This recipe is from my favorite cooking magazine Cook's Country. This magazine is an off shoot of Cook's Illustrated, but I like it better because all the pictures are in color and that makes me happy. The pie filling for this pie is absolutely wonderful and I think I'm going to serve it warm on waffles with the lovely cream cheese topping. I did have some trouble with it not setting up as firmly as I hoped, but it was so yummy that I didn't mind.
Diner-Style Strawberry Pie
2 pounds frozen whole strawberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
1 9" pie shell, baked and cooled
4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy cream
In a large saucepan cook frozen strawberries over low heat for about 3 minutes, or until strawberries just begin to release some of their juices. Turn heat up to medium high and cook stirring frequently until mixture reaches a thick jam like texture - for me it took about 30 minutes. Turn off heat. Measure out the strawberry sauce to make the mixture measures 2 cups. Pour it back into the saucepan and set it aside.
In a small bowl combine lemon juice, water, and gelatin. Let it stand till gelatin is softened and mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir gelatin mixture, sugar, and salt into the strawberry sauce in saucepan. Heat to a simmer, about 2 minutes. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and let it stand until it reaches room temperature (about 30 minutes).
After strawberry sauce has cooled to room temp add sliced fresh strawberries, folding to combine. Spread strawberry mixture evenly into prepared pie shell and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours.
To make topping:
Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer (stand or hand mixer) until smooth. Add cream and whip until it forms stiff peaks, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate topping till ready to serve on top of individual pie slices.