Strawberry Pie Bars. With no artificial colours or flavours. Our fresh strawberry pie filling meets a graham cracker crust in these easy to make dessert bars.
These Strawberry Pie Bars were inspired by my recent recipe for Southern Style Strawberry Pie. However truth be told, we made a version of these in our family many years ago when I was a kid. Back then, that version was made with frozen tubs of strawberries in syrup and Strawberry Jello.
I haven’t see those frozen tubs of strawberries in years and had to come up with a sort of substitute for them in another family favourite recipe, Strawberry Chiffon Squares. I just loved the strawberry squares of my childhood and that strawberry pie recipe brought them right back to mind.
So, I decided to whip up a batch of that same strawberry pie filling to offer a second option to enjoy a version of that strawberry pie as a dessert square. I think it is a great option for those who have a fear of pastry in general.
A few tips on making these delicious dessert bars:
The strawberry pie bars were made in a 9×9 baking pan. The recipe would make a terrific dessert for up to 9 people but you could of course cut them into smaller portions for snacking if you prefer. My Kitchen Aid electric mixer whipped the cream in only a couple of minutes. The corn starch present in the icing sugar acts as a stabilizer for the cream for 3 days or so. However, I still recommend adding the cream just before serving to make it last as long as possible, particularly if you are making them a day ahead of time.
To be fully honest, exactly like my daughter Olivia, I absolutely love anything on a graham cracker crumb crust…and have all my life. These dessert squares are a great way to enjoy the flavour of the pie in smaller portions. They are easy to take along to cookouts and BBQ’s too.
Since today is the 4th of July for our American friends, I’ve even dressed some of them up with a few fresh blueberries sprinkled on top to celebrate the old red, white and blue! Happy Independence Day!
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- 2 cups graham crumbs
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp unflavoured gelatin powder (stirred into 1/4 cup cold water)
- 6 cups sliced strawberries (Divided in 2 halves)
- 3/4 cup sugar ( use up to 1 1/4 cups if you prefer it sweeter)
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp corn starch ( dissolved in 1/4 cup water)
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 tbsp icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Measure the graham crumbs into a small bowl and make a small well in the centre.
Pour the sugar into the well, then pour the melted butter onto the sugar.
Let this stand for a couple of minutes to let the butter seep into the sugar. Then stir well to combine all ingredients together. The purpose of this step is to get a good contact between the butter and sugar. This helps a lot in setting a graham crumb crust in the oven.
Press the crumb mixture firmly into the bottom of a 9x9 inch baking pan that has been lightly greased and lined with parchment paper. B
Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 8-10 minutes. Let the crust cool completely to room temperature before adding the filling.
Add the gelatin to the 1/4 cup cold water and set aside for a few minutes until needed.
Add 3 cups of the sliced strawberries, the sugar and 1/4 cup water to a small saucepan and simmer for only a few minutes until the strawberries have release most of their juice.
Dissolve the corn starch in the 1/4 cup of water and stir into the simmering strawberries.
Stir constantly for 2 to three minutes while the strawberry mixture thickens.
Remove from heat and stir in the gelatine mixture until it is fully dissolved.
Allow to cool to almost room temperature before stirring in the 3 cups of fresh sliced berries.
Pour into the baked pie shell and refrigerate for several hours or overnight until set.
Simply beat all of the ingredients together with an electric mixer until firm peaks form.
Spread the cream on top of the set filling and cut into desired portion size.
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