Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Cream Pie: This delightful dessert is a homemade pudding atop a delicious graham cracker crust. You finish it with graham cracker crumbles, fresh strawberries and a dark chocolate drizzle.
It’s a super simple version of a stunning Strawberry Napoleon Pie that a home-baker featured at the State Fair of Texas back in 2015. She won best pie honors with an elaborate and amazing recipe from Michele Stuart, author of “Perfect Pies & More.” We made a shortcut version of Michelle’s pie.
For my fresh strawberry vanilla cream pie, I switched to a graham cracker crust like my grandmother used for her banana cream pies. You thicken the vanilla cream over heat with flour and egg yolks. Once it’s chilled, you are ready to go. The waiting is the hardest part of this pie. Be sure to wait until the vanilla cream thickens and wait for it to firm up more by chilling it. That said, it is totally worth the wait.
I ended up making this pie numerous times as it was so popular. Sometimes I would vary it and add a homemade whipped cream on top.
Make this and you will enjoy every bite! Want a sensational strawberry cookie? Try this creative one. And if you’re looking for a double crust fruit pie using strawberries, find one here. Both are absolute winners.
Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Cream Pie
1 3/4 cup finely ground graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons + 1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter
10 strawberries, divided
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup water
4 egg yolks, room temperature, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons sugar. Mix in melted butter until well combined. Set aside 1/4 cup of the graham cracker mixture. Press remaining into 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack.
Combine flour, salt and 1/2 cup sugar in medium saucepan. Over medium high heat, whisk in milk and water. Stir constantly, being careful not to scorch the bottom, lowering the heat level if needed. Patience pays off as you wait for the vanilla cream to thicken. Once flour/milk mixture becomes thick, starts to bubble and coats the back of a spoon, cook about 4 minutes more, stirring constantly. In separate small bowl, combine two tablespoons of the hot flour/milk mixture with the egg yolks (to temper them) and stir, then quickly add the egg yolk mixture back to the hot flour/milk mixture. Stirring slowly and constantly, further cook over medium heat, about 4 minutes more or until mixture has a thick pudding-like consistency. Remove from heat, mix in the vanilla extract and stir well. Pour a small portion on top of crust, enough to spread an 1/8-1/4 inch layer of the vanilla cream over the crust. Slice about 6 of the strawberries, enough to place a layer of slices on top of the vanilla cream. Top with remaining vanilla cream.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Decorate with remaining strawberries and crumble as desired. Melt and drizzle the chocolate chips on top, to taste. Makes 8-10 slices.