This strawberry cheesecake pie combines creamy no bake strawberry cheesecake filling with a crunchy, salty and sweet pretzel graham cracker crust. To get enough fruit flavor, use strawberries when they are in season.
Pretzel Graham Cracker Crust
- 1/2 cup (50g) crushed pretzel crumbs (from 1 cup salted mini pretzel twists or pretzel pieces)
- 1 cup (100g) graham cracker crumbs (about 5–6 full sheet graham crackers)
- 3 Tablespoons (38g) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup (5 Tbsp; 72g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1.5 lbs (about 680g) strawberries, rinsed & hulled
- 1 cup (240ml) cold heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
- two 8-ounce blocks (450g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (about 150g) sliced strawberries
- 2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon (29g) granulated sugar, divided
- 1 cup (240ml) cold heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Crust: Use a food processor or blender to grind the pretzels and graham crackers into a fine crumb. (Or crush both in a zipped top bag with a rolling pin.) Mix the crumbs, granulated sugar, and melted butter together in a medium bowl until combined. The mixture will be thick, coarse, and sandy. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Make sure it is very tight and compact. Use the bottom of a flat measuring cup to press it down tightly. Bake the crust for 15-16 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes (and up to 2 days) before adding the filling. Meanwhile, prep the reduced strawberry puree in the next step.
- Strawberries for the filling: Puree the strawberries completely. You will have 1.5 – 2 cups puree– anywhere around this amount is fine. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, using a spoon to press it down and work it through the strainer. Discard seeds. Stirring occasionally, simmer the strained puree over low-medium heat until you’re left with 1/2 cup or a little over 1/2 cup. This takes at least 25-35 minutes, but could take longer depending on your pan or how juicy your strawberries were. *Do not add sugar or anything to the puree or reduced puree– it’s just pure strawberries. Allow to cool completely to room temperature before using in the filling. (See make ahead instructions below if doing this in advance.)
- Rest of the filling: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cold heavy cream into stiff peaks on medium-high speed, about 4 minutes. Set aside. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until perfectly smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the cooled reduced strawberry puree, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract and beat on medium-high speed until combined, creamy, and smooth. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed to help combine. Make sure there are no large lumps of cream cheese. If there are lumps, keep beating until smooth.
- Using your mixer on low speed or a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake filling until combined. This takes several turns of your rubber spatula. Combine slowly as you don’t want to deflate all the air in the whipped cream.
- Spread filling into cooled crust. Use a small offset spatula to smooth down the top.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. For best results, at least 12 hours is best. The longer refrigerated, the nicer the no-bake cheesecake will set up. I don’t recommend using the freezer to set this cheesecake filling.
- Toppings: About 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving, prepare the toppings. Stir the sliced strawberries and 1 teaspoon (4g) of granulated sugar together. Set aside as you prepare the whipped cream topping. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, remaining sugar, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, about 3-4 minutes. Medium peaks are between soft/loose peaks and stiff peaks and are the perfect consistency for topping and piping on desserts.
- Remove pie from the refrigerator. Spoon strawberries on pie and pipe whipped cream around the edges. (I used Ateco 849 piping tip.) Or you can serve each individual slice with strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream.
- Using a clean sharp knife, cut into slices for serving. For neat slices, wipe the knife clean between each slice.
- Cover and store leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Make Ahead Instructions: You can prepare the crust (steps 1 and 2) up to 2 days in advance. Cover and store baked and cooled crust at room temperature until ready to use. You can prepare the strawberry reduction (step 3) 1-2 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate, then bring to room temperature before using in step 4. You can also freeze the reduced strawberry puree for up to 3 months. Thaw, bring to room temperature, then use in the recipe. You can prepare the entire filling (steps 3-5) 1 day in advance before spreading into the crust in step 6. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. You can prepare the whipped cream and strawberries for the topping (step 8) 1 day in advance. Cover and refrigerate both until ready to use.
- Pretzel/Graham Cracker Crust: It’s ideal to use both pretzel and graham cracker crumbs in this recipe. If desired for more explanation, see section above Pretzel/Graham Cracker Crust Hybrid. If you want a plain graham cracker crust, follow this graham cracker crust recipe. You could skip baking the crust, but I recommend still baking it to really ensure the crust sets up and the slices cut neatly.
- Can I Make This in a Springform Pan? Yes. Follow the recipe exactly as written including baking the crust, but use a 9 inch springform pan. When it’s time to serve, use a knife to loosen the chilled cheesecake from the rim of the springform pan, then remove the rim.
- Can I Use Frozen Strawberries For the Filling? Yes. Thaw, then puree, strain, and cook as directed. The puree may take longer to reduce down. For best taste, I recommend fresh strawberries for the topping.
- Can I Make Mini No-Bake Cheesecakes? Yes. Use this crust and filling recipe and follow the instructions in my mini no bake cheesecakes, which are made in a standard muffin pan.
Keywords: strawberry cheesecake pie