I don’t know about you, but for me one of the biggest challenges in trying new recipes is finding any new-to-you ingredients that are required.  This pie is a perfect example.  It calls for Sure-Jell, which I now know is a fruit pectin used in canning.  If only I had bothered to Google it sooner, I would have known where to look for it.  But instead, thanks to the “Jell” in the name, I assumed it was a relative of Jell-O, and so I searched in that aisle over and over, hoping maybe, just maybe, this time it would be there.  That went on for two years.  This spring when I saw this fresh strawberry pie which also called for Sure-Jell, I knew it was time to find the stuff even if it meant ordering it.  But brief investigation led me to find that Sure-Jell had been there all along, just a few aisles away from where I had been looking.

Well, that made me feel like a total moron but I couldn’t feel sad for too long because I was able to make some awesome pies.  This pie starts with a butter and cream cheese-based pie crust that I have often heard referred to as a cheater or no-fail pie crust.  I don’t really think it’s all that much easier than a regular pie crust, but it was absolutely delicious and is certainly something I would use again if I had extra cream cheese in the fridge to use up.  The crust is filled first with a fruit layer, then a raspberry chiffon layer, and finally topped with pillows of freshly whipped cream before serving.  After waiting two years to try this pie, I can say that it was worth the wait and definitely lived up to my expectations.  The raspberries and cream flavor combination is light, fresh and fruity, and makes this an ideal dessert for summertime.

  • Yield 8-10 servings


For the crust:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened but still cool
2 oz. cream cheese, softened but still cool

For the fruit layer:
12 oz. frozen raspberries (2 cups)
3 tbsp. pectin (Sure-Jell original formula, in the yellow box)
1½ cups sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup fresh raspberries

For the chiffon layer:
3 tbsp. raspberry-flavored gelatin
3 tbsp. boiling water
3 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup heavy cream, chilled

For the topping:
¾ cup heavy cream, chilled
2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar


  • 01

    To make the pie crust, lightly oil a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.  Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth and well blended, about 2 minutes.  Mix in the dry ingredients on medium-low speed until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 20 seconds.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until large clumps of dough begin to form, about 30 seconds.  Reserve 3 tablespoons of the dough and set aside.

  • 02

    Gather the remaining dough into a ball and flatten into a 6-inch disc.  Transfer to the pie plate.  Using the heel of your hand, gently press the dough evenly over the bottom of the pie plate.  Using your fingertips, continue working the dough evenly until it covers the sides and bottom of the pie plate completely.  On a floured work surface, roll the reserved dough into a 12-inch long rope.  Split the rope into 3 equal pieces and roll each of these into an 8-inch rope.  Use the 3 8-inch ropes to edge the circumference of the pie plate and squeeze them together to join them at the ends.  Use your fingertips to mold a fluted edge.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

  • 03

    Preheat the oven to 325˚ F.  Prick the bottom of the crust evenly with the tines of a fork.  Bake until the crust is golden brown, 35-40 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • 04

    To make the fruit layer, add the frozen berries to a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to release their juices, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the pectin and bring to a full boil, stirring constantly.  Stir in the sugar and salt and return the mixture to a boil.  Cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.  Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much of the puree as possible.  Reserve 1/3 cup of the raspberry puree for use in the chiffon layer.  Gently fold the fresh raspberries into the remaining puree and spread the mixture in the bottom of the cooled pie crust in an even layer.

  • 05

    To make the chiffon layer, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water in a large bowl.  Add the cream cheese and the reserved raspberry puree and beat on high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Add the heavy cream and beat on medium low until incorporated, about 30 seconds.  Scrape down the bowl.  Beat on high speed until the mixture holds stiff peaks, about 2 minutes.  Pour over the fruit layer in the pie crust and smooth into an even layer with a spatula.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.

  • 06

    When ready to serve, whip the cream and confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.  Spread or pipe over the chilled pie.  Slice and serve.