Real food, gluten-free meals, and eclectic music!
Our CSA box from Rise ‘N Shine Organic Farms has been bountiful in the strawberry department. So far we’ve netted around 9 pints of perfectly ripe, beautiful berries. After eating lots of strawberries in salads, and just by themselves, I decided to make one of those old-fashioned cream cheese, whipped cream, and strawberry pies. Browsing for recipes turned up plenty of recipes containing “whipped topping” – which is a code word for a plastic tub containing whipped vegetable oil with high fructose corn syrup (and a long list of other fillers and preservatives, none of which include actual cream.)
Well, whipped topping is not gonna fly – not in my fresh, organic strawberry pie.
One problem with making your own whipped cream is it isn’t very stable and tends to “deflate” after a while. This can be remedied by whipping the cream with cream cheese, which gives it more body. There’s a lot of whipping in this recipe, so it helps to have 2 mixer bowls, or a really strong arm!
Here’s my version of Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie, which I have dubbed “Pink and White” Pie. I used organic cane sugar in this recipe, since my usual sugars (honey and coconut palm sugar) would change the color of the pie to “Pinkish and Tan”, which didn’t really have the same ring to it. However, the amount of sugar used is about half of what you would find in the traditional recipe. I used a gluten-free pastry crust, but a crumb-type crust would also work.
Bake the pie crust in a 325F oven until completely done and lightly browned, around 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool completely before filling.
Divide the strawberries in 2 portions. You may want to use the larger and more attractive strawberries for the top of the cake, and the “lesser” strawberries for the filling. (Hope strawberries don’t have self esteem issues…)
Slice half the strawberries into a small bowl for the filling. Add one tablespoon of sugar and a splash of balsamic vinegar (or lemon juice); mix and allow to sit so the strawberries will start to macerate.
In a large bowl, whip the cream cheese and sour cream until it is soft and smooth. Beat in the 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla.
In another bowl, whip the heavy cream until it forms soft peaks. Fold in the cream cheese mixture and continue to whip until everything is well-mixed and soft peaks are formed. Be careful not to overwhip.
Divide the whipped cream cheese and cream mixture into 2 portions. Into one portion, mix in the macerated strawberries until well blended. Place this “pink” layer in the bottom of the cool, baked pie crust, and smooth until even. Add the remaining “white” layer on top of the pink layer in the pie crust.
And enjoy you will, that is one sweet pie…! Music today is sweet too…sweet funk that is, from the the legendary studios in Muscle Shoals Alabama. First up is a woman we’ve featured here before, Etta James with Tell Mama: The Complete Muscle Shoals Sessions. Etta never got much funkier than her time at Muscle Shoals, and the work she produced- “I’d Rather Go Blind”, “Steal Away” and “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” among others, are collected here, and are prime examples of the southern soul sound.
Candi Staton did a lot of recording for Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, and it is choice. Evidence: The Complete Fame Records Masters collects two CDs worth, with great songs such as “Another Man’s Woman” and “In The Ghetto” and more. Funky!