Strawberries and Cream Birthday Pie
It’s official. I am 24 years old today, just 1 year short of being in my mid-twenties. It’s amazing how fast time has gone by. I could still remember how much of a rush I was in to turn 21 just so I can legally buy a drink instead of begging the older kids to buy the cheap Smirnoff vodka when I was back in college. But now it’s been 3 years since I’ve passed the legal drinking age and it just doesn’t seem that long! I could’ve sworn I was turning 23 this year. Weird, right?
Well instead of cake or cupcakes, here is a birthday pie made with a very light whipped cream cheesecake filling. The whipped cream beautifully lightens up the cheesecake so it’s amazingly fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth delicious with every bite. It had the perfect balance of sweetness, and the chocolate drizzled strawberries gave it that extra kick. Best of all, it’s the easiest thing to make. The only baking involved is the pie crust. Yes, it’s that easy! I’ll be sure to make this again and again, even if it’s not my birthday.
Strawberries and Cream Pie (adapted from Just Putzing Around the Kitchen):
Yields 12 servings
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I used almond butter thins from Trader Joe’s)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 pound strawberries, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a pie dish with nonstick spray.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the graham crackers until they resemble crumbs.
In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and the melted butter until a crumbly, moist mixture forms.
Press the crumb mixture over the bottom and sides of the pie plate, taking care to get the crust evenly into the edges.
Place into oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown . Let cool completely.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment , whip the cream until stiff peaks form.
In another clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment , beat the cream cheese, vanilla and sugar until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl and beaters as needed.
Fold in 1/3 of the whipped cream to lighten it; then add the remaining whipped cream, gently folding until the filling is light and fluffy.
Pour the filling into the cooled crust, spreading it out in an even layer.
Layer the sliced strawberries in overlapping rows around the top of the cream.
Melt the chocolate in 30-second intervals until smooth and liquid; drizzle over the top of the strawberries in a decorative pattern. (A squeeze bottle or Ziploc bag is perfect for this.)
Place the pie in the refrigerator until firm, about 1-2 hours.