Whole strawberries, glazed with a cooked strawberry sauce, conceal this pie's layer of fresh peaches on sweetened cream cheese. Jeanetta Angeletti recommends using ripe fruit that is really sweet and fragrant. The pastry shell must be at least 1 1/4 inches deep; most purchased frozen ones are too shallow to hold all the filling. And for a less rich dessert, use neufchâtel (light cream) cheese instead of cream cheese.
6 cups strawberries
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 baked 9-inch pastry shell
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 ripe peach (about 8 oz.)
How to Make It
Hull berries; rinse and drain. Set aside 4 cups of the prettiest berries to drain dry on towels.
Beat cream cheese with 1/4 cup sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Spread cheese mixture evenly over bottom of pastry shell.
In a blender or food processor, smoothly purée remaining berries with 1/2 cup water.
In a 1- to 2-quart pan, mix cornstarch and remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Add berry purée and stir over high heat until mixture boils and thickens, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
Peel and thinly slice peach, arranging slices on cheese filling. Set whole strawberries, tips up, on peaches. Spoon hot berry glaze over fruit to cover completely.
Chill pie until glaze is cool and set, at least 1 hour. If making ahead, cover when cold and chill up to 1 day. Cut into wedges.