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While this might seem early for my midwest and northern friends, it’s strawberry season in Florida. YAY!!! We even hold an annual Strawberry Festival every March in its honor. As most of the country waits until closer to June to enjoy locally grown berries, I ask that you consider this recipe something to look forward to in the upcoming months (along with warmer weather and sunshine). Meanwhile, back in Tampa, I have a refrigerator full of beautiful, ripe strawberries. I named this my “Stress-Free Strawberry Pie” because there’s no cooking involved. This ridiculously easy pie is, unapologetically, all about the strawberries.
Seriously, this is the quickest, easiest pie that you will ever make. It is both beautiful and bursting with the pure taste of fresh berries. The star of this pie is, of course, the strawberries. It takes about 3-4 cups, depending on if the crust is deep dish or regular. At my grocery store, Florida strawberries are packaged in 16oz containers. I used two for this pie, which was not deep dish and had several leftover berries for munching. Strawberries need to be thoroughly rinsed. (Without going into details, strawberries are notorious for pesticide residue.) However, wait until you’re ready to use them before washing them. Strawberries are like little sponges when it comes to soaking up water. Once rinsed, pat them dry with a paper towel.
To make this pie, the strawberries are hulled (cored) and sliced in half. A sharp knife can be used to remove the green stem and core. I make a lot of strawberry desserts and treats, so I use a strawberry huller gadget. It’s inexpensive ($6-$7) and makes it easy-peasy to quickly hull 4 cups of berries (and it’s safe enough for kids to use). Cut off any white or green left after the hull has been removed, slice the strawberry in half, and save in a medium-size bowl.
The crust is store-bought. I always have a couple of frozen pie crusts in my freezer. I like frozen because they require no effort (I get stressed out rolling out the refrigerated variety of pie crust and having to fit it into a pie pan.) The crust needs to be baked and cooled before you add the fruit filling—bake as directed. To avoid over-browning the edges, use aluminum foil strips to protect edges or a silicone pie crust shield. Using a fork, prick holes in the crust to prevent steam from creating bubbles resulting in an uneven surface.
The pie filling is store-bought glaze zhooshed with a splash of vanilla extract and the zest of half a lemon. It’s not hard to make a home-made strawberry filling. There are plenty of easy recipes, including mine, when you a little extra time and energy. In the meantime, store-bought strawberry glaze (I use Marzetti Glaze for Strawberries) is inexpensive (around $2) and is available in-store and online. A teaspoon of vanilla extract gives it a home-made taste, and the lemon zest brightens up the flavors. If you don’t have vanilla extract or a lemon, the glaze is fine, as is. Once the vanilla and lemon zest are mixed with the glaze, add it to the bowl of sliced strawberries and gently stirred until they are well coated. Spoon into the baked crust and chill in the fridge to set (a couple of hours). The pie is beautiful on its own, but my family believes everything is better with a pouf of whipped topping. Add the topping just before serving. Enjoy!
Stress-Free Strawberry PieCourse: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
This ridiculously easy pie is, unapologetically, all about the strawberries — piled high in a baked pie crust with zhooshed up store-bought glaze.
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
13.5 oz container Strawberry Glaze (recommend: Marzetti Glaze for Strawberries)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional: 1 teaspoon lemon zest (half a lemon)
Whipped Topping – garnish
- Prep work: Bake a 9 inch pie crust as per package instructions, cool. Thoroughly rinse, remove stem & hull, cut off any white or green flesh and slice strawberries in half.
- In a medium bowl combine strawberry glaze, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Stir in sliced strawberries. Gently mixed until strawberries are completely coated.
- Spoon strawberry mixture into baked pie crust. Chill in refrigerator until set (a couple of hours). Before serving, top with whipped topping
- Pie Crust: I recommend frozen pie crust. To prevent over-browning edges use a pie crust shield or cover with strips of aluminum foil to protect edges. Use a fork to prick the crust prior to baking to prevent air bubbles.
- Strawberries: An inexpensive strawberry huller is a great little gadget that makes quick work of cleaning the berries. Insert huller, twist, and remove.
- Strawberry Glaze is available in most grocery stores. A teaspoon of vanilla will give it a “home-made flavor”. Lemon zest, an optional ingredient, brightens up the taste