Strawberry White Chocolate Cream Pie

 

 

Nebraska wildflower

“Rural Nebraska” …it conjures up images of fields of wildflowers…

white wildflowers

wildflowers

wildflower

…and never ending seas of corn…

When I am in Nebraska, I like to drive on the backroads because I never know what beautiful things I might see, if I just take the time to look…

wildflower

Beauty can be found just about anywhere, but when the sun begins to set and everything begins to have that beautiful coppery glow, I snap the last few photos and head for home…

Nebraska sunset

I had the good fortune to be able to return to my hometown in Nebraska a couple of weeks ago for the county fair. It was a wonderful time filled with family, friends, many memories and of course, fabulous food. Here is a recipe that always reminds me of our county fair…Strawberry White Chocolate Cream Pie.

Stawberry Pie

This pie has a luscious creamy white chocolate filling that rivals the taste of even the sweetest of  ripe strawberries…

Strawberry Pie

Strawberry White Chocolate Cream Pie

Prepare one 9-inch frozen deep dish pie crust according to the directions on the package. Let cool completely.

Into a medium-sized heavy saucepan, put:

      3 oz. cream cheese (or about a third of an 8 oz bar, reserve the rest)

      3/4 c  heavy whipping cream

Over medium high heat, begin melting the cream cheese into the cream. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon. When the cream starts to bubble, begin whisking the mixture together until it becomes thick and creamy. Reduce heat to low, then add:

      1 c  white baking chips

Using the whisk, slowly stir in the chips until they have melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Measure out  a 1/2 cup of the mixture and pour over the baked pie crust. Put the crust into the freezer while you complete the next steps. Place the rest of the mixture into a bowl and place this in the freezer also to cool it down.  (Using a plastic or metal bowl is best because you are going to be going from one temperature extreme to the other. You don’t want to break your bowl…)

Meanwhile, put into a medium-sized bowl:

      1 cup  heavy whipping cream

Beat until peaks form. Set aside. Then place into a large mixing bowl:

      Cooled chocolate mixture

      The rest of the bar of cream cheese

Beat this until light and creamy. Fold in the whipped cream and carefully spread the mixture onto the pie crust. Wash and hull:

      Fresh strawberries ( about 2 pints)

And place on the cream cheese layer. ( If you place the larger strawberries in the center of the pie and put the smaller berries on the outside, your pie will appear more balanced and pleasing to the eye) Place in the refrigerator.

Strawberry Topping

This strawberry topping recipe is from an old cookbook my mom gave me when I was just a child. I have used this strawberry filling recipe ever since.  This will make more filling than you need for this pie, but refrigerate the leftovers and then reheat it slightly when you would like a little strawberry flavor on a dish of ice cream, cheesecake or even pancakes!

Just a couple of hints…after you have prepared the filling, let it cool down and thicken up a bit. If you pour it while it is still runny, it will want to ooze around the crust…you will get a nicer presentation if it is thicker. Also, if you spoon the mixture over the tops of the strawberries and not around the strawberries, you will get a nice sheen over the strawberries and less chance of over-flow ( the filling running over the edges of the pie crust).

Into a medium-sized heavy saucepan, put:

       1 – 3  0z.  box strawberry-flavored gelatin

      1 cup  sugar

      1 cup  water

      2 T  cornstarch

Whisk together and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and continue to boil for 8 minutes. Remove from heat.  Let it cool down until it begins to thicken up. Pour over strawberries.  Place pie and any leftover filling in the refrigerator. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until the filling is set.

Let’s go to the fair…

 

For most of my adult life I have lived in the Twin Cities in Minnesota.  I love the city life and most everything the city offers. But I am from a small rural town in the Midwest, and small hometowns can tug at your heart. 

This past week was my hometown’s county fair. Every year about this time, I feel like I turn into a little kid again and get excited at the thought of the fair! So, the kids and I got into the van and we headed south for the fair ( the hubby was to join us later).

I think some of that excitement comes from anticipating the drive home…

One of my favorite sites of the Midwest are the vast cornfields. And when a person is headed for home, even the common roadside weeds can look beautiful…

Then after the long journey, finally there it is…home.

Quiet, peaceful, no sirens…just the sound of birds singing and the warbling of the locusts in the trees…

                                               ~ * ~

After we arrived, the kids and I rested for awhile then we were off to the fair! First, there was the parade…

Cute little fuzzy chicks…

And then of course, the fair rides!…

But after all the festivities, it was time for my favorite part, the food!  Not the food from the little vendor huts, but the delights coming out of the kitchens! The hot roastbeef and meatloaf sandwiches from the Methodist kitchen and  the beefburgers from the 4-H kitchen are unsurpassed. I’ve heard the 4-H kitchen also has one of the best taco salads in the state, but I haven’t broken away from my traditional beef burger to try one…

I’m hooked on the beefburgers ( or sloppy joes) that are served at the fair, especially at the Methodist kitchen because they are served with refrigerator pickles! Yum Yum! I love the combination of the spicy taste of the burger along with the sweet taste of the pickles. It is tradition to serve the pickles sliced but I think I like them better when the “pickles” are shredded.  It  turns into sort of a coleslaw-like condiment for the burger…

beef burgers with cucumber relish

My good friend Myrna gave me her recipe for her delicious pickles and I changed it just a little bit to turn it into a cucumber relish by adding onion and fresh cilantro. Thanks Myrna for sharing your recipe!

cucumber relish

Cucumber Relish

Into a large bowl put:

      2 c  shredded cucumber (peeled and seeds removed)

      2 c  onions, finely chopped

      1 t celery seed

      3/4 t salt

      1/4 c  chopped fresh cilantro

      1/2 c sugar

      1/2 c white vinegar

Stir well and store in the refrigerator. When serving, serve with a slotted spoon. As I mentioned before, this makes an absolutely wonderful combination with beefburgers (sloppy joes)!

