Feast your eyes on a beautiful no-bake dessert to kick off the summer – Super Simple Fresh Strawberry Pie – gluten free, and just as delightful to taste as it is to see!
It’s so pretty…that rich strawberry red color all layered up. So vibrant. And the flavor? Bursting like no other!
Making this pie might just be the best way to showcase the brightest taste of one of summer’s best fruits (outside of making homemade freezer strawberry jam)!
And the simplicity of this vintage dessert just begs you to make it. So get yourself some strawberries and let’s eat pie! 😋
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There’s nothing like fresh ripe strawberries at the start of summer – firm and juicy sweet.
I remember gathering little buckets of bright red strawberries from our family’s garden in late spring/early summer as a kid. We also would often purchase even more strawberries from the local “ Log Cabin,” a market back home overflowing with local fresh produce and plants.
My mom would always make homemade freezer strawberry jam and macerated strawberries to adorn a bowl of cereal in the morning or for homemade ice cream later in the day. And a beautiful fresh strawberry pie would join the summer menu with all our fresh pickings, too.
My mom is pretty sure that her recipe for strawberry pie came from her mom, my grandma Letha. She remembers eating this delicious pie as a kid. But mom is sure that it was not a recipe handed down from my great grandma.
She thinks that my Grandma likely got the recipe from a friend – perhaps from another member in the club she was in: The Stafford Township Home Demonstration Club.
JUMP TO Recipe Topics!
Home Demonstration Clubs and Recipes
Extension service agents taught generations of farm women (and later also city women) skills that helped families persevere during the traumatic years of drought, the World Wars, the Great Depression, and beyond.
The program goal was to empower rural families to improve their own living conditions through increased knowledge and better methodology applicable to everyday life.
Agents provided information through their ties with land-grant universities to women of rural communities on topics such as home poultry production, gardening, cooking, and canning for better nutrition, sewing and furniture refinishing, and home nursing.
As described in cookbooks handed down by both my grandmothers, these home demonstration clubs also worked to strengthen “the economic, cultural, and spiritual ties” within their communities, often participating in both social and charitable events.
The Home Demonstration Club Cook Books became a part of that community enrichment.
”This book is dedicated to the Modern Home. In our Home today, as always, life is centered around our Kitchens.”-Home Demonstration Club Cook Book of DeKalb County, Indiana. (date unknown).
The kitchen is still the hub of the home for many today. Some things really don’t change.
Home Demonstration Club Recipes
The above quote drove the sharing of recipes within their clubs and in the production and publication of many Home Demonstration Club Cook Books. I am lucky to have three, which were given to me by both my grandmothers. 😊
Recipes submitted for the cook books were considered treasured gems. Many were tried and tested by those who submitted them; others were newly discovered favorites.
Some recipes were originals, while others were handed down from mother (or father) to daughter or from friend to friend.
I marvel at some of the recipes within these old cookbooks. The ingredients used, the cooking equipment used, how recipes were written – it’s all very interesting!
- I have to chuckle when I read estimated ingredients written as “melted butter (size of walnut),” or when a recipe calls for “top milk,” (which is the upper layer of milk rich with cream that has risen to the top)…people just don’t talk that way anymore.
- And tips like “an egg beater is convenient to use” to mix cookie dough. 🤔
- That might seem odd for those who automatically think of the liquid egg product from a carton when they read “egg beater.”
- But wait! Use an egg beater to manually mix? That’s not very “convenient” when I can just plug in my hand mixer or use my KitchenAid stand mixer for larger batches.
- There’s a sugar cookie recipe in one of these cookbooks that provides VERY little mixing instructions, too. To top it off, it ends the instructions with “roll out on board and cut in any size or shape you prefer. Bake in a hot oven.”
- That cookie recipe leaves more questions than baked cookies in my opinion.
- How thin should these cookies be?
- Do I need a greased cookie sheet?
- What is considered a hot oven and for how long should they bake?
- That cookie recipe leaves more questions than baked cookies in my opinion.
I guess more people baked and cooked back then and just knew how to do things.
WHY do I bring up all this talk about the Home Demonstration Clubs and their recipes?
Because it’s part of my history…and perhaps a part of yours.
Maybe I’m a little nostalgic. Maybe I wonder what it would have been like to live and walk in my grandmothers’ shoes in those days. To cook with what little they had and for so many.
