Friday, June 4, 2010

Frozen Berry Pie in a Vanilla Walnut Crust

I'm so happy to welcome Guestblogger Alita back! It's been far too long. She and I have talked about how our mom's used to make a variation of this pie when we were growing up and so am thrilled that she took the same concept and used fresh, seasonal ingredients. --A Crafty Lass

This fabulously frozen berry pie has seen many variations in our house. It or something similar are always welcome when the temperature & humidity of a Minnesota summer keep me from wanting to make any type of dessert that requires the oven to be on for an hour or more.

This recipe was developed as I was staring at many quarts of frozen strawberries from an amazing U-Pick place near my family’s cabin near Ottertail Lake and at some point I decided I could & should use them for more than my soy strawberry banana smoothies! I remembered having a similar pie at graduation parties & summer BBQs over the years that was a little too pre-packaged/processed for my taste: pre-made graham cracker crust with an artificially flavored yogurt/cool whip filling. So I became interested in finding something similarly refreshing, yet less processed.

This more homemade version uses a nice combination of fresh strawberries & blueberries that nicely enhances the creamy, sugary base. The crust can be made of other types of crackers or cookies you prefer – we’ve used graham crackers & chocolate wafers in other variations. I think the vanilla wafer & nut combo is my favorite though. Pecans are a great substitute for the walnuts. Any combination of berries would be delicious, I like adding raspberries when they are in season. And as an added bonus, it is perfect to make a day or 2 ahead of when you need it… just remember to take it out of the freezer a little while to thaw slightly before serving.

This dessert is the perfect ending to a backyard BBQ and could be easily be made into individual portions in ramekins or a cupcake pan for a more sophisticated garden party. To dress the pie or individual dessert up a little, finish with some fresh whipped topping, pretty berries & a sprig of mint. Enjoy!

Crust:
  • 1½ cups vanilla wafers crumbs
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Filling:
  • 1½ cups sliced strawberries
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup sour cream
Combine the vanilla wafer crumbs, walnuts, butter and vanilla in a bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom & sides of a regular 10” pie pan (a little slightly taller 9” pie pan works too). Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove & let cool.

For the filling, combine strawberries, blueberries, sugar & egg white in a mixing bowl. Beat at high speed until it forms soft peaks (could take up to 10 minutes). Gently incorporate the sour cream by hand. Pour the filling into the crust & place the pie in the freezer. Be sure to take it out a little while before serving so it’s not impossible to cut, it will freeze fairly solid. A dollop of whipped cream is always a good way to finish.

Note: If you use frozen berries, you can decrease the sugar to about ½ cup.

1 comment:

highplainsthrifter.net said...

This looks like a perfect way to end a summer meal. Thanks for sharing!