Summertime calls for desserts that are light, fresh, and don’t require the oven. No-Bake Strawberry Cream Pie is super fluffy, filled with fresh strawberries, and is served chilled for a beautiful, refreshing dessert.
Calling all strawberry / summer / dessert fans…this one’s for you!
Every month or so I sit down and brainstorm potential recipes to share on this website. Usually the seasons and our family’s current appetites are the only inspiration I need. If it’s something we’re loving to eat at home, we always hope you will like it too! But my brainstorming list can be particularly revealing about my own cravings.
Take, for example, this spring when the brainstorming list included no fewer than 3 strawberry cocktails (with a mocktail version for pregnant me), strawberry muffins, 2 strawberry desserts, a strawberry granola, and a salad featuring strawberries, pistachios, and fresh mint. I’ve fallen hard for strawberries this year. Maybe it’s just an eagerness for early summer. Maybe it’s the thrill I’ve been getting from the surprise strawberry patch in our new backyard. Or maybe it’s the sad truth that I can’t go strawberry picking this year because reaching those little berries over this pregnant belly is out of the question.
Whatever the reason – this is the year for strawberries. And of all the strawberry recipes I’ve been testing, this one has been my absolute favorite.
Freezer Pies Win at Summer
For some reason I haven’t made many freezer pies. I’m not a huge pie fan (let’s keep that a secret between us, okay?). But the light, fluffy texture of a freezer pie like this one makes it something totally different than a classic, fruit filled pie.
You’ve probably seen or eaten some version of pie like this made with that store-bought whipped topping, but this version uses fresh whipped cream. There really is no competition when it comes to the flavor you get from real whipped cream. And it takes 5 minutes to make fresh whipped cream. 5 minutes…worth it.
But here’s what I’ve really discovered is so great about this pie – you freeze it a few days ahead and just let it defrost when you’re ready to serve. It has been a game-changer for summer entertaining at our house. No need to scramble around making dinner and dessert on the same day. I make one of these pies early in the week, cover and slide it in the freezer and then just transfer it to the fridge in the morning we want to serve it. It’s great for last minute summer get-togethers too! Everyone is impressed when you magically produce a homemade dessert after a casual early-summer dinner.
The freezer helps to set the filling and insures it’s nice and chilled. Letting the pie defrost a bit before serving softens it enough to bring out a light, fluffy texture that is so irresistible.
This final version shown here was an easy favorite. Strawberry jam gives the filling a light pink color and strawberry flavor. (Note: I tested the recipe with fresh strawberry puree, but it turned icy during freezing….jam made the best results.) Chopped fresh strawberries are folded in for texture and flavor.
At one point during testing we had three versions of these pies tucked away in the freezer. We served them up to everyone who dropped by, and even the runners up got great reviews.
See what I mean?
Freezer pies + summer = true love
No-Bake Strawberry Cream Pie
- 8 oz Graham Crackers
- 5 Tbsp Butter, melted
- ⅔ cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
- ½ cup Strawberry Jam (I use seedless jam for an extra smooth filling)
- 1 ½ cups Heavy / Whipping Cream
- 6 oz Strawberries, fresh or frozen, chopped (defrost and then chop if using frozen)
- Extra strawberries and / or whipped cream, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Pulse graham crackers and melted butter until finely ground. Press into the bottom of a pie dish.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
- While crust is cooling, in a small bowl, whisk together condensed milk and strawberry jam. Set aside
- Beat heavy cream in a standing mixer or handheld mixer on high until it forms stiff peaks, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Fold condensed milk / jam and strawberries into whipped cream (don’t worry if everything isn’t evenly combined - the streaks of ingredients will create a nice marbled look).
- Pour filling over cooled crust. Smooth out the top.
- Freeze the pie until set, at least 4 hours and up to 4 days.
- Let the pie defrost for 30 minutes at room temperature or for 6 to 8 hours in the fridge before slicing and serving.
I shared this pic over on Instagram recently, but I keep coming back to it because my now four-year-olds are looking so grown-up these days. I love watching them grow into their own people, but I wouldn’t mind if time would slow down just a tiny bit. 😉