A pie that is as light as a cloud, and as sweet as a field of strawberries. We added a distinctly fresh flavour to this recipe by including basil, which makes it truly unique. Feel good about dessert this evening with Crystal, and enjoy the perfect pie for an evening in August.
Prep time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Freezing time: 4 hours
Yield: 10 servings
For the Crust:
- 300 g / 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 114 g / 1/2 cup Crystal margarine, melted
- 38 g / 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 5 ml / 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Strawberry Basil Mousse:
- 250 g / 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 60 ml / 1/4 cup
- 18 g / 1/2 cup packed basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 kg / 5 cups hulled and quartered fresh strawberries
- 2 g / 1/2 tsp agar agar powder
- 15 ml / 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 g / 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 400 ml (1 3/4 cup) can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
For the Crust:
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Mix all crust ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl. Press into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch (23 centimeter) pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely before filling.
For the Strawberry Basil Mousse
- In a small pot over medium heat, combine the sugar and 1/4 cup (60 millimetres) of water, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Add the basil leaves, cover and set aside for 30 minutes.
- Purée 3 1/2 cups (700 grams) of strawberries in a blender or food processor. Strain purée through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on the solids with a rubber spatula to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids.
- Chop the remaining 1 1/2 (300 grams) cups of strawberries into 1/2 inch (13 millimetre) pieces. Set aside.
- Place strawberry purée and lemon juice in a medium pot and bring to a gentle boil for 6 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the agar agar and continue boiling another 6 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Transfer the hot strawberry purée to a large bowl and set aside.
- Strain the basil leaves out of the syrup. Place the syrup over medium heat and boil until the temperature reaches 245°F (118°C) on an instant read thermometer; 6 – 8 minutes.
- While the syrup is boiling, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed until they form soft peaks; about 4 minutes. If the egg whites form soft peaks before syrup reaches 245°F (118°C), reduce mixer speed to the lowest until syrup is ready.
- Turn mixer to medium-low and carefully begin pouring the hot syrup into the egg whites. Pour close to the side of the bowl so that the syrup hits the whisk attachment as little as possible.
- Once all the syrup is incorporated, increase speed to medium-high and whip until the meringue has cooled to room temperature; about 15 minutes.
- Whisk a spoonful of the meringue into the strawberry puree to lighten it. Fold in the remainder of the meringue in 3 additions.
- Carefully open the chilled can of coconut milk, without shaking or tipping the can. Spoon the coconut cream that has risen to the top into a chilled bowl, leaving behind the liquid in the bottom of the can.
- Whip the coconut cream to firm peaks, 2 – 3 minutes. Fold the coconut cream into the strawberry meringue mixture in 3 additions. Fold in the chopped strawberries.
- Pour mousse into the crust and garnish with remaining strawberry slices.
- Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours. Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving.
- For perfect slices every time, have a tall glass of hot water and clean cloth ready. Dip your knife into the water for a few seconds, dry with cloth and slowly cut a slice. Repeat warming and drying between each slice.
- For a chocolately kick to this recipe, change out the graham cracker crumbs for chocolate cookie crumbs.