Strawberry Shortcake Pie, Gluten Free

Ages half a century  ago my family made a cross-country sojourn in the old Ford. Six people packed into a non-air-conditioned car traveling thousands of miles in the middle of summer made for a memorable time.  Three of them were stinky giant-sized teenage boys plus one chatty little 4-year-old girl (me).  I can’t remember any warm fuzzy memories except the traumatic one where we lose one of my smelly brothers somewhere on a mountain in Colorado. Fortunately we found him again evidenced by his bar mitzvah photo the next fall.

Thirty years later, determined to subvert ancient history, we piled our own two tween-age girls into the tiny back seat of an air-conditioned Subaru station wagon and took off west from Vermont to San Francisco.

Road food would rule on interstate 80. Think Route 66, but not nearly as awesome. Also not awesome were the two sullen tweens and their battery-eating Walkmans that killed the glamour of the road trip more quickly than running out of Dunkin Donuts. The Misses Bickersons argued constantly. The oldest had just declared herself a vegetarian. The youngest had yet to realize that food came in more than the Gulp versions or that 7-11 was not owned by the government nor located at every intersection no matter how many times she asked.

In an old keepsake box is the evidence: rules ratified and signed in the very first miles of the trip between the warring Bickersons. On it are classics – no spitting, burping or other gross bodily functions. No flapping lips unless it is your designated talking minute. No touching one another’s side of the (compact) back seat. No slurping drinks (my rule) and no singing aloud with the Walkman. The best rule? No talking until 7 a.m.

Aside from the gallons of really bad coffee we guzzled, almost 786 versions of tired American pie dotted the road-food landscape. Thankfully, there was an alternative. Since it was late June there was also strawberry shortcake. The only thing all of us agreed on when we stopped to eat was that strawberry shortcake was the best thing about the road trip.

The tweens are now all grown up.  The Walkman is long gone, replaced by the iPod — which magically plugs into the car. Sometimes change is a good thing, just as long as no one messes with strawberry shortcake.  Or strawberry shortcake with a spin – strawberry shortcake pie.

These are incredibly easy to make. Use this 3-2-1 easy pie crust recipe here or find another GF pie crust that makes you happy.  You will want them to fit in tiny tart pans or if you really want to share, you can make it in a large pie pan.

Strawberry Shortcake Pie, Gluten Free
Serves: 4-6
  • one batch 3-2-1 GF pie crust (see link) or other favorite GF pie crust
  • 2 pints of very ripe strawberries
  • 1 pint of heavy whipping cream
  • 3-4 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon Grand Marnier
  1. Place pie crusts into 4-6 tart shells or other small single serving pie plates (save leftover pie crust in the freezer). Blind bake according to pie crust recipe directions. Cool thoroughly.
  2. Clean and slice most of the berries into quarters. Optional - sprinkle one tablespoon sugar over the berries and let sit for about 15 minutes.
  3. Whip cream with 3 tablespoons of sugar and the flavorings until it holds peaks. Place a little whipped cream in the bottom of the shell. Add some berries. Add more whipped cream (optional, but quite good). Decorate with fancy-schmancy* berries if you like. Serve immediately and swoon.
*Fancy-schmancy berries can be made by slicing off the green thingy. Then standing the berry on it's newly flat bottom, make very thin slices down toward the bottom without cutting all the way through. Using the bottom as a stand, fan the thin slices out a bit. You've just made a pretty little fancy schmancy looking fan from a fat little strawberry. Place on top of the whipped cream and wait for people to bow to your cleverness.

  a berry heart


  1. Looks healthy and delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe. Deserves a try.

  2. Beautiful pictures! Great narrative about the different generations & road trips!

  3. Such a love;y strawberry shortcake & the fact that it is gluten free makes it even more fabulous!

  4. Those look great! And your crust looks fantastic!