Next Tuesday in my blog, I will share my version of a dessert I first tasted at the fair…Strawberry White Chocolate Cream pie! See you then!

Chocolate Cookie Bars

Do you like to dip your Oreo cookies in milk?  I love doing this, especially when the cookie gets all nice, soft and kind of gooey…

Well, if you too, like that soft creamy taste of a freshly dipped Oreo, you may absolutely love these bars! 

These bars were created just for us  cookie dippers…no milk required…well, then again… I think that Oreo taste was created   specifically for enjoying with a glass of milk.  Cheers!

(I made two versions of this recipe…The first recipe calls for a combination of graham crackers and crushed Oreos. If you would like a richer chocolate flavor, go for the second recipe, no graham crackers…just the Oreos…I couldn’t decide which version I liked better, so I listed them both…

Chocolate Cookie Bars

In a small saucepan, melt:

      1 c  semi-sweet chocolate chips

      3/4 butter

Whisk together and set aside. Then put into a food processor:

      24 Oreo cookies (please use the regular cookies, not Double Stuff)

      5 rectangles of cinnamon graham crackers

Process until you have fine crumbs and place into a large mixing bowl. Add the melted chocolate mixture and stir until they are combined.  Measure out 1 cup of the crumbs. Press the rest of the crumb mixture into a greased 13×9 inch pan.

Into a mixing bowl, place:

      1 – 8 oz.  softened cream cheese

      1  can sweetened condensed milk

Beat until creamy.  Then add:

      1 egg

      1 t  vanilla

      1/4 t salt

Mix until combined.  Pour this over the crumb mixture in the pan and sprinkle with the remaining crumbs. Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Don’t overbake.  ( The cream cheese layer will puff underneath the crumbs when it is done) Cool on the counter, then place in the refrigerator to cool completely. Cut into bars. Store  leftovers in the refrigerator.

Second version…the “chocolately” one…

The directions are the same except for the crumb mixture…

      1 bag of Oreos (regular, not Double Stuff)

Process in a food processor until you have fine crumbs. Then melt together:

      1/2 c  butter

      1/2  c  semi-sweet chocolate chips

Whisk together, add to the cookie crumbs and mix together. Follow same directions as above… Cool completely in the refrigerator before serving.

Rhubarb Cream Cake

rhubarb cake, rhubarb,

Here is a recipe for an absolutely delicious rhubarb cake…

rhubarb, rhubarb cake

This is one yummy cake because there is a sweet cream sauce that is spooned over the cake while it is still warm from the oven…

rhubarb cake

The cream turns the crusty cinnamon topping kind of moist and gooey…like a scoop of vanilla ice cream would if it had melted on top of the cake.  I don’t think rhubarb cake gets any better than this one…

…and it all starts with the main attraction, fresh rhubarb…

rhubarb stalks

chopped rhubarb

stalks of rhubarb

Chop the rhubarb into small pieces and as for the cream sauce…you may want to double the amount.  Four cups of cream may sound like a lot but when it’s cooked, it reduces down and goes fast because… it’s addicting.

 

Rhubarb Cream Cake

Into a small bowl, put:

      1/4 c   flour

      1/4 c  sugar

      2 T  soft butter

      Pinch of salt

      1 t  cinnamon

Mix this until crumbly. Set  aside. Then into a 8 oz. measuring cup, put:

      1 T white vinegar

      Milk ( enough to fill the cup)

Set this aside for at least 3 minutes while you do the following…into a large mixing bowl, put:

      2 T  melted butter

      1 c  sugar

      1 egg

Mix until creamy. Set aside and then sift together:

      2 c  flour

      1 t  baking powder

      1/2 t  baking soda

      1 t  salt

Into the bowl with the creamed mixture, add the flour mixture alternately with the milk and vinegar mixture.  Mix just until combined.  Then stir in by hand:

      2 c  chopped rhubarb

Pour into a greased 9×9 inch baking pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Don’t overbake.

Meanwhile into a medium-sized heavy saucepan, put:

      2 c  heavy whipping cream

      4 T  sugar

Bring just to a boil then turn the heat down to low to keep it warm until you are ready to serve it.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

To serve the cake: Slice pieces of cake and place them on a plate. Pour a couple of tablespoons of the cream over the top of each slice. Refrigerate any pieces of leftover cake that have the cream on them…otherwise, store the cake at room temperature in an airtight container.  After about one day, the cake will become incredibly moist…I actually like to wait at least one day until I serve this cake.  I think the flavors come together better after it rests for a day or so…  Enjoy!