No bake gluten free pie. Blah blah blah blah pie. As long as it ends in pie, you’ve got my attention. Now that I have yours, we can talk about how this gluten free pie is a perfect warm weather treat that won’t having you slaving away in the kitchen when you’re trying to enjoy the outdoors, and your lovely guests. Make it ahead, freeze it and then allow it to thaw a bit while you eat, say, a lovely gluten free cold pasta salad.[pinit]
This pie is a (much better) riff on the yogurt pies I used to have as a kid. Those were a tub of thawed Cool Whip mixed with some strawberry flavored yogurt (probably nonfat, at least if it was the lowfat 90’s, when everyone got fatter), pour into a premade graham cracker pie crust, and then frozen.
This gluten free pie is worlds apart from that one (which, sadly, makes me shudder when I recall the plastic taste). Lightly sweet, totally real and absolutely fresh and creamy. Instead of strawberry flavored nonfat yogurt, we use full fat plain Greek yogurt mixed with fresh strawberries reduced with just a touch of sugar (if you’re reading this and it’s no longer strawberry season, frozen and thawed strawberries would work great). Instead of Cool Whip, fresh whipped cream stabilized with some unflavored gelatin. You can skip the gelatin, but the pie will be much more icy in texture.
After I made the pie a few times, I bought more strawberries and made more of that gorgeous, bright red strawberry puree and have been drizzling it over gluten free waffles, mixing it into yogurt and stirring it into lemonade. Oh my word.
You can even stir some of the strawberry puree into the top of the pie right before you freeze it. Or serve it with some more sauce on the side. Or just give it to me. I’ll figure something out.
The crust is just a basic no-bake cookie crumb crust. One time I used crushed thin & crispy gluten free chocolate chip cookies, another time gluten free graham crackers. Or … you could make things even easier (and let’s face it way better for you!) and serve it crustless. Naked pie! To avoid any confusion, I am not suggesting eating it when you’re naked (not that there’s anything wrong with that but this is a family blog so let’s keep it clean).
2 tablespoons (14 g) confectioners’ sugar (or more to taste)
*The gelatin (and 2 tablespoons water that go along with it) are optional, but really help ensure a smooth, and not icy, filling when frozen.
Make the crust. In a large bowl, mix the cookie crumbs and melted butter until well-combined. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch nonstick or greased pie plate. Place the pie plate in the freezer until firm (at least 10 minutes, but longer is fine).
While the crust is chilling, make the filling. First, cook the strawberries. In a medium-sized heavy-bottom saucepan, place the strawberries, granulated sugar and salt, with a splash of cool water and mix to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries are softened and have given off much of their juice (about 7 minutes). With an immersion (stick) blender, puree the strawberries until mostly smooth. In a medium-sized bowl, place the Greek yogurt together about about 1/2 cup of the strawberry puree, and mix until smooth. Set the mixture aside.
Place the contents of the packet of powdered gelatin and the 2 tablespoons of water in a small, microwave-safe bowl, and mix well. Allow to sit for a few moments until the gelatin swells. It will be lumpy. Microwave the gelatin mixture for 30 seconds on HIGH to liquefy it. Set the gelatin aside and allow it to cool for about 2 minutes, or until no longer hot to the touch.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a large bowl with a hand mixer), beat the heavy whipping cream and the confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the slightly cooled gelatin mixture to the whipped cream and beat at high speed until the mixture has thickened and holds a stiff (but not dry) peak. Carefully fold the strawberry and yogurt mixture into the whipped cream mixture until only a few white streaks are still visible.
Remove the pie shell from the freezer, and pour the filling into it. If desired, pour another few tablespoons of the strawberry puree on top of the filling, and gently smooth the top with a cool, wet spatula. Freeze until set all the way through, about 4 hours. Before serving, allow to sit at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour.