Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Simple, Summer Berry Pie

I made this easy dessert on Saturday to welcome my husband back home after being on a week-long business trip.  There are so many berries in season right now here in Florida so it seemed like a good idea.  This would make a great Memorial day weekend treat for you as well, especially by decorating the top with blueberries, red strawberries and some white whipped topping. 

I love these simple, throw-together kind of pies that require miminal work and taste amazing.  I hope you enjoy this one!

Simple, Summer Berry Pie
(Serves 6 to 8)

1 deep pie crust (I used a whole wheat, organic kind OR make your own)
4 cups of berries, divided in half (I used a mixture of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries)
8 oz package of reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1 container of whipped cream topping, reduced fat or fat free
1 cup of organic, all natural sugar
4 Tbsp. unbleached flour (I used whole wheat)
A few berries for garnish (optional)

Grease a deep dish pie plate generously with cooking spray.  Use a ready-made store bought pie crust or make your own.  (I have done it both ways, depending on my time and the ingredients I have on hand).   Bake your pie crust at 400 degrees for about ten minutes.  Remove from heat and it let it cool completely. 

Melt the 8 oz package of cream cheese in the microwave.  Spread it across the bottom of the pie crust.  Wash and thinly slice two cups of the berries.  Set the other half aside.  Place the sliced berries over the creamed crust.  Spoon 1/3 of  the whipped cream over the strawberries, covering all of them.

Place the other two cups of berries in a large bowl.  Mash them until juicy.  In a medium size pot, boil your mashed berries on the stove with the sugar and flour until thick, about ten minutes.  Stir frequently so the strawberry liquid does not burn.  Substance will resemble a jam-like texture.   Let this liquid cool before handling.  Once cool, pour mixture into pie covering almost to the top, like this:


Top pie with remaining 2/3 of the whipped cream.  Cut into 8 slices. Enjoy!  
The pie stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to five days.  I do not recommend freezing this particular pie because the jam-texture of it causes the crust the become a bit soggy after prolonged exposure to cold.

Do you like your pie hot or cold?  Or both ways?  Do you make any summer pies that you love?