I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with a giant pie that is made up of chocolate and strawberries. Whether you’re eating it with that special someone, or you’re devouring it all by yourself on the couch binging on Real Housewives (I ain’t judging) it’s a win-win no matter how you slice it. Pun intended. And if you’re looking to impress, which I guess this is the holiday to try and impress the best you can, this is the dessert to make. The great part about it is that it’s completely easy to whip up. It doesn’t take much time at all, and outside of the crust taking a quick trip to the oven, it’s basically a no-bake dessert. You don’t need to be spending all day in the kitchen to make a sweet treat for your sweet. There are better things you can be doing with your time on this particular day. Let’s be honest. Pie meets cheesecake meets chocolate meets strawberries. There’s no turning back now, but why would you want to.
Let’s start by making the crust. It’s a simple down to Earth graham cracker crust. Nothing too fancy here. In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until evenly incorporated.
**Note: If you can’t find already ground up graham cracker crumbs at the store, then you can grind about 12 full sheets of graham crackers in a food processor until finely chopped.**
Pour the crumbs into a 9-inch pie dish and press onto the bottom and up the sides as evenly as possible. Bake until lightly golden brown around the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
**Tip: The best way to press the crumbs into the plate is to use the bottom of a metal measuring cup so you can evenly press them down and up the sides. **
Let’s turn our attention to the filling. First off, melt the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over very low heat, stirring often until melted through. Let cool completely. Then beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar on high until smooth and fluffy. Stir in the orange liqueur and vanilla extract. Add the cooled chocolate and stir until evenly combined.
Pour the chocolate filling into the baked and cooled pie crust, and smooth out as best you can. Cover with plastic and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
**Tip: The filling will come together best if the cream cheese is at room temperature. You’ll get lumps if the cream cheese is cold and lumpy cheesecake just doesn’t sound good.**
Once chilled, cover the top completely with fresh halved strawberries. You want the top completely covered so just pile them on top like there’s no tomorrow.
Because you eat with your eyes first, I like to brush the strawberries with warmed apricot jam. Warming the jam makes it thin and easier to brush the strawberries with it. This is completely optional, but I like the added shine and the added sweetness it gives the berries. It’s a little trick I learned from working at a bakery.
At this point you can slice the pie with a very sharp knife, or you can cover it loosely with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for up to 2 days. The strawberries will lose that shine the longer it sits in the fridge. Just keep that in mind.
If you want to prep this ahead of time, you can make the pie up to adding the filling and chilling the pie. Cover with plastic and keep it in the fridge until you plan on serving it. Just top the pie with the strawberries and brush with the jam right before you plan on serving the pie.
I like to serve the pie with a dollop of fresh sweetened whipped cream. To make the whipped cream topping, just whip heavy cream on high with a bit of powdered sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.
One thing to keep in mind is that you really do need a very sharp knife to slice this pie. The strawberries on top make it a little difficult to cut and serve if you don’t have that sharp knife. If you want to make it easier, you can slice the pie first and then top with the strawberries.
If you’re searching for the ultimate Valentine’s Day treat to bake up, this here pie is the one for you and your sweetheart. There’s chocolate and strawberries involved, so you really can’t ask for anything more. It really is the perfect pie because it’s actually super easy to whip up and basically no-bake. I mean you have to bake the pie crust sure, but it’s quick and rather painless. Get into it.
- 1¾ cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange liqueur
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 pounds fresh strawberries, stemmed and halved
- ¼ cup apricot jam, heated
- fresh whipped cream for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until evenly combined. Pour into a 9-inch pie plate and press onto the bottom and up the sides as even as possible. Bake until lightly golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat until smooth and melted through. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar on high until smooth. Stir in the orange liqueur, and vanilla extract. Add the melted chocolate and stir until evenly combined. Pour the filling into the baked and cooled crust, smoothing out into an even layer. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Cover the top of the pie completely with the halved strawberries, stacking them on top of each other. Brush the strawberries with the warmed apricot jam to make them shiny. Slice with a very sharp knife and serve. Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days. Enjoy!