Strawberry season is right around the corner so I thought I would share another dessert that serves 20 good sized pieces or up to 30 smaller ones. Make the pastry for the crust a day ahead and you will have half the work finished for the day of your party. You'll only need half of the pastry. .the other half can be wrapped in two separate discs and frozen for double pie or two single pies.
Dorothy is my friend who owns Sweet Dreams Luxury Inn and graciously shared her no fail pastry recipe with me a few years ago. If you look at the beautiful photos of their rooms. ..you can find me relaxing in the Morley Suite. :)
- 5 cups flour
- 4 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 pound Lard (not shortening) ( I use Tenderflake brand)
- 1 egg and 1 tablespoon white vinegar and enough COLD water to make 1 cup
- Put the dry ingredients in a very large bowl.
- Stir it up with a pastry blender to evenly spread the ingredients through the flour.
- Cube the lard and cut it into the flour mixture until it is the size of oatmeal.
- Drizzle the water/egg/vinegar mixture over all the dry ingredients and stir with a fork until a shaggy dough forms.
- Dump it onto a pastry mat and pull together to form a large ball. Don't over mix.
- Divide the pastry into half. Divide half into two parts so that you will have three pieces all together.
- Wrap the three pieces separately in plastic wrap. Chill.
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- For this dessert, take the large piece of pastry and roll it onto a floured pastry mat or well floured counter large enough to come up the sides of a 13 X 18 X 1" cookie sheet . Roll the pastry up onto your rolling pin and transfer to the cookie sheet. Trim the edges along the top of the cookie sheet.
- Prick the dough with a fork every couple of inches and line the pastry with foil, pressing firmly onto the pastry, covering it all. ..extra does not need to be trimmed.
- Bake 10 minutes and then remove the foil and bake until evenly browned. Do not under bake ..you want the pastry nice and crisp. Cool for an hour before adding the first layer.
Cream Cheese Layer
- 2 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese. ..may be light
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding powder
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Beat the softened cream cheese together with the remaining ingredients and carefully spread evenly over the cooled pastry crust.
Strawberry Filling ( I had enough strawberry filling left to make a small 8 inch pie which is really handy if you want to enjoy pie the next day but know there will be no leftovers)
- 4 pounds strawberries diced (it makes it easier to cut nice slices if the strawberries are diced to about 1/4 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 4 cups water
- 1 large package strawberry gelatin
- Combine the sugar, and cornstarch in a large pot and stir to blend the cornstarch with the sugar.
- Add the water and bring to a boil, stirring the whole time.
- Add the package of gelatin and stir.
- Add the diced strawberries to the pot and allow to cool for to room temperature.
- Spoon the filling over the cream cheese layer and chill.
Beat 2 cups whipping cream, 1/2 cup sugar and several packages of whipping cream stabilizer or several tablespoons of vanilla instant pudding. Using a pastry bag with a large star tip. ..decorate and then slice and serve.