Strawberry Pretzel Pie
November 15, 2018 by Nicole Collins
Could someone please explain to me when we became only 1 week away from Thanksgiving?
Like, when did that happen? Seriously. Wasn't it just summer?
Hot dang, I really hope the winter season flies by as quickly as the summer did. Because, if I hear one more report about how the northeast is in for a record breaking awful winter, I'm out. I'm packing up and going anywhere that snow doesn't exist.
On a happier note, now that we're in the holiday season, we're also in pie season! I'd say that I love pie, but that would only be half true. I don't really love pie. I love pie crust. I can't tell you how many times I've asked my mom if I could eat around the crust and leave the filling for her.
What? She likes the filling, and I like the crust. Don't shake your head (like she does) like it's a ridiculous question! She never takes my deal anyway...
This time of year, we typically see nothing but apple pie and pumpkin pie. Unless you party with my family, because in that case you'll see my Cookie Butter Pie...or crack pie, as they call it. And though I'm happy to enjoy a slice of either of those fruit pies, it's a one and done for me. They're just not my favorite.
Seriously though, give me a baked pie crust before you fill it, and that's a different story.
This time of year is also when the age old family recipes come out...whether they should or not. Jello salad anyone? Yuck!
There is however a jello salad, that I'll actually eat, that I see every now and then at friends' family parties; and that's the strawberry pretzel salad. You guys ever heard of it? It's pretty much a pretzel base topped with a cream cheese mix, then topped with strawberry jello. It's really weird. But, it's kind of delicious! It'd be spectacular if it didn't have the jello on there though.
Can you tell I'm not in to jello? It's just too wiggly for me...eww.
So today, we're breaking tradition by turning that strange jello dessert in to a pie and stepping away from the typical apple/pumpkin dessert.
Today, we're making Strawberry Pretzel Pie!
This pie takes all of the best parts of strawberry pretzel salad, but eliminates the need for jello. Instead, we use fresh strawberries that have been reduced down to a thick syrup with some sugar and a hint of lemon juice to top our pie. The pieces of strawberry in that thick sauce make this pie as beautiful as it is delicious.
Under the strawberry sauce, we're making a homemade, no bake cheesecake. This comes together really easily by mixing softened cream cheese with some fresh whipped cream, some powdered sugar, a little vanilla, and a touch of sour cream. The sour cream is a traditional ingredient in a New York style cheesecake, so we're going to use it to give use that extra little pop of richness.
For the pie crust, we're making a basic pretzel crust by combining pretzel crumbs, butter, and brown sugar. I really like using brown sugar in the crust as opposed to white sugar, because it almost becomes caramelized inside the crust as it bakes. We're sneaking in flavor boosters wherever we can here, folks!
This pie is my absolute favorite combo of salty and sweet to the max. Plus, there's a little tartness from the fruit along with the fluffiness of the cheesecake. It's just incredible. It's nice and light so you don't feel miserable eating it after you've stuffed yourself to the max with all of the other holiday food.
I love that my loved ones will follow me as I wander outside of the box when it comes to dessert. And, I'm sure they're going to love this one. My taste testers sure did!
So, have no fear! No more store bought pies or slaving over the stove this Thanksgiving! This Strawberry Pretzel Pie is sure to distract your little old biddy aunts from asking you all of the questions you've been dreading all year long.
Cheers to new family traditions! And, let's eat!
Strawberry Pretzel Pie
Serves: 1-12 slices (based on your self control) Print
For the Crust:
3 cups mini pretzel twists, ground (about 1 ½ cups ground)
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp brown sugar
For the Cheesecake Filling:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp sour cream
½ tsp vanilla
For the Strawberry Topping:
1 lb (16 oz) strawberries, sliced
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine pretzel crumbs, butter, and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir until fully combined and the pretzel crumbs look like wet sand. Gently and evenly press crumbs on the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Bake for 10 mins. Set aside until completely cooled.
Meanwhile, make the strawberry topping: Place strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 40-45 minutes until the strawberries have created a thickened sauce. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool completely.
Make the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip heavy cream on medium high until stiff peaks form. Remove half of the whip cream and set aside in a bowl. Switch to the paddle attachment. Add cream cheese, powdered sugar, sour cream, and vanilla to the mixer bowl. Beat on medium high speed until the mix is smooth and creamy. Add the reserved whipped cream, and fold it in with a spatula to the cream cheese mixture.
Spread cheesecake mix evenly into the completely cooled pretzel crust. Spread the cooled strawberry sauce evenly over top of the cheesecake mix. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Serve cold.
*To make pretzel crumbs, place pretzels in a food processor and pulse until they are finely ground. Your ultimate goal is 1 ½ cups of pretzel crumbs.
*You can use lowfat cream cheese or regular cream cheese in this recipe.
*The strawberry sauce will thicken more as it cools. I let mine go for 45 mins, and they were the perfect consistency for me.
*If you don't have a stand mixer, you can whip the cream with a hand mixer. It'll just take you a little longer, but it works totally the same!