Give No-bake Strawberry Pie a try if you’re looking for a light and airy dessert made with fresh strawberries. This sweet fruit flavored pie is the perfect ending to a summer day. Made in a pretzel crust for a salty crunchy twist.
Strawberries are in peak season in the Carolinas so it’s the perfect excuse to make a homemade a no-bake strawberry chiffon pie. This no-bake pie is actually a chiffon pie which is a big deal in the South, but apparently not in other areas of the country. Lemon chiffon and strawberry are the two most common.
This light and airy dessert needs to be made a day ahead so it can set up, but it’s a classic end to a summertime meal, similar to a versus a cream cheese pie but it’s make light and airy with egg whites instead of whipped cream.
With the cooler spring that we’ve had, it’s extended the strawberry season around here so I just keep making more and more strawberry desserts. When trying to decide which strawberry dessert to choose, think about which will save and which will need to be eaten within a day.
Strawberry chiffon pie will only last about a day because the crust will absorb the filling and become soggy. A pretzel crust will stay crisp a little longer than a traditional pie crust.
A chiffon dessert is a great choice if you have friends over and can finish it off in one sitting. Since strawberries are so juicy, most fresh strawberry recipes don’t save well.
Why you’ll love a no-bake pie
- No oven is needed, not even for the pie crust
- It’s so light and airy and won’t weigh you down
- The juice from the strawberries is concentrated to increase the flavor
- You get a slightly salty pretzel crust in each bite
What is a chiffon pie
Chiffon pies are pretty common around here, the most popular being a lemon chiffon pie. What makes a pie a chiffon pie is the addition of beaten egg whites which gives it the light and airy texture. Some recipes use cool whip instead of egg whites, but cool whip is going to give it a completely different flavor and texture.
Pro Tip: To get stiff peaks you need for a chiffon pie, don’t let any yolks mix with the egg whites. Check out this easy method for separating egg whites.
What you’ll need
- Unflavored gelatin – you can find this in the baking aisle, it usually comes in a box with three packets.
- Strawberries whole and sliced – the whole strawberries will be processed in a food processor and the rest will get sliced and folded into the pie.
- Cornstarch – this helps to thicken it along with the gelatin.
- Fresh Lemon juice – for a punch of brightness.
- Egg whites – these will be whipped and are what give the pie it’s light and airy texture.
- Heavy cream– this is also whipped and added at the end.
- Sugar and cream of tarter.
How do you make a no-bake strawberry pie
My recipe for strawberry chiffon pie is similar to my lemon pie recipe in that it uses egg whites and unflavored gelatin. For a strawberry pie, I use the juice from the strawberries and concentrate it so that it has tons of strawberry flavor, then fold in some fresh strawberries at the end. I do the same thing when making strawberry jam.
Make a pretzel crust in a 9-inch pie pan and let it get cold in the fridge or freezer.
Dissolve the unflavored gelatin.
Add whole strawberries to a food processor or you could use a blender. Once processed, strain all the juice into a medium saucepan with sugar and cornstarch and bring it to a boil. Let the juice cook down to concentrate the flavor. While still hot add the dissolved gelatin and lemon juice and let it cool.
Once cool, whip the egg whites in one bowl and heavy cream in another. Fold the egg white into the strawberry mixture.
Next, fold in the whipped cream.
Finally add the fresh sliced strawberries.
Pour it into the pie dish with the cold pretzel crust and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
You can substitute a graham cracker crumbs and and make a graham cracker crust crust instead of the pretzel crust.
How do you choose the sweetest strawberries
Strawberries don’t ripen once they’ve been picked so try to find the ripest berries. Look for a vibrant red color all the way to the stem. When you get them home, lay them out on a cookie sheet so you don’t have a bad one on the bottom ruining the rest of the berries.
Wait to wash them until you’re ready to use them. If you can’t use them within a day, you may need to refrigerate the batch to keep them from going bad.
If you want them to last for over a week, try a vinegar wash.
The concentrated strawberry flavor along with the creamy and light texture makes this the best strawberry chiffon pie recipe you’ll find. Just plan ahead since it needs to be refrigerated.
FAQs and tips
A chiffon pie has egg whites folded into a gelatin base. While a cream pie uses cooked egg yolks to thicken it.
This no bake pie will set because of the use of gelatin along with a little cornstarch.
The best way to keep strawberries fresh is to use a vinegar wash.
You can not freeze a chiffon pie. Since it has whipped egg whites, the egg whites will dissolve when it is thawed and the texture will be off.
MORE strawberry desserts
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Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen 2016
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No-Bake Strawberry Pie
- 3 ½ cups Mini pretzels 4.5 ounces
- ¼ cup sugar
- 12 tablespoons butter melted
- 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 ½ cups strawberries whole, tops removed
- 1 ⅓ cups strawberries sliced
- ¾ cups sugar plus 2 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 egg whites
- ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Combine pretzels and sugar in a food processor and process unlit is fine crumbs. Add melted butter and process until coated. Place in a 9 inch glass pie pan and cover with plastic wrap. Spread the crumbs to coat the bottom and sides of the pie pan including the rib. Once distributed, press down firmly and refrigerate or freeze until cold.
- Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small bowl and let sit until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes.
- Place whole strawberries in a food processor and process until completely smooth. Place a Fine mesh strainer over a bowl and press strawberry puree through the strainer, you should get about 1 cup of juice.
- Add strawberry juice it a sauce man and whisk in ¾ cup sugar, cornstarch and salt. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly until it is slightly thick, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add gelatin mixture, whisking until dissolved. Transfer to a large bow and add lemon juice. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Beat egg whites with cream of tarter until soft peaks form, about 1-2 minutes then add 2 tablespoons of sugar and whip until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Fold ⅓ of egg whites into cooled strawberry mixture then fold in remaining egg whites until only a few white streaks remain.
- Beat cream until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Gently fold cream into strawberry mixture. Fold in sliced strawberries. Spoon mixture into the cold pretzel crust. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- You could also make this in a graham cracker crust.
- Make sure that you five this plenty of time to set up in the fridge before slicing.
- This will only last a day or two before the crust gets soggy.