softened
1/2 c sugar
8 oz c sour cream

One of the great things about this summer dessert is no oven necessary! First you’ll want to assemble the crust by mixing your cookie crumbs and sugar together.  Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and mix with a fork until everything is combined.  Press your crust mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan.  I like to line my pan with either parchment or tin foil – it makes getting the finished product out later easier.  If you’d rather use a pie pan you can, but the filling for this recipe will make closer to 2 pies so you’ll need to adjust your crust accordingly. 

Next you’ll make the glaze for the strawberry filling.  I have in the past I have used a store bought packet of powder that you can easily make into glaze, but I like this recipe I have now much better.  It makes less, and I feel like I’m tasting more strawberry and less sugary syrup.  Take the cup of mashed up strawberries (hopefully you had a potato masher on hand – you don’t want to puree it into oblivion in a food processor or blender), and put it in a small sauce pan with the water, sugar, and cornstarch. Stir everything up and turn the burner to medium heat.  Everything will dissolve slowly, and let it just do it’s thing while it boils and thickens up – stirring occasionally. While you’re waiting for the glaze to finish cut up your strawberries if you haven’t already.  Once the glaze is done you can pour it directly over your strawberries and stir it up. 

Pour those beauties into your crust and stick the whole thing into the fridge once it’s covered with plastic wrap.  You’ll need to wait at least an hour before you add anything else.  Actually – the cream is optional, but really – who wants to skip cream?  Mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and sour cream. Once it’s thoroughly combined spread it on the top of your pie.  If you don’t want to put it directly on your pie, you can always just leave it off to the side and add it at the table for those who do want it.  

Also, a word of caution – this doesn’t exactly hold together very well.  It’s a mess – albeit a delicious mess.  Just be careful when you’re trying to get it on to a plate…Don’t worry – we didn’t waste it. There – that’s better.  Still messy, but at least you can see what it’s supposed to look like.And this is what you should look like when you’re done – happy and a successful member of the clean plate club!

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