A Refreshingly Sweet and Salty Summertime Masterpiece
I had the pleasure of making this delectable pie on one of my Food Network episodes a few months ago. But, to my surprise, I realized that I’ve never shared the recipe with you all! The combination of strawberries and pretzels may not be groundbreaking, but trust me, this pie is a true work of art, especially during the summer. The strawberries are coated in a delightful sugar and Jello mixture that has been cherished for generations, giving them a stunning, shiny appearance. However, let’s not forget about the pretzel crust, my friends. Oh, it is absolutely divine! Be warned, though, as I’ll explain below, it might just become your new favorite snack. So, make sure you have a full stomach before you attempt to make the crust!
Ingredients that Bring this Pie to Life
For the pretzel crust, you’ll need pretzels, brown sugar, and butter. The filling calls for strawberries, sugar, strawberry Jello, cornstarch, cream (for whipped cream), and water.
Creating the Perfect Pretzel Crust
To begin, place a handful of pretzel sticks into a zipper bag. Remember to leave a small opening in one corner to avoid any unexpected mess. Use a rolling pin or a can to gently crush the pretzels. It’s hard to specify the ideal level of crunchiness, but aim for a mix of finely ground pretzels and visible pieces.
Next, transfer the crushed pretzels to a bowl, and add brown sugar. Stir until the ingredients are well combined. Melt the butter and slowly pour it into the bowl, mixing as you go. The result should be a delectably moist and flavorful mixture. Here’s a word of caution: resist the temptation to taste it with a spoon! Trust me, your self-control will thank you later. Otherwise, you might find yourself devouring the entire bowl and left without a pie crust. And that’s not the kind of predicament you want to find yourself in.
Pour the pretzel mixture into your pie pan. While I’m using a metal pan, using a glass pan allows you to fully appreciate the pretzel magic that’s about to happen. Press the mixture firmly onto the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 5 to 7 minutes, or until it turns toasty and golden brown. The heavenly aroma wafting through your kitchen will let you know it’s ready. Remove the crust from the oven and let it cool.
The Filling: A Symphony of Flavors
While the crust is baking, let’s prepare the filling. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and strawberry Jello powder. Gradually pour in the water and mix until everything is well blended. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring continuously. Once it starts to thicken, reduce the heat and let it simmer for another minute or two. Remove from heat and allow it to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remember to stir occasionally to prevent a film from forming on top or around the edges.
While the filling is cooling, hull and halve your strawberries. Though using whole strawberries may be visually stunning, halving them is a more practical choice, ensuring they fit perfectly in the pie. Once the filling has cooled (though I must admit, my impatience sometimes gets the best of me), place the strawberries in a bowl and pour the syrup over them. You may not need all the syrup, so use your judgment. Any leftovers can be drizzled over the berries if desired.
Gently stir the strawberries until they are thoroughly coated with the syrup. Allow the berries to sit for approximately 5 minutes, giving the liquid a chance to set.
Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the strawberries onto the prepared crust. I like to arrange some halves facing down for an even prettier presentation. If preferred, you can spoon a small amount of the syrup onto the surface of the strawberries. Keep in mind that excessive syrup may make the crust soggy, so letting the syrup cool and allowing the berries to sit in it before placing them on the crust is crucial.
Behold, a Pie Worth the Wait
Ta-da! Feast your eyes on this beautiful pie. But hold on! Before you dig in, it needs some time to chill and set. With the strawberries coated in the Jello mixture, it’s essential to refrigerate the pie (uncovered) for at least 3 to 4 hours. Trust me, the wait will be well worth it.
When it’s time to slice the pie into wedges, you might need a bit of patience (and a small, sharp knife). I must confess, I couldn’t resist cutting into mine after just 45 minutes of chilling, which made it slightly more challenging. Nevertheless, the taste was completely divine! This pie is the epitome of sweetness, crunchiness, and the perfect balance between salty and sweet.
You can find the recipe in the sidebar or visit Family Cuisine for the printable version. Enjoy every delightful bite, my friends!