In the summer, I almost always crave something cold, creamy, and sweet. This creamy, cheesecake-like strawberry pie is a great way to use up all of the extra strawberries you’ve been hoarding (because they are buy one get one free at Harris Teeter, so why not?) and don’t know what to do with. “Strawberries in our salad AGAIN, dear?” will no longer be the cry of your mate.
The REAL steal on this one though is the graham cracker crust. Don’t you dare buy that rock-solid Keebler brand in the store that you could flip upside down and it would stay in one piece. Graham cracker crusts are 1) simple to make, 2) customizable, and 3) crumbly and DELICIOUS. I decided to do a cinnamon variation and made it extra thick (almost too thick to cut into when serving! Oops.)
Just layer a mixture of cream cheese and pudding in the bottom of the prepared crust, and spoon some juicy strawberries on top, and you’ve got yourself a winner of a summer treat! You could also freeze it a day in advance to help it set a bit, then stick in the fridge to defrost for a half hour or so before serving so that the strawberries aren’t so solid. Enjoy!
- 12 graham cracker sheets (24 squares)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar, divided
- 6 tbsp butter, melted
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 cups strawberries, sliced
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 6 oz reduced-fat cream cheese (I used Neufchatel cheese), softened
- 1 package vanilla or cheesecake-flavored pudding mix (I used sugar-free)
- 2 cups low fat milk
- Preheat oven to 375 deg.
- In a food processor, pulse graham crackers and sugar until fine crumbs form.
- Pour into a bowl and drizzle melted butter over the top. Stir to combine. You should be able to squeeze together the crumbs and have them form a ball in your hand! (If this doesn’t happen, add 1 tbsp water at a time until it does!)
- Spread graham cracker crumbs firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ pie plate. (I used an aluminum pie plate for ease of giving away leftovers!)
- Bake pie crust for 10 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant.
- Freeze crust to use later, or allow to cool completely before proceeding.
- To make filling, beat together softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup milk until foamy. Add pudding mix and remaining milk. Beat until smooth. Add vanilla and stir.
- Spoon evenly into bottom of prepared pie crust.
- Slice strawberries and sprinkle 2 tbsp sugar over top. Stir to combine (this will help the strawberries release all of their juices and make the fruit a bit less tangy!), then add lemon juice (and a bit more vanilla if you want). Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes (enough time to go upstairs and shower since you haven’t done so yet after working out!).
- Spoon strawberries and juices over top of the pie. Refrigerate or freeze for at least 3 hours to set before serving (if freezing, defrost for at least 30 min).
Bonus!! I had a bit more filling and fruit than would fit in my pie plate, so I decided to use up the leftovers in these cute little muffin tins! I just pressed the graham cracker crust in the bottom of the liners, followed by about 2 tbsp filling, and topped with berries before freezing. Perfectly portioned and easy as (dare I say it?) pie!