Strawberry Icebox Pie

Here at the Recipe Club, we really love our Dads. And our Dads always love the food we make for them! This year for Father’s Day, we created three Mantastic Menus to give you great ideas for delicious meals to celebrate your father, husband, son, or any great guy in your life. Mantastic Menu #3 is Southern-themed, with recipes for a Local Sazerac cocktail, the classic Cajun dish Chicken Sauce Piquant, and of course a summery Southern dessert — Strawberry Icebox Pie.

Father’s Day Menu #3:
Local Sazerac recipe from A Taste for Absinthe (Clarkson Potter, 2011) by R. Winston Guthrie and James F. Thompson
Chicken Sauce Piquant recipe from Real Cajun (Clarkson Potter, 2009) by Donald Link
Strawberry Icebox Pie (recipe follows) from Martha Stewart’s New Pies and Tarts (Clarkson Potter, 2011) by Martha Stewart

Strawberries are America’s favorite summer fruit, hands down, and the perfect way to top off a meal celebrating Dad for Father’s Day. In this recipe from Martha Stewart’s New Pies and Tarts (Clarkson Potter, 2011), a graham-cracker crust holds a luscious strawberry filling topped with swells of sweetened whipped cream. To make the filling sliceable, some of the berries are briefly cooked with a small amount of cornstarch (and cranberry juice, to enhance the color); the rest are stirred in off heat. The result is a pie with a fresh, true strawberry flavor—and all the crumbly, creamy qualities of the best icebox desserts.

Strawberry Icebox Pie
Recipe from Martha Stewart’s New Pies and Tarts

Makes one 9-inch pie

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup unsweetened cranberry juice
2 quarts fresh strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced (reserve a few whole berries for garnish)
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
Graham Cracker Crust (recipe follows)
½ cup heavy cream

1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine ¾ cup sugar, the cranberry juice, 2 cups strawberries, the cornstarch, and salt. Using a potato masher, gently mash strawberries. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until very thick, about 1 minute.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in remaining sliced strawberries.
Pour into baked, cooled crust. Refrigerate until set, 4 hours or, covered with plastic, up to 1 day.

2. In a large chilled bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over cream and continue to beat until soft peaks return (do not overbeat). Spread whipped cream over pie, leaving a 1½-inch border around edge. Garnish with reserved whole berries.

Graham Cracker Crust
Makes one 9-inch crust

12 graham cracker sheets (6 ounces), broken into pieces, or 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled, plus more for pie plate
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly butter a 9-inch pie plate. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers until finely ground. In a bowl, combine crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt. Press mixture firmly and evenly into bottom and up sides of pie plate. Bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. (Crust can be stored up to 1 day, loosely covered with foil, at room temperature.)