Think of this strawberry cream cheese pie as the child of a bright fruit pie and a luscious cheesecake. It’s the best of both desserts: a shiny glaze of ruby-red strawberries and a layer of sweet cream cheese, all tucked inside a flaky butter crust. This pie will sing during peak spring and summer with seasonal strawberries, but, thankfully, we can always rely on our local grocer to stock the berries year-round. Because let’s be real, there’s no wrong time for a pie this good (or any of these strawberry and cream desserts, if we’re being honest).
This recipe calls upon reduced-fat and -sugar ingredients for people looking for those in their strawberry desserts, but you can certainly use traditional versions of those ingredients too. So get ready to bake, and pull out your prettiest cake stands, because this is one pie you’re going to want to show off.
Ingredients for Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie
- Dough for a pie crust: You’ll want to use a classic butter pie crust as the base for this strawberry cream cheese pie. A simple crust will allow the cream cheese and berries to be the stars of the show.
- Cream cheese: This recipe calls for reduced-fat cream cheese, but you can use regular cream cheese instead for a richer filling.
- Egg substitute: This recipe calls upon 1/2 cup egg substitute, about two to three large eggs. You can also use a different egg substitute, like bananas, flaxseed or silken tofu, if you like.
- Fresh strawberries: The top layer of this pie is adorned with fresh strawberries, so pick the brightest berries in the bunch—specifically, ones that don’t have much bruising or any mushy spots.
- Strawberry preserves: Be sure to use a jam or preserves over jelly, as those contain the bits of fruit you want for texture in this recipe. Here are the best strawberry jam brands according to our Test Kitchen.
Step 1: Fit dough to pie plate
On a lightly floured surface, roll out your pie dough into an 1/8-inch-thick circle. Gently transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the edges of the dough to a 1/2 inch beyond the plate’s rim. Flute the edges with your knuckles, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Step 2: Parbake the crust
Line your unpricked crust with a double thickness of foil, and fill it with pie weights, dried beans or uncooked rice. Bake on a lower oven rack until the edge is a light golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the weights and foil. Continue baking three to six minutes, until the bottom is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack, and reduce the oven temperature to 350°.
Step 3: Create the cream cheese layer
While the crust cools, beat the cream cheese, egg substitute, honey and vanilla until smooth. Pour the mixture into the crust. Bake until the center is almost set, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Step 4: Layer the fresh strawberries
Once the cream cheese layer has cooled, arrange the strawberries over the filling.
Editor’s Tip: You’ll want to cover all the cream cheese, and you can arrange the slices of strawberries any which way or create a rosette pattern by placing the slices in concentric circles.
Step 5: Create the topping of preserves
In a saucepan, combine the cornstarch and water until smooth. Stir in the preserves, and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for two minutes or until thickened. Spoon or brush the mixture over the strawberries.
Step 6: Refrigerate
Refrigerate the pie for two hours to allow the layers to set. If desired, garnish with whipped topping.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie Variations
- Make a strawberry whipped cream: Once you’ve learned how to make whipped cream from scratch, the variations you can make are endless. Try substituting the vanilla extract with strawberry extract or a few tablespoons of seedless strawberry jam.
- Add chocolate chips: If you love chocolate-covered strawberries, why not add chocolate to this pie? Fold chocolate chips into the cream cheese layer, and bake as normal.
- Try a graham cracker crust: Need even more sweetness? Here’s how to make a graham cracker crust so your pie tastes just like these adorable berry mini cheesecakes.
How to Store Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie
Store this strawberry cream cheese pie in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Can you freeze strawberry cream cheese pie?
We don’t recommend freezing this pie. Cream cheese pies are one of the baked goods you shouldn’t freeze because the dairy will weep when defrosting, ruining the smooth texture.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie Tips
Why is my strawberry cream cheese pie watery?
Your pie could be watery if the preserves topping didn’t get thick enough when cooking in the saucepan. You’ll know the topping is thick enough once it can coat the back of a spoon without dripping off right away.
Can I use something other than cream cheese?
There are quite a few cream cheese substitutes you can use in this pie. Popular picks would be ricotta or mascarpone. Used in cannoli and tiramisu respectively, these sweet cheeses are soft enough to match the texture of cream cheese.