Strawberry Whipped Cream Pie
Filled with whipped cream and pureed strawberries, Strawberry Whipped Cream Pie is fresh and light and the perfect simple summer dessert.
My Strawberry Whipped Cream Pie dates back a number of years–to Mother’s Day of 2016, when I created it for two reasons. First, I needed a new pie to serve at my Mother’s Day brunch where the standards are always high. And second, I was challenged with having too many frozen strawberries in my freezer (I know, first world problems).
You see, As a dedicated locavore, I try to preserve lots (LOTS) of fruit to get through the long Wisconsin winter. But that year my self-proclaimed “fruititarian” daughter went away to college–and the household smoothie consumption took a big hit.
Ultimately, it all worked out beautifully, since this was the hit of Mother’s Day brunch! Yes, the pie was so fruity and fluffy that it got the nickname Strawberry Silk Pie!
What is Strawberry Pie?
My homemade strawberry pie in a graham cracker crust is filled with a mixture of pureed strawberries and whipped cream thickened with gelatin. But as I did research to update this post, I learned that a version of this pie had actually existed for ages—and was commonly called a Strawberry Cool Whip Pie.
But that pie contained two ingredients that I don’t use–Cool Whip and Strawberry Jell-O. Happily, my all-natural version is still super easy and tasty!
Now to avoid any confusion, there is another well-known Strawberry Pie, that I call Fresh Strawberry Pie. It’s full of whole fresh strawberries in a jelled syrup. It’s delicious but really needs fresh berries so is a little more limiting.
But my Whipped Strawberry Pie is perfect for making Strawberry Pie with frozen strawberries!
How is this More Natural?
As a natural foodie, I don’t use Cool Whip or Jello. But since both of these were created to imitate natural foods, making this pie with natural ingredients is easy.
Yes, Cool Whip’s ingredient list bears little resemblance to natural whipped cream. Per Eat This, Not That “Kraft Cool Whip’s first ingredient is water, followed by hydrogenated vegetable oil, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and — finally — skim milk… Alas, Cool Whip is mostly just syrupy oil.”
And while Strawberry Jell-O is thickened with gelatin just like my recipe, it also contains ingredients like Red 40, artificial flavors and a couple other things I can’t identify. But you don’t need to make strawberry pie with jello since all natural gelatin works so well.
Yes, I always keep gelatin on hand since it keeps very well. A few years back, I bit the “expensive shipping” bullet and bought a big bag of GoBio Organic Gelatin out of Canada. Today there are a number of organic options available on Amazon and elsewhere.
Why You’ll Love This!
Tasty. This pie is so good, I even take it as an “extra” pie on Thanksgiving.
Easy. As a no-bake strawberry pie, this is really very easy even though it looks special!
Natural. With all natural ingredients, you know just what you’re eating! You can even go all organic if you want!
What You’ll Need
- Strawberries. This provides the strawberry goodness and flavor. You can use fresh or frozen.
- Granulated sugar.This is used to sweeten the strawberries
- Gelatin powder. This helps to thickens the strawberry pie filling.
- Water. This is used to dissolve the gelatin.
- Heavy cream. This provides lightness, creaminess and structure to the filling.
- Powdered sugar. This is used to sweeten the whipped cream.
- Vanilla. This helps to flavor the whipped cream.
- Graham cracker crust. This holds the filling. You can use packaged or homemade
- Optional additional whipped cream and fresh strawberries. For decorating
Assuming you have a mixer (it doesn’t even need to be free standing), you don’t need any unusual tools.
Step by Step Directions
Puree the berries and granulated sugar.
Whip 1 3/4 cup heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until mostly thickened.
Combine gelatin and cool water in small saucepan. Let stand until thick, about 5 minutes. Place over low heat, stirring until gelatin dissolves (it will be clear when dissolved). Don’t let it get too hot. (You can still see some little beads in this so it needs more stirring.)
Remove from heat, then stir in 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream. (This will help keep the gelatin from clumping when added to the whipped cream.) While beating slowly, gradually add dissolved gelatin mixture to whipped cream mixture. Whip at high speed until stiff.
Pour into graham cracker crust and smooth the top.
Let sit in the refrigerator to thicken for a few hours or overnight. Decorate with fresh strawberries and whipped cream if desired.
How to Serve
I usually serve this as a dessert for special occasion dinners or brunches. But it’s easy enough to make for a weeknight dinner if you’re feeling the need for something special.
