Homemade Strawberry Pie Filling is easy to make using frozen strawberries! This allows you to enjoy the fresh flavors of summer all year round! Frozen berries and a few simple ingredients are all that you need to make this delicious dessert that can be enjoyed as a simple strawberry pie or as a topping on ice cream and cheesecakes!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
Peak Strawberry Flavor Any Time: Commercial strawberries are usually frozen at their peak in flavor and freshness! And if you have lots of fresh strawberries in your garden you can freeze them right after harvesting, then enjoy fruit pies even after the strawberry season has passed.
If you have ripe strawberries that you need to freeze, follow these simple steps!
No Jello - This strawberry filling uses pantry ingredients and frozen strawberries, so you don't need any Jell-O!
No Thawing Required - Just throw your frozen strawberries right into the pan. There is no need to thaw them!
How to Thicken Strawberry Filling
Cornstarch: This recipe uses cornstarch to thicken the pie filling because it is a staple ingredient that is easy to find. Juices are released from the sweet strawberries as they cook on the stovetop and those juices mix with the cornstarch and thicken into a filling. Cook the filling until it has thickened to your liking.
Tapioca: If you have quick-cooking tapioca on hand then you can use that instead of cornstarch. It is an equal substitution. When using tapioca, I recommend cooking the sugar, strawberries, and lemon juice on the stovetop for 5-10 minutes and then stirring in the tapioca. Allow the filling to set for at least 15 minutes before pouring it into your pie shell.
Flour: I do not recommend using flour as a thickening agent in this recipe. Because strawberries are so juicy they need a more powerful thickener and flour could make your filling pasty.
Strawberries: You can use store-bought frozen strawberries or strawberries from your freezer. I quartered my strawberries but sliced and whole work just as well. Use fruit that has been frozen at its peak and save the overripe strawberries for use in smoothies and muffins, where there are additional ingredients to add flavor.
Sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens the pie. For a little bit of a different flavor you can use half white sugar and have light brown sugar.
Cornstarch: Make sure to check the expiration date on your cornstarch, as expired cornstarch will not thicken properly. You can also use an equal amount of quick-cooking tapioca instead of cornstarch.
Lemon Juice: Lemon juice adds a touch of acidity, which helps round out the flavors of this filling. Orange juice or lime juice could also be used.
Vanilla Extract: This gives a nice depth of flavor to the recipe.
Pie Crust: You can pick up a crust at the grocery store or make your own homemade pie crust. This all-butter pie dough is my favorite flaky pie crust recipe!
Step One: Mix Dry Ingredients
- Stir a cup of sugar with the cornstarch. This is a very important step that helps prevent the cornstarch from clumping.
Step Two: Cook Filling
- Add the strawberries to a large saucepan or stock pot. Pour the lemon juice, vanilla extract, and sugar mixture over the top.
- Cook on low for 3 minutes to soften the fruit and create some strawberry juice. These juices will help keep the strawberries from burning when you increase the temperature.
- Then turn up to medium heat and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
Step Three: Cool
- Allow the filling to cool for about an hour.
- Once the filling has cooled, you can pour it into a pre-made crust and refrigerate until ready to serve. If you want a no-bake strawberry pie then you can pour the cooled filling into a store-bought graham cracker crust.
- Top with whipped cream before serving.
- You can also transfer it to jars if you plan to use this as a topping.
Ways to Use Pie Filling
This recipe is not just for pies! Here are some other ways to use it:
- Ice cream Topping
- On Cheesecake
- Strawberry Shortcake
- Stir into yogurt
- Add into overnight oats
You can follow these same instructions for making a strawberry rhubarb pie. Just replace 2 cups of strawberries with diced rhubarb. You could also add blueberries, raspberries, or cherries.
Cover leftover pie with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Yes, for a fresh strawberry pie simply mix all of the ingredients except for the strawberries with 1 cup of boiling water. Add ¼ cup of chopped strawberries and simmer until the mixture has thickened. Then fold in the fresh fruit and cool the mixture before transferring it into a baked pie shell.
Yes, the filling is cooked on the stovetop instead of the oven, so you do need to use a fully baked crust.
Make sure that your cornstarch is not expired, as expired cornstarch will not thicken properly. If you are using fresh cornstarch and it still seems to be too liquidy then you can mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of water and add it to the pan. If the mixture ends up too thick then add a tablespoon of water at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
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Strawberry Pie FillingRecipe by:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 6 cups frozen strawberries
- 1 teaspoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a small bowl, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together.
- Place the frozen strawberries, sugar and cornstarch mixture, lemon juice, and vanilla extract in a large saucepan. Cook on medium-low heat for 3 minutes.
- Increase to medium heat and cook until the mixture has thickened, about 15-20 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes.
- Remove from heat and cool for 1 hour. Pour into a fully baked pie shell and refrigerate until ready to serve.