The truth is, the family recipe handed down to me that inspired my Super Simple Fresh Strawberry Pie was NOT found in one of these treasured cookbooks 🙀.
It is likely, however, that I have this recipe passed down from my grandmother because of the women who were part of the Home Demonstration Clubs.
In my usual dietitian fashion, I did identify a few ways to tweak my family’s vintage strawberry pie recipe to improve the nutritional profile a bit. And with zero compromise in taste, texture, or quality!
Oh! And I had to make it gluten free, too.
What Do I Need to Make Easy Gluten Free Strawberry Pie?
For complete step-by-step instructions to make my classic Fresh Strawberry Pie gluten free, see the recipe card below.
I’ve compiled a list of the ingredients and kitchen tools you’ll need to make this beautiful dessert.
Ingredients in Fresh Strawberry Pie
- Granulated Sugar – to intensify the flavor and natural sweetness of the delectable berries in this pie but also to add body to the pie glaze
- Cornstarch – to thicken the glaze that surrounds the strawberries
- Water – the liquid medium needed to help form the pie glaze
- Agave Nectar – just a small amount adds a touch of natural sweetness and helps to prevent sugar crystals from forming, ensuring a smooth glaze texture.
- Light corn syrup would be a suitable alternative (and used in the original family recipe handed down to me).
- Sugar Free Strawberry Gelatin Powder – a small amount adds color, and some added sweetness, but also aids to thicken the glaze a bit more.
- Alternatively, 3 Tbsp regular strawberry gelatin powder could be used.
- For a vegan alternative, see FAQ below!
- Strawberry or Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar – add vinegar to pie? YES! While this is listed as “optional,” this one addition to my family recipe creates a brighter, more intense, more divine strawberry flavor! A small amount goes a long way.
- My favorite is found back home at Olive Twist!
- Strawberries – The beautiful red stars of the show! 🍓You’ll need to wash and pat dry about 1 heaping quart.
- NOTE: Have extra for snacking!
- Deep Dish Gluten Free Pie Shell – it’s what makes the pie a pie. Some prefer a homemade pie shell, others prefer something quick and pre-made.
- To make this pie quickly, I thaw and pre-bake a frozen Wholly Wholesome gluten free pie shell according to package directions before filling it with my strawberry filling.
- Read more about gluten free pie shell options in the section below entitled, “Homemade vs. Store Bought Crust.”
Wait – Is Gelatin Gluten Free?
The ingredients in gelatin are typically all gluten free. This is true for both varieties of regular and sugar-free gelatin.
But most store brands and even mainstream gelatin brands, such as Jell-O, are not labeled as gluten free. However, they do not contain gluten or wheat-containing ingredients, nor is wheat listed as an allergen on the label.
The source, Celiac.com, has not heard complaints from their audience about Jell-O brand gelatin. As such I consider it a safe product to use on the gluten free diet.
If you feel safer using a product that is labeled gluten free, I suggest using Simply Delish Natural Strawberry Jel Dessert. It is clearly labeled as gluten free and also happens to be gelatin-free; as such it is also vegan if that is important to you!
Equipment Used to Make Strawberry Pie
- Small Saucepan – to cook the strawberry glaze mixture. Here I used a 1½ quart saucepan.
- Long-handled Spoon – to combine and stir the strawberry glaze mixture as it cooks
- Paring Knife – to remove strawberry stems and to slice berries in half as needed for the pie
- Small Rubber Spatula – to scrape out all of the homemade strawberry glaze from the saucepan into the pie!
Best Bowl of Strawberries for Best Fresh Pie Results
Red. Ripe. Firm. Plump – but Not Too Big.
Ripe red strawberries that are bright and even shiny are the best for a beautiful strawberry pie.
It is especially important that strawberries used in this no-bake strawberry pie are firm and not soft, either. Softer strawberries are not as fresh and higher in water content, which could result in a less tasty, watery pie.
Size matters too. Ideally, each strawberry piece placed into the pie is bite size. If your strawberries are already bite size, there is no need to halve them!
And the less strawberries you need to halve, the better. Once fruit is cut, juice will seep out, which can lead to a wet pie if it is not eaten the first day it is cut.
U Pick Strawberries Near Me
If you don’t have your own glorious perennial strawberry patch, consider buying fresh strawberries at your local farmer’s market for this perfect summertime treat.
