I aspire to be able to bake as well as my Grandma Dorothy did! There wasn’t a recipe she hadn’t perfected, and quite honestly, she didn’t seem to believe in “recipes”. What I mean is, after an afternoon at Bridge Club (she was a Silver Life Master Bridge Player), she would bring home recipes written on pretty cards in fancy cursive letters, or on the back of a deposit slip from her checkbook jotted down in some sort of short-hand only she could decipher. But those didn’t last long. All she really needed to do was to taste something once, and then get the ingredients confirmed by the person that brought the dish to the club that day, and she was good-to-go. She was a pinch-of-this-and-a-dash-of-that kind of a cook. In no time, she was improving on that recipe and stashing the original notes in a cupboard with all the rest of the starting-point-recipe cards she’d long since forgotten about. She had the most AMAZING recipe file in her brain! A few years ago, my wonderful Aunt Jeannie spent hours and hours picking Grandma Dorothy’s Amazing Recipe File and putting it all into a Word.doc (how hip is she?!).
When I walked up to the local Metropolitan Market yesterday and saw the much-awaited sign reading: “Fresh Local Strawberries are Here!” I knew it was time. Time to try to re-create the sweet, fresh, perfect pie my grandma used to bake for me. Well, GrandmaDorothysRecipes.doc is a great place to start, but I’m no Grandma Dorothy, so I need details. Here’s what I found when I searched the document for Icebox Strawberry Pie today:
ICEBOX STRAWBERRY PIE
1 PKG. FROZEN STRAWBERRIES
2 TBLSP. UNFLAVORED GELATIN
2 TBLSP. SUGAR
COOK IN DOUBLE BOILER. SLICE SOME FRESH STRAWBERRIES IN COOKED PIE SHELL AND POUR COOLED MIXTURE OVER THEM. SERVE WITH WHIPPED CREAM.
See what I mean? I remember how sweet and fresh and perfect her pie was, and I know that if I follow the “recipe” above I’ll end up with a strawberry mess. So, I turned to the www. for a little help and the result was fantastic! Since it tasted EXACTLY how I remember from my days in that hot kitchen in Ozark, Alabama, I’m still calling it Grandma Dorothy’s Icebox Strawberry Pie. EnJOY!
- Pie Filling
- 2 lbs. frozen strawberries
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 1 Tbsp. Knox gelatin
- 1 cup sugar
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- 1 quart fresh strawberries, cleaned and sliced
- 1 9" pie shell, baked
- Creamy Topping
- 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Cook frozen berries over medium-low heat in large saucepan or Dutch-oven until berries begin to get juicy, about 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until thick and jamlike, about 25 minutes (mixture MUST measure 2 cups, if not, cook down some more). Be patient and careful because it will burn if you don’t watch it.
- Combine lemon juice, water, and gelatin in small bowl. Let stand until gelatin is softened and mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir gelatin mixture, sugar, and salt into cooked berry mixture and return to simmer, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
- Fold fresh berries into filling. Spread evenly in pie shell and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours. (Filled pie can be refrigerated for 24 hours.)
- Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth, about 30 seconds. With mixer running, add cream and whip until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Serve pie with whipped cream topping.