Pastel Berry Pie
3 cups berries (Whichever kind looks good in the store. You can use strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, gooseberries, etc.), hulled, blossom ends removed, or stemmed; rinsed and drained
2 tsp unflavored gelatin
½ cup (4 oz.) cream cheese
½ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon each vanilla and grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/3 cups whipping cream
½ cup powdered sugar
1 9-inch pie crust, blind baked for 20-30 minutes or until just golden brown
Fresh mint leaves
In a food processor, puree 2 cups of the berries. Pour the puree through a fine meshed strainer into a non-reactive bowl, pushing through as much of the pulp as possible, while leaving all the seeds behind. Stir in the gelatin, dissolving it completely. Cover the puree and keep cold.
With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, ½ cup powdered sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice until smoothly blended. Add the berry puree and beat to blend well. In another bowl, whip the cream and the other ½ cup powdered sugar until it holds soft peaks. Add the cream to the berry mixture and fold to combine.
Pour half of the mixture into the pre-baked pie crust, spreading evenly. Set aside a few of the whole berries for garnish, and spread the remainder of the 1 cup over the filling. Pour the rest of the berry mixture over the top and smooth. Garnish with the reserved whole berries and a few mint leaves.
For best results slicing, allow the pie to set in a refrigerator for at least one hour and up to overnight. They also freeze well for a colder summer treat.
Variation: If using frozen berries instead of fresh, thaw them, then puree them all, except for a couple for garnish.
Makes 1 pie, 8 servings
Pairs Well With
This is a very pretty pie, perfect for spring. The recipe originally appeared in the May 1986 recipe of Sunset magazine. My mother found that adding gelatin made the pie set up much better, and adjustments were made to the sugar and the method of combining the filling properly. Adjustments were also made for using frozen berries.