Or find local strawberry farms where growers allow you to pick your own!
- Google “U pick strawberries near me.”
- Refer to pickyourown.org to find local listings and crop calendars for produce you can pick!
Best Crust for Gluten Free Fresh Strawberry Pie
Graham cracker crust? Nut-based crust? Classic flaky pie crust? A basic shortcrust pastry?
It’s entirely up to you! But for this recipe, my taste buds ask directly for the classic flaky pie crust. The quick one.
Homemade vs. Store Bought Crust
I remember once talking to my sweet neighbor about this pie crust she had just made for a fruit pie. She was not the proclaimed cook of the house (her husband was quite the gourmet cook) and she was pretty impressed with how well her pie crust came out. 🙌🏼
Her husband showered her with accolades for her tremendous pie, which just made her shine that much more.
But, I remember feeling puzzled, “What’s the big deal?” I really felt bad that I couldn’t share in her joy…I mean I LOVE pie, but…she’s just talking about the crust.
Our food preferences are shaped by many many forces. And some people just swoon over the pie crust part of the pie.
Me? I honestly pay more attention to what’s INSIDE the pie when I eat it.
That’s probably because I grew up enjoying my mom’s pie, usually made with Pillsbury frozen Deep Dish Pie Crust.
Or – maybe it’s because it can take such a long time to make pie sometimes. And then to have to make your own pie crust on top of everything else? That can just take the fun out of making pie. And I just want to get to EATING pie.
Use a Store Bought Crust to Make Super Simple Fresh Strawberry Pie Gluten Free!
So, I often purchase frozen unbaked pie crust to make pie. But if you prefer to make your own gluten free pie crust and have a good recipe – then by all means, make that for this Fresh Strawberry Pie!
So far, the most available gluten free pie shells I find at my local grocery stores are made by Wholly Wholesome. And we like them since they taste very much like regular pie crust. It’s vegan, too, if that is important to you!
When I am not pressed for time and have all my ducks in a row, I may make a crust from a mix, like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pie Crust Mix. It’s very good!
Whichever crust you choose to hold this luscious strawberry pie filling is up to you. Just make sure you bake it as instructed on the label or in the recipe so that it is cooled and ready when you need it!
How To Make Fresh Gluten Free Strawberry Pie
- Bake gluten free pie crust according to package or recipe directions; allow to cool completely.
- Combine sugar and cornstarch with water and agave nectar in a saucepan; bring it to a boil until it thickens and becomes clear.
- Remove saucepan from heat; stir in gelatin powder and berry balsamic. Cool in ice-water bath.
- Remove stems from strawberries and glaze the bottom of baked & cooled pie shell.
- Cut berries in half and arrange in glazed pie shell.
- Pour cooled glaze over berries and chill for 3-4 hours.
NOTE: The numbered steps above correspond to the numbered strawberry pie process pictures shown below.
After chilling, cut pie into slices and serve topped with a dollop of whipped topping or whipped cream!
The Nutrition Benefits of Gluten Free Strawberry Pie
Pie with nutrition benefits? YES! 🤩
Anytime you can make a dessert with fresh fruit – that’s a GREAT start to a winning recipe!
The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends us to build a healthy routine. One way to do that is by choosing a mix of healthy foods every single day, like including whole fruits – like berries!
Like many types of fruit, strawberries are a low-calorie food and are virtually free from:
The USDA recommends that adults consume about 1 ½ – 2 ½ cups of fruit each day. So, why not make Strawberry Pie to help with your fruit intake?
Did you know?
One cup of whole strawberries contains more vitamin C than one medium orange!
As mentioned in my Gluten Free Tomato Soup recipe, diets rich in antioxidants can help increase antioxidant levels in your blood, positioning your body to better fight unstable molecules called free radicals, which can build up through normal body processes.
Free radicals can damage your body cells, causing oxidative stress, which increases your risk for chronic disease.
So eating strawberry pie (among other antioxidant-rich foods) can produce higher antioxidant blood levels. This in turn, can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer! ♡
I can’t resist finding ways to add more healthy fruit-based desserts to the lives of those around me!
