Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Little of This..A Little of That...My Strawberry Cream Pie




Sunday Roast was a big thing in my household, every Sunday my mother would cook a beautiful roast dinner with all the trimmings, set out all the formal dinnerware and Waterford crystal glasses. It was an occasion; Sundays were a day for family and friends with lots of love and laughter, well, most of the time.

She still does it, every week when she manages to get family and/or friends together for lunch and it’s a little occasion for her. She loves to entertain.

My favourite part of Sunday lunch was dessert, every week would be something special, some weeks would be a new fancy dessert that was 'in vogue' at the time, Tiramisu, Crème Caramel, Trifle, Cheesecake of all sorts, Mousse and whatever she found in the recipe magazines for the week (now whilst these may not sound gourmet to you, back when I was young they were pretty popular, of course now days they are old hat desserts). Then there would be the weeks with the old favourites, Apple Pie, Caramel Tart and more. Let me just say, my mother is a fabulous sweet cook, actually, she is great with most things, but she is especially
good with desserts and sweets.

Growing up, my favourite dessert was a dish my mother called Strawberry Cream Pie. It was a recipe she claims to have made up by taking a little of this and a little of that recipe and it is, to this day, my favourite. Delicious, but not exactly quick and easy to make as it has a pie base, set custard layer and set strawberry cream layer.

So after discovering the new strawberry flavoured cream cheese in the supermarket this week I thought I would take a leaf out of my mother's book, I took a little of this, and a little of that from a few favourite recipes and Voila. My own little version of a Strawberry Cream Pie.



Ingredients:

1 Punnet of Strawberries
(keep a few for decoration)
- chopped into small pieces.
2/3 Cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
500gm Strawberry Cream Cheese
1 Cup Thickened cream
- softly Whipped
1 1/4 Cups Chocolate biscuit crumbs
80gms butter, Melted



Method:

Set chopped strawberries in a bowl with sugar, lemon juice and salt and leave to infuse.

Pulverise the chocolate biscuits in a processor until crumbed. Mix in melted butter. Press into the bottom and sides of your pan in an even layer. Bake for 5-7 minutes until set.

I made mine in little individual tins and split the recipe to only make 5 little versions, partly because I felt having a full 'pie' would be too much temptation, partly because I decided to skip the gelatine in my mix to keep it softer, more like a mousse, so using individual tins allowed me to create a 'crust' up the side to hold the filling in, but mostly because my family had eaten half the packet of biscuits before I got the chance to make my dessert so I didn't have enough for a full size pie!

In a bowl whip your cream until soft peaks form and mix with the strawberry flavoured cream cheese, gently fold in chopped strawberries and juices. Spoon into your prepared base and decorate with sliced strawberries and refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.

Of course I was hoping for it to look a little like this, but I have nevery been good at pretty food. But despite the less polished appearance in my tarts above (the shells were too small to keep the filling neatly inside), it's the perfect, quick and easy dessert and enough like my favourite childhood dessert to make me one happy camper!

Actually, I could eat this by itself without a biscuit base, or layered with crumbed chocolate biscuits sprinkled between each layer for some crunch. Yummy.