Strawberry Cream Pie with Chocolate Crust

Strawberry Cream Pie is a classic dessert that never goes out of style! It’s made with delicious French pastry cream and the season’s best fresh strawberries.

Strawberry Cream Pie

There are many ways to celebrate the season’s bounty of fresh strawberries, and this pie is one of the best! The silky French pastry cream filling strikes a perfect balance with the tart berry topping. The usual crust is a simple press-in-the-pan graham cracker crumb mixture. But this time I’ve opted for a chocolate cookie crust. Which gives the pie richness and makes it even more special, if you ask me.

Strawberries

Thankfully, warm weather is here to stay for a while! So it’s so easy to find really great tasting strawberries right now. Farmer’s markets and berry farms are a good place to start shopping. But even grocery store berries will taste noticeably better. If you find yourself with a bumper crop, and want to preserve the in-season strawberries, then check out my article on how to freeze strawberries right here, on Food.com.

Make the Chocolate Cookie Crust

Start with 1 1/2 cups of chocolate cookie crumbs. Since Nabisco’s Famous Chocolate Wafers are no longer in production, use Oreo sandwich cookies with the filling scraped out. That’s approximately 22-25 of the unfilled sandwich cookies pulverized in a food processor. (Dewey’s Bakery Brownie Crisp Cookie Thins are also a fine choice.) Or, if you’d rather opt for the classic graham cracker crust, then you can find the instructions for that in the recipe notes.

Combine the crumbs with melted butter in a medium mixing bowl and stir to coat the crumbs. Press the crumbs into an ungreased pie plate and bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 7 minutes to set it. Let the crust cool on a wire rack while you prep the filling.

Make the Vanilla Cream Filling

Begin by whisking together a few dry ingredients in a large pot: sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Next, whisk together 3 cups of half-and-half (or whole milk), 6 egg yolks, and a little vanilla. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Then, place over medium heat and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Cook until smooth and thickened. When it has the consistency of soft pudding, add 2 tablespoons of butter and whisk until melted and combined. Let it cool 5 minutes before pouring it into the pie crust.

Tip: Whisking constantly should help prevent lumps. However, if your pastry cream has lumps at the end of cooking, pass it through a sieve before filling the pie crust.

Strawberry Cream Pie

Fill and Chill

Pour the warm cream filling into the cooled pie crust. Smooth the top and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Top with Strawberries

There’s more than one way to top this pie! You can slice the strawberries as I have, and arrange them on top in a starburst design (see the video to help you along.) Or, you can simply dice the strawberries fine and pile them on top (see this recipe for example). I’ll admit, the latter is slightly easier to slice, but I am partial to a fancy arrangement.

Glaze the Strawberries

Like the classic French fruit tart (tarte aux fruits) make the strawberries shine with a simple jam glaze. Use a red fruit jam, such as raspberry or strawberry, and heat it in a small microwave-safe cup. Cook until liquid and glossy, about 30 seconds. Then, using a pastry brush, coat all of the berries with the jam. Apricot jam will also work well, but it will be almost clear and won’t add any color like the red jam will.

Strawberry Cream Pie

Refrigerate another 10-ish minutes before serving to set the glaze.

Strawberry Cream Pie
Strawberry Cream Pie

This Strawberry Cream Pie is such a lovely chilled treat to serve during warm weather. It seems just the thing to serve at a cookout or summer barbecue. The combination of chocolate crust, creamy custard filling, and tart strawberries – what’s not to love?

Related recipe: Strawberry Icebox Cheesecake Dessert

Strawberry Cream Pie with Chocolate Cookie Crust

Heather Baird
Strawberry Cream Pie is an old-fashioned dessert staple that never goes out of style! The chocolate cookie crust is filled with vanilla custard and then topped with freshly sliced strawberries. A fine glaze of melted red jam makes the berries sparkle and gives them a little extra color.
If you’re partial to a graham cracker crust with your strawberry cream pie, see the recipe notes for instructions for an easy (and tasty!) graham cracker crust.
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
4 hours chill time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, French
Servings 8

Equipment

  • 9" pie plate

Ingredients
 
 

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs such as pulverized Oreo cookies with filling removed
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

Pastry cream filling

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt
  • 3 cups half-and-half or whole milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Strawberry topping

  • 1 quart fresh strawberries washed and dried
  • 1/4 cup strawberry or raspberry jam or jelly

Instructions
 

Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs and melted butter. Mix well until all of the crumbs are coated with the butter.
  • Pour the crumbs into an ungreased pie plate and pack them evenly into the bottom of the pan and up the sides.
  • Bake for 7 minutes to set. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Pastry cream filling

  • In a large saucepan, whisk together the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. In a large measuring pitcher or another mixing bowl, combine the half-and-half, egg yolks, and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
  • Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture while whisking constantly. Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Cook until smooth and thickened, to the consistency of pudding, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. When the butter is melted, let the mixture stand for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
  • Pour the cream into the prepared pie crust. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

Strawberry topping

  • Cut 4 whole strawberries in half with the tops intact; set aside. Hull and slice the remaining strawberries. Pat them dry with paper towels. Arrange in the center of the pie in a starburst pattern (see video for visuals). Arrange halved strawberries with the green tops around the sliced berries.
  • Heat the jam or jelly in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until liquid. Let cool slightly. Use a pastry brush to coat all of the berries with a fine layer of the jam.
  • Refrigerate the pie for at least 10 minutes before serving to set the jam. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Notes

What to Expect: This pie is creamy-dreamy with French pastry cream filling that sits atop a chocolate cookie crust. The acidity of the strawberries perfectly contrasts the filling. The glaze adds a little sweetness and makes the berries shine.
Lumpy Pastry Cream? No Problem! Make sure you’re whisking constantly as you cook the pastry cream. All that whisking should help prevent lumps. However, if your pastry cream has lumps at the end of cooking, pass it through a sieve before filling the pie crust.
A Speedier Topping: If you’re not into arranging all those berries, you can simply dice them all fine and toss them in the melted jam, then pile them on top of the pie and refrigerate as directed.
Weepy Berries: Arrange the berries on top of the pie within a couple of hours before serving for the freshest appearance. If leftovers remain more than a day or two, the berries will begin to weep and give off their juices. The green tops on the halved berries will also wilt. This doesn’t look pretty, but it will not affect the taste.
For a Graham Cracker Crust: Combine 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Add 7 tablespoons melted butter and mix to coat the crumbs. Pour into a pie plate and press in the bottom and up the sides; bake and cool as directed in the recipe.
 
Keyword chocolate cookie crust, French pastry cream, fresh strawberries, glazed strawberries, nostalgic dessert, old fashioned pie, spring dessert, strawberry cream pie, summer dessert
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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Pamela
Pamela
19 days ago

I would love to prepare this in at least a 10-inch pie plate or something even a bit larger. Is there a way to calculate how to increase the ingredients for a large container?

Becky
Becky
15 days ago

Hi Heather: I’ve made chocolate crust a number of times without removing the filling from Oreos. Would that be way too sweet of a crust for this pie?