Guys and gals this next dessert has me super excited! It is a classic strawberry pretzel icebox pie. Simple, yet so amazingly delicious to serve at any occasion. I truly feel sorry for the individuals that don't get a piece!
A sweet and savory pie with a pretzel crust, cream cheese and whipped cream filling, and then layered with a homemade strawberry puree and fresh sliced strawberries. This pie recipe was adapted from pastry chef Justin Burke-Samson. He is well known for his comfort food and classic desserts.
Ironically, I was very thrilled to make this pie. This classic dessert or side dish is always served in my home in a 9x13 pan every single Xmas. Literally, I look forward to this dessert every single year. My mom even goes out of her way to make two of them, one for me to take home!
So she FB tagged me in this recipe and challenged me to make it. I did it without hesitation and couldn't wait to dig in!
- Pretzel sticks
- Granulated sugar
- Unflavored gelatin
- Chocolate malt powder
- Cream cheese
- Heavy cream
Step by step instructions
First step: Making the pretzel crust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, add pretzel sticks and pulse down until you get a fine mixture. Next, add the pretzel mixture, light brown sugar, and malt powder to a bowl and stir to combine. Melt unsalted butter in microwave and then drizzle over pretzel mixture. Mix until the mixture resembles "wet sand". Transfer to a 9 inch pie pan.
With a measuring cup, press down mixture firmly and evenly into pie pan. By the end, your crust should be a ¼ inch thick. Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly toasted. Cool and then put in freezer while you prepare cream cheese filling.
Second Step: Making cream cheese filling
In a medium mixing bowl, add in heavy cream and vanilla. Mix on medium high until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
In another large mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese and confectioner's sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Gently, fold in whipped cream into cream cheese mixture until combined and no streaks remain.
Remove pie from freezer and spoon cream cheese filling into crust. Smooth out the surface with spatula and place pie back in freezer.
Third Step: Making strawberry puree filling
With a food processor, puree 16 oz of the fresh strawberries. Take ½ cup and put in small bowl and set aside. Combine the rest of the strawberries and granulated sugar together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring puree filling almost to a boil, whisking frequently.
Add the gelatin to the ½ cup of reserved strawberry puree and mix. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then add into the almost boiling strawberry/sugar mixture. Whisk to dissolve gelatin. Once the gelatin has dissolved, remove from the heat.
Slice the rest of the fresh strawberries. Remove pie from freezer and add the strawberries to the top of the cream cheese filling in a spiral pattern. Return pie to freezer for an additional two minutes.
Lastly, pour cooled strawberry gelatin mixture over sliced strawberries and use spatula to smooth it out. Transfer pie to the fridge for at least 4 hours to let gelatin fully set. Garnish with additional whipped cream.
Variations and substitutions
- Substitute with frozen strawberries if fresh ones are not available
- Chop strawberries up versus slicing them and place on top of cream cheese mixture
- Make the dessert smaller and add to an 8x8 pan
- Add white or milk chocolate shavings on top of pie
They are a classic southern dessert that are named after the ice box they were kept cool in. Quick and easy, no bake, and could be stored in an ice box in the heat of the summer until ready to eat.
Yes, a graham cracker crust or chocolate cookie crust would make a great alternative to the pretzel crust.
This pie is best when eaten within 1-2 days. It must be refrigerated, but the pretzel crust tends to get soggy after 2 days.
Strawberry pretzel icebox pie
- 1 Food processor
- 1 Electric mixer
- 1 9 inch pie pan
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 1 Silicon Spatula
- Mixing bowls
- 1 Small saucepan
For the pretzel crust
- 4 cups pretzel sticks
- ½ cup light brown sugar loesely packed
- 3 tablespoon chocolate malt powder
- 14 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
For the cream cheese filling
- 1½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
For the Strawberry puree topping
- 32 oz strawberries fresh and hulled
- ¼ oz unflavored gelatin
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
For the crust
- Preheat oven to 350°. Using the food processor, pulse down pretzel sticks into a fine crumb mixture. Add to a large mixing bowl.
- Fold in brown sugar and chocolate malt powder. Drizzle melted butter over mixture and stir until fully incorporated. The mixture should feel like wet sand. Transfer mixture to 9 inch pie plan.
- With the bottom of a measuring cup, press the mixture even into the bottom of the pie pan. You crust should only be about ¼ inch thick.
- Bake the crust for 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool and then put in freezer until ready for use.
For the cream cheese filling
- In a medium mixing bowl, add in the heavy cream and vanilla extract. With a hand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk until stiff peaks form.
- In another large mixing bowl, add the softened cream cheese and confectioner's sugar. Mix on medium until light and fluffy.
- Gently, fold in the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Remove pie crust from freezer and add filling on top of pretzel crust. Smooth the top of the cream cheese/whipped cream mixture and place back in freezer.
For the strawberry puree topping
- Using a food processor, puree 16 oz of fresh strawberries. Set aside ½ cup of puree in a small bowl.
- Combine the rest of the puree with the sugar in a small saucepan and put over medium heat. Bring puree almost to a boil, whisking frequently.
- Add the gelatin powder to the reserved ½ cup of strawberry puree and let it sit for 5 minutes. Next, add it to the almost boiling mixture and whisk to dissolve the gelatin. Once the gelatin has dissolved, remove from heat and allow the mixture to slightly cool.
- Slice remaining strawberries, remove pie from freezer, and lay sliced strawberries over cream cheese filling.
- Pour cooled strawberry gelatin over the strawberry slices, and use a spatula to smooth the surface. Put pie in fridge for at least 4 hours to allow the gelatin to fully set. Add additional whipped cream topping! Serve and enjoy!
- Will last only a few days in the fridge as the pretzel crust will become soggy.
This dessert needs to be refrigerated as it contains dairy products. If left out too long they will spoil.
No bake desserts
- Passionfruit cheesecake bars
- Easy pineapple pie
- 4 ingredient cheerio bars
- Oreo dirt cake without cream cheese
Fun fact of the day
A snowflake can take up to one hour to fall from the cloud to the surface of the earth. It sure was falling here today! Gotta love Spring in Wisconsin!
Can you use agar powder instead of gelatin?
I have never used powdered sugar. I really recommend using gelatin as it stabilizes and holds this pie together really well.
Yes, in a 1:1 ratio