Celebrate strawberry season with this no-bake fresh strawberry pie recipe! With less sugar than most, this pie lets the natural flavor of the strawberries shine through.
We are all about strawberries every spring! You can probably tell by the plethora of strawberry recipes on this site. But just in case you’re new here, welcome fellow strawberry-lovers. Let’s (not) bake a pie!
Well, you could bake the pie if you wanted to use a traditional pie crust. Most fresh strawberry pies do call for a baked pie crust. You roll it into your dish, blind bake with weights, let it cool, then proceed with the recipe.
Today though, we are sticking to a no-bake fresh strawberry pie with a graham cracker crust. My family likes both, but the graham cracker crust pie seems to disappear a little faster. We use the same filling for either.
What is the filling for a fresh strawberry pie?
To make this pie, you fill a crust with fresh strawberries. The berries are either sliced or left whole and arranged with the pointy sides up. For pictures, I arranged pointy sides up, but for day-to-day, sliced berries make for neater forkfuls.
The berries are then covered with a glaze that sets into your filling. Refrigerate until set and enjoy! Easy.
Some recipes call for boxed gelatin. While that’s all well and good, I don’t like to use it here because the gelatin is flavored. When it comes to fruit pie, I believe the star is, and always should be, the fruit!
That’s why, in this recipe, we make the glaze using a mixture of crushed strawberries, water, sugar, and cornstarch.
As far as the sugar, this recipe uses far less than most. Not enough that I’d call it a “low sugar” recipe, but definitely much less than expected. When you are using sweet strawberries, you don’t need to add much to bring out their flavor.
Can I use frozen fruit?
You must use fresh fruit for this pie. Unfortunately, there’s no way to use frozen fruit here and achieve the same result. That’s what makes this a very seasonal pie, as fresh in-season strawberries really make for the most amazing dessert.
The pie is best within a day or two of assembly because after that the fruit starts to weep. It’s not possible to dry out the frozen fruit enough to keep the pie from weeping almost immediately under the glaze.
A few more recipe notes…
Before making the glaze, let the chopped strawberries macerate in the sugar. This extra step is really helpful in bringing out the natural strawberry flavor and making the pie sweet enough while keeping the sugar content low. In fact, with super-sweet strawberries, you may even be able to get away with just 1/3 cup of sugar. Leave any syrupy by-product from the maceration in the pot when you cook the glaze.
The glaze itself will be pretty thick and you’ll have to spread it a little more than pour it. If you poured while hot, you might have to spread a little less, but it also means you’ll have less time to enjoy the pie.
You see, the fresh berries in the pie will soften a little if you pour a hot glaze right on them. When that happens, they start to release a little juice, and that will eventually make the crust soggy. I have found that I’m okay sacrificing a super smooth mirror-like glaze on my pie for an extra few days of enjoyment. Since I normally just slice the berries, it doesn’t really make much difference. You can see in the photos though, that the tops of the whole berries aren’t quite as clear because the glaze wasn’t hot when I poured it on.
On the other hand, we had a full three days to enjoy the pie without a soggy crust. I can’t speak to longer because the pie disappeared by then, darlings.
Just be sure to have a bit of whipped cream to serve with the pie. It really makes the whole experience.
I hope you love this recipe, darlings! Happy (no-bake) baking!
Graham Cracker Crust:
- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted (salted or unsalted is fine)
- 3 pints fresh strawberries, divided (see notes), washed and dried very well
- 1/3-1/2 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water
- juice from half a lemon (about 1 1/2-2 tablespoons)
- whipped cream, for serving
- Remove the tops of 1 pint of strawberries and chop finely. Place in a small saucepan and combine with the sugar. Set aside 15-30 minutes to macerate.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir in the melted butter until the mixture combines wet sand.
- Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan, making sure it's evenly distributed between the bottom and the sides. Place the pie crust in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
- Mash the strawberries and sugar with a potato masher until fine. Whisk together the cornstarch and water and pour over the strawberries and sugar in the saucepan.
- Place the pan over medium-low heat and stir constantly until it's thick and gels. As soon as the mixture has gelled, remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
- Set the glaze aside to cool a bit.
- Remove the graham cracker crust from the freezer.
- Remove the tops from the remaining strawberries and place in the crust points up. You may also slice the strawberries. If you slice the berries, you may mix them right into the cooled glaze and then pour the glaze into the crust. If you arranged whole strawberries in the pie dish, pour the glaze over as best you can, using your spatula to make sure it's as evenly distributed as possible.
- Place the pie in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to firm up.
- When you are ready to serve, remove the pie from the refrigerator, slice, and serve topped with a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!
- How to measure strawberries: Figuring out how many strawberries are in a pint has me running to Google every time! I'll spare you the trouble. 😉 One pint of strawberries weighs approximately 3/4 pounds (12 ounces) or is about 2 cups in volume.
- Be sure you dry the strawberries very well! Removing the moisture will prevent premature weeping of your pie.
- A half-cup of sugar is plenty for this recipe. If you have particularly sweet strawberries, feel free to reduce the sugar to 1/3 cup.