I was challenged by a former co-worker years ago (five years ago, to be exact), to reproduce the Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie you could get at Long John Silvers. He was slightly obsessed.
Although I didn’t duplicate it exactly, the crust is almost spot-on (it’s an unbaked graham cracker crust, unusual but so good), and it’s fairly close. It has taken me this long to share the recipe because I couldn’t share the first one with you – I used wild strawberry essence in it, and not many people would have that on hand to use in a humble pie, such as this. But I remembered how good it was and wanted to see if I could recreate my recreation of Mrs. Smith’s pie by concentrating the strawberry flavor in another way. Then I made jam a few weeks ago, inspiration hit. Jam, to me, is the essence of the fruit used to create it.
So I tried it, replacing the gelatin and fresh strawberries in my original recipe with the homemade jam, and it was perfect. It’s not as light as the original*, but so good in it’s own right. So thick and creamy, so cream cheese-y, so strawberry-y. And so perfect for summer because, unlike most of my recipes this summer, no part of it requires an oven. You’re welcome.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie
1 ½ envelopes graham crackers (13 1/2 sheets)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 heaping cup (13 oz jar) good quality strawberry jam
1 (14 oz) can (minus 2 tablespoons for the crust) sweetened condensed milk
2 cups whipped topping or homemade (sweetened) whipped cream
Leftover whipped topping or 1-1 1/2 cups homemade sweetened whipped cream
Leftover crust crumbs
While still in the package, smash up the graham crackers a little bit, then empty into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse & process until fine crumbs. Add the butter, sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar & water and process until thoroughly combined. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumbs and press the remaining crumbs into a 9” pie plate. Place in fridge.
Wipe out the food processor. Add the cream cheese, jam, and sweetened condensed milk, and process until smooth. Add the whipped topping or whipped cream and pulse until mixed. Pour into prepared pie plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. Pipe whipped cream around the edge in stars or rosettes using Wilton tip 2110 (1M). Garnish with whipped cream & the remaining crumbs before serving.
Veronica’s notes: If you’d like a lighter pie, you could use 3 cups of whipped cream, or the entire carton of whipped topping, and use another cup or two for garnish. You will have too much pie filling, but I doubt you’ll complain about eating the extra. ;) Also, it’s important to use the best jam possible, as this is what gives the pie its strawberry flavor. If you buy cheap Walmart jam, it will taste like you bought a Great Value frozen pie, not made it yourself. I’ve actually tried this using Walmart strawberry jam, so I unfortunately speak from experience (it was bad). Homemade is ideal, and Bonne Maman is the only brand I can put my own stamp of approval on if you go with store-bought.