Thursday, February 28, 2013

Strawberry Cream Pie with Chocolate Crust

LUCY BURDETTE: One of our favorite restaurants in Key West is called Seven Fish. The place actually has quite a cameo in the opening chapter of AN APPETITE FOR MURDER. 

After sampling the sautéed grouper sushi rolls, the yellowtail snapper in a light curry cream sauce, the grilled mahi-mahi with roasted potatoes, the meatloaf, and the banana chicken, Hayley and her dining partner can't bear the idea of ordering dessert.

Frankly, I think this was a big mistake because I would hate to miss their strawberry cream pie. I studied it last time I had it and it seemed to be mostly whipped cream and berries--and a chocolate crust of course. I decided to see if I could make a version that approximated their delightful confection. Off we go!

Ingredients for the crust:

1 package chocolate graham crackers, crushed to crumbs (about 1 and 1/4 cups)
4 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp sugar

Whir the crackers to fine crumbs--in your food processor is easiest. Stir in the sugar and melted butter and combine well.
Press the crumb mixture into a pie pan (mine is 10 inches) and tap it firmly up the sides of the pan into a crust, using your fingers, the back of a spoon, or a water glass. Bake the crust for 15 minutes at 350 and let it cool.

Ingredients for the filling:1 and 1/2 lb Strawberries (I would not make this unless it's close to strawberry season)
2 cups whipping cream
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup powdered Sugar


Wash, hull, and slice the strawberries, and then set them aside. In one bowl, whip the cream cheese. In another, whip the cream and the vanilla until stiff. Add the sugar and whip that in. Gradually mix the cream cheese with the whipped cream until it's all nicely combined. (You may cut back on the sugar if you prefer the dessert even less sweet--and depending on how ripe your strawberries are.) 

In the chocolate crust, alternate a layer of strawberries with a layer of whipped cream, ending with the third layer of strawberries, artistically arranged. 

Chill thoroughly. Serve and sit back to watch your guests swoon.

TOPPED CHEF will be on bookshelves on May 7 with more Key West adventures and food...In the meanwhile, you can preorder the book here.  

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  1. Oh this looks so good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I love the idea that you added the cream cheese to the whipped cream. Great thinking

    1. thanks Libby, I didn't want the filling to fall apart. That little bit of cream cheese really helped!

    2. Yes, I imagine it adds a bit of substance to the whipped cream. And nice "mouth feel."

  3. With the gray skies and cold rain in NYC, I'm already yearning for spring and now you've gone and made me desperate for summer and its sweet, fat strawberries! (Ack, torture!) But I can take it...because I'm bookmarking this recipe to enjoy in May--along with your new Key West Mystery!

    ~ Cleo

    1. At least it's almost March Cleo--spring can't be far! And thank you for the sweet comment:) xo

  4. OMG! That's just to die for! All those wonderful main courses *and* this pie? It's like it's too good to be true! I'm trying this in a few months when the strawberries come in.