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Strawberries and yogurt goes into a great pie

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Fresh strawberries are beginning to show up in the grocery stores! It won't be long before we'll soon be able to get them from the local produce markets and fresh strawberries are always a special treat. Until summer arrives, we can get them in the grocery and enjoy them in different ways.

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Many years ago, I came across a recipe that uses fresh strawberries and also includes an interesting ingredient: yogurt! Together, these two ingredients create a light and creamy dessert, appropriately entitles "Strawberry Yogurt Pie". This is a light and refreshing dessert that will be very welcome after a heavy meal or when the weather turns hot this summer.

This pie goes together pretty quickly. You begin by pureeing fresh strawberries. You then mix unflavored gelatin and sugar. Egg yolks and milk are then added and is heated until the gelatin dissolves. The pureed strawberries go in, along with yogurt, lemon juice and, if desired, some red food coloring. This is chilled until it begins to thicken and mounds from a spoon. Egg whites are beaten with additional sugar and folded into the strawberry mixture. This now goes into a pie shell and chilled until it's chilled and firm. This is good plain, though it's even better topped with whipped topping and additional strawberries.

A few pointers: regular strawberry yogurt can be used, though I prefer the Greek strawberry yogurt. I believe that the Greek version, since it's thicker and creamier, makes a creamier pie. Also, when you fill the pie shell with the strawberry mixture, there will be some of the mixture left, as it all won't go in. The remaining filling can be placed in dessert dishes, chilled and served like a pudding. One other thing you could do is to use an extra-large prepared pie shell and it should hold all of the filling.

If you're concerned about using raw egg whites in this pie, egg white powder or meringue powder can be used in place of them. This powder can be found in the baking section of some larger grocery stores or the cake decorating section of some department stores. Follow the directions for preparing two egg whites and proceed with the recipe as directed.

Springtime also means another favorite treat, rhubarb. A while back, I gave a recipe for a "Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie" that's a sensation! To get this recipe, follow this link:

http://www.examiner.com/article/strawberry-pie-with-a-springtime-addition

For a refreshing taste of strawberries, this pie is the very dessert that provides it!

STRAWBERRY YOGURT PIE

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup strawberry yogurt, either the regular or the Greek version
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 4 drops red food coloring (optional)
  • 1 pre-packaged graham cracker or butter flavored crust (see note)

In the blender jar, puree enough strawberries to make 3/4 cup. Reserve the remaining strawberries for garnishing. In a medium saucepan, mix the gelatin with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Blend in the egg yolks beaten with the milk. Let it stand about 1 minute. Stir over low heat until gelatin is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. With a wire wisk or a rotary beater, blend in the pureed strawberries, yogurt, lemon juice and food coloring, if using it. Chill, stirring occasionally, until mixture mounds slightly when dropped from a spoon.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining sugar and beat until stiff. Fold into gelatin mixture. Turn into prepared crust and chill until firm. Garnish with reserved strawberries and if desired, whipped topping. Yield: 8 servings.

NOTE: Not all of the filling will fit in a regular pie shell. Any remaining filling can be placed in dessert dishes and chilled. This can be served as a pudding. A pre-made "Extra Large" pie shell may be used, which will hold all of the filling.

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