Remember that strawberry-pretzel salad that showed up at every church supper? We’ve turned it into your new favorite pie with a salty-sweet pretzel crust and added zip from rhubarb. We all love our classic desserts, but sometimes it is fun to change them up a bit and create something new. The frozen strawberries used in the traditional recipe are fine if it is the middle of winter but, since plump, fresh berries available at the Farmers’ Market, we thought they would make a delicious change to this pie.
1 1/2 cups finely crushed pretzel sticks
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups water
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
8 ounces fresh or frozen rhubarb, cut into 1⁄2-inch-thick slices (about 1 cup)
3 tablespoons strawberry jam
2 cups sliced strawberries
How to Make It
Prepare the Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together crushed pretzels, light brown sugar, and melted butter in a small bowl. Firmly press crumb mixture on bottom, up sides, and onto lip of a lightly greased 9-inch pie pan. Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned, about 14 minutes. Remove pan to a wire rack, and cool completely, about 1 hour.
Prepare the Filling: Beat softened cream cheese, vanilla, and 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar with an electric mixer on low speed until sugar dissolves and mixture is completely smooth; set aside. Beat cream at high speed using whisk attachment until medium-soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Stir whipped cream into cream cheese mixture until fully incorporated. Spread into crust. Cover and chill 2 hours or overnight.
Prepare the Topping: Combine water and 6 tablespoons granulated sugar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over high. Remove pan from heat. Add rhubarb slices; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Drain rhubarb; cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Microwave jam in a microwave-safe bowl on HIGH until hot, about 20 seconds. Add strawberries, and gently stir to coat. Add rhubarb slices, and gently stir to coat. Top pie with fruit, and serve.