Each Slice of Gluten Free Strawberry Pie Provides:
- 3 ounces of strawberries (about ⅔ cup)
- 250 calories and 2 grams of fiber
- 5 grams total fat with only 2 grams as saturated fat
- 0 mg cholesterol and 0 grams trans fat
- only 133 mg sodium
- 132 mg potassium
Recipe FAQ for Super Simple Fresh Strawberry Pie
Here are some common questions you may ask as you prepare this recipe:
No, unfortunately using frozen strawberries would result in a runny pie with shrunken-looking berries, leading to a soggy crust and quite frankly, not fresh-looking or fresh-tasting.
YES, arrowroot starch or powder can be substituted 1:1 for cornstarch in this pie recipe.
-While arrowroot powder is mild and flavorless like cornstarch and behaves much like cornstarch in its ability to thicken, that power does not appear to hold well over time if it is cooked too long.
-Combine arrowroot powder with a small amount of cool water and whisk into the hot glaze just before it comes to a boil (instead of combining it with the sugar in step #2 in the recipe card below).
YES! Simply substitute the entire amount of granulated sugar with Stevia in the Raw zero-calorie sweetener and make sure you use sugar-free strawberry gelatin powder as listed in my recipe. Voila!
-Substituting sugar completely will drop the total sugar content to just 4-5 grams of sugar per serving – all natural sugar from the strawberries!
YES! Most of the ingredients are vegan already. You only need to swap out one ingredient and make sure that the crust is vegan.
-Swap out strawberry gelatin powder for an equal amount of Simply Delish Natural Strawberry Jel Dessert
-Ensure that your pie crust is not made with animal byproducts. I like to use Wholly Wholesome gluten free pie shells which are clearly labeled vegan.
Refrigerate Uncovered and Try Not to Cut It Until Ready to Serve.
Chill in the Refrigerator uncovered if possible, and keep it away from strong-smelling foods.
To prevent a soggy pie, do not cut until ready to serve, and slice through only what will be eaten if possible.
-Once the pie is cut, moisture from the berries will be released at a fast rate.
-To keep pie crust from getting soggy, do NOT lay the pie flat in the refrigerator. Place a folded up paper towel under the portion of the pie plate that still contains pie so that juices can flow to the empty side of the pie plate. Dab pie plate dry with paper towel as needed.
Two to three days if storage recommendations listed in the above storage question (and in the Recipe Notes of the recipe card) are followed as directed.
No, this pie will not freeze well. If frozen, it would thaw out into a goopy mess.
Of course! Since strawberry pie is already sweet, an off-dry or medium-dry wine would likely go best.🍷
-Consider pairing this pie with a chilled glass of Gewürztraminer or drier Riesling. I would also entertain this pie with a cold glass of Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc outside on a hot summer day.
-For red wine lovers, a glass of fruity Pinot Noir or chilled Rosé would be a tasty way to go!
Super Simple Fresh Strawberry Pie (Gluten Free)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 2 Tbsp agave nectar or light corn syrup
- 1 tsp sugar free strawberry gelatin powder or 3 Tbsp regular strawberry gelatin powder
- 1 tsp strawberry or raspberry balsamic vinegar (optional)
- 1 1/2 pounds washed strawberries about 1 heaping quart
- 1 deep dish gluten free pie shell thawed if frozen
- Preheat oven according to pie shell instructions and bake as directed. When done, remove pie shell from oven, transfer to a cooling rack, and allow to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, combine granulated sugar and cornstarch in a 1 1/2-quart saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat and add water and agave nectar, stirring to combine. While stirring nearly constantly for about 4 minutes, bring mixture to a boil, allowing it to thicken and become clear.
- Remove saucepan from heat and stir in strawberry gelatin powder and berry balsamic vinegar (if using). Allow to cool completely; transfer saucepan to an ice-water bath and stir occasionally to expedite cooling to at least room temperature.
- While glaze cools, remove stems from strawberries and set aside.
- Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of cooled glaze into baked pie shell; spread with the back of the spoon to glaze the entire bottom of the pie shell.
- Slice berries in half from stem to tip (or keep whole if small) and place berries* in prepared pie shell. Pour glaze over berries and chill for at least 3-4 hours uncovered before cutting.
- Serve with whipped topping or whipped cream. Keep remaining pie in refrigerator uncovered if possible; best if consumed* within 2-3 days*.
Your Own Notes
Enjoy eating this fruit pie! When you make this easy Fresh Gluten Free Strawberry Pie recipe, please consider leaving a recipe rating and comment below! 😊
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