I like to garnish the pie with whipped cream rosettes and fresh strawberries, but I think it’s even pretty if left plain! I added a few sprinkles too this time for fun!.
Strawberries make beautiful desserts and are so fun and festive! For a healthier strawberry pie, take a look at my No-Bake Strawberry Yogurt Pie
Or consider the Midwest supper club tradition Strawberry Schaum Torte which is a dessert of meringue topped with ice cream and strawberries.
And you can drink your strawberry “dessert“ as well! Consider a Frozen Strawberry Margarita or a White Chocolate Strawberry Martini.
Preparation and Leftovers
This will keep for a few days in the refrigerator—in fact, I usually make it the day before (or at least a few hours before) since the gelatin will get thicker as it sits. But for best results don’t decorate it until the day you are serving it. I have never tried freezing it, though I’m running an experiment now and will let you know how that goes!
Tips & FAQs
If you are making this with fresh strawberries and weighing them, weigh them after you take off the stems. If you want to eyeball it instead, just take a look at my bowl.
The biggest challenge of working with gelatin is making sure it doesn’t clump up prematurely if added to a cold ingredient (like, um, whipped cream…). To solve this problem, this recipe adds a little extra liquid cream to the dissolved gelatin before adding it. That dilutes it enough to not clump and, since it’s cream not extra water, doesn’t water down the whipped cream.
Be sure to use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream rather than whipping cream. Per the FDA, the first two are required to contain 36% or more milkfat, while whipping cream (without the “heavy”) can have from 30-35%. The extra milkfat will give you a thicker whipped texture that provides better structure. This is true if you are piping out swirls for the topping too (though the lower fat version is fine for dollops).
Strawberry Whipped Cream Pie
- 8 ounces strawberries fresh or frozen, about 2 cups berries/1 cup puree
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin powder (you can use the full 2 1/2 teaspoons from a Knox gelatin packet)
- 3 Tablespoons water cool
- 1 7/8 cups heavy cream divided into 1 3/4 and 2 Tablespoons
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 graham cracker crust packaged or homemade
- Optional whipped cream fresh strawberries for decorating
- Puree the berries and granulated sugar.
- Whip 1 3/4 cup of the heavy cream until lightly thickened (there will be 2 Tablespoons left). Whip in powdered sugar and vanilla for a few seconds, just until blended in.
- Combine gelatin and cool water in small saucepan. Let stand until thick, about 5 minutes. Place over low heat, stirring constantly just until gelatin dissolves (it will be clear when dissolved). Don't let it get too hot. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream
- While beating slowly, gradually add gelatin mixture to whipped cream. Whip at high speed until stiff.
- Fold in pureed berries then pour into graham cracker crust and smooth the top. Decorate with fresh strawberries and whipped cream (see note) if desired.
- Pie can be eaten immediately but will thicken more if refrigerated for a few hours or overnight.
Updated from May 11, 2016.
- Honey Wheat Bread with Optional Sourdough Discard
- Maple Glazed Carrots
This recipe is a winner! It is light, not overly sweet, plenty of strawberry flavor, and easy to prepare. Your efforts paid off.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It’s a big family favorite–in fact, my youngest just asked for this instead of a birthday cake!
Just wondering, i just made 2 of these and they were not very thick when i put them in the crusts. Will they thicken in the fridge?
Yes, they will thicken some as they cool–kind of like jello sets. A lot of the thickness comes from the whipped cream though, so if they are really floppy, the cream may not have been whipped enough. But the gelatin should add stiffness–plus lasting power so this will keep longer than a day as it sets. Good luck with your dessert.
Inger – first, this is absolutely beautiful. Second, I bet it tastes amazing! And third, I love the evolution of your technique. Can’t wait to make this.
Gallons? Really Inger? Oh how I wish I would find gallons of harvested strawberries in the freezer:( I am waiting patiently (impatiently) for Strawberry season to arrive.
Your Whipped Strawberry Pie looks amazing! I congratulate you on your patience for getting it just right!
Thanks so much for sharing, Inger…
I really want to try this- looks fantastic!
This reminds me of a jello / cool whip pie I used to make back in the day. Looking forward to trying a real food version when strawberry season resumes (December-April here).
oh, i’d say you’ve definitely achieved the perfect strawberry pie, if your photos are any indication! that texture looks amazing! i LOVE strawberry season. 🙂
Wow what lovely and delicious Inger !!
Love it. Delicious!