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fresh strawberry pie

Fresh Strawberry Pie Recipe

1 purchased or prepared 9" graham cracker pie crust
1 (8 ounce)package, cream cheese softened
1 teaspoon, vanilla
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup fresh strawberry glaze (see below)

In a medium sized bowl, mix cream cheese, vanilla and sugar. Spread carefully over graham cracker crust. To make spreading easier, make sure the cream cheese is really soft (even microwave it for a few seconds) and place dollops the mixture all around the crust, then carefully spread it. Then, mix strawberries with the glaze and pour over the cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until cream cheese is firm.

Homemade Graham Cracker Crust
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (you can buy these or crush about 6-7 5"x2.5" graham crackers)
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

In a medium bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add the melted butter a little at a time, stirring in between additions. Pour mixture into a 9"glass pie plate and press crumbs evenly on the bottom and sides, making sure there are no bare spots. Bake in a 350'F oven for 10 minutes. Cool.

Fresh Strawberry Glaze
3 cups strawberries
2/3 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup water
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
Combine strawberries and sugar in a blender. Pour mixture into a cold saucepan. Before putting the pan on the burner, mix together the cornstarch and water and add this to the strawberries in the pan. Cook over medium heat for about 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently until bubbly and thickened. Cool before combining with fresh strawberries for the above recipe. Makes 2.5 cups. 
Cook's notes: This glaze can be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen and then thawed. If the glaze is cold, you may need to microwave it for about 30 seconds in order to blend it easily with strawberries. This is a great way to preserve a taste of summer in your freezer for use when strawberries aren't as tasty or readily available. 

Recipe Background

This is a fresh strawberry pie recipe that combines a graham cracker crust, a cream cheese filling with fresh strawberries in a homemade strawberry glaze. YUM! Many commercial strawberry pies have a bright red filling with the help of red food dye. That is just not my style. Although the filling in this strawberry pie recipe is not as bright red, it is much healthier for you and uses the natural flavor and color found in fresh strawberries.

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