Aunt Lou's Strawberry Pie - a time-tested winner

Strawberries, with their tantalizing aroma, green leaves, and glowing red color, remind one of summer regardless of the season. The beginning of spring is marked with the arrival of the first fresh strawberries on supermarket shelves.

There are so many delicious desserts using strawberries that there's never any lack of serving ideas.

One strawberry dessert that my family has always been partial to is Aunt Lou's Strawberry Pie. The recipe was given to my mother over 20 years ago by a good friend. When I started baking, it was handed down to me.

The cream cheese gives the pie a tangy and unusual taste, and the combination of fresh and cooked berries is delicious. Aunt Lou's Strawberry Pie 1 quart strawberries 3 tablespoons cornstarch 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice 1 cup sugar 3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature 1 9-inch baked pie shell

Keep out 1/3 of the best-shaped berries. Mash remaining berries in a medium saucepan, then warm over medium heat.

Dissolve cornstarch in lemon juice and a little water. Add cornstarch and sugar to strawberry mixture. Cook until thick, stirring frequently. Cool.

Spread cream cheese in bottom of pie shell. Place remaining whole berries on the cheese. Pour cooked strawberries over whole berries. Refrigerate until firm.

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