On any given spring day, I would normally advocate for eating fruit as-is. Especially strawberries — they are so sweet and pretty to begin with… so why mess with that?
On the other hand, strawberries were my favorite fruit growing up. I ate strawberry-flavored everything. Ice cream, frosting, cupcakes, you name it. It didn’t matter if they were real or artificial. I loved the flavor, and I loved that they turned everything pink.
Can you blame me?
I’ve gone through a transition over time, as we all have. I not only want to fit into my clothes, but I’ve wanted to eat more healthily. Fruit has enough sugar, right?
Well, on this Sunday Funday, we’re just going to take strawberries to the next level.
I found this recipe on Pinterest a while back, and I’ve been itching to make it ever since. I found that there was not nearly enough crumbles to make both the bottom and the top crusts, so I’ve doubled those measurements here.
Strawberries & Cream Icebox Bars, via Pip & Ebby
1/2 cup pecans, toaste
8 whole gram crackers, broken into pieces
1 cup butter, melted
2 cup flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream
Juice from 1 lemon
4 oz. cream cheese
2 cups diced strawberries
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, combine the pecans and graham crackers. Pulse-grind until uniformly mixed in a pretty, crumbly mix. Then, transfer to a large mixing bowl with the melted butter, flour and brown sugar. Mix with a fork, and spread out onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Pat down with your fingers to make one giant cookie (you’ll be crumbling this later). Try to keep it about 1/4 to 1/2-an inch thick.
Bake for 15 minutes, and remove to cool. Crumble into a bowl.
In your stand mixer, beat the egg whites until you have soft peaks. Then, gradually add the sugar and heavy cream. Beat for another 4 minutes, until the mixture is light. Beat in the lemon juice and cream cheese until evenly mixed, and then fold in the strawberries.
Line a 9×13 cake pan with parchment paper. Spread half of your cookie crumbles into the pan, coating the surface evenly. Then, pour your strawberries and cream mixture on top of the crust, using a spatula to spread the cream all the way to the edges. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the top, coating the cream entirely.
Let freeze for AT LEAST four hours, but preferably overnight. When fully frozen, slice with a very sharp knife, and wrap individually with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Distribute to your friends on a pretty spring day.