In the heat of summer, we naturally crave fresh and juicy fruit. We want foods that are light and refreshing, like tall glasses of ice-cold lemonade or frosty fruit popsicles. Any kind of chilled or fruity dessert is ideal. It’s just like how we gravitate to warm and comforting dishes like soup in the dead of winter. Our body asks for the opposite of what the weather provides us in order to create an inner balance.
Ever since the first warm day arrived in CNY, my family has been clamoring for a light summer dessert. I can be very attached to chocolate, so it took a while for their requests to get through to me. I momentarily parted ways with my beloved chocolate desserts to whip up something that would appease my family’s fruity needs. They mentioned fruit pie, which is all fine and dandy, but I wanted something a bit more fun.
After a bit of brainstorming, my mind gave birth to these Mini Strawberry Mousse Pies. Besides being insanely adorable, they are the perfect summer dessert. I decided to miniaturize them because food is just so much more fun that way. There’s something to be said for having your own personal pie and not having to share.
My next twist on these tiny pies was a Golden Oreo cookie crust. Regular Oreos are a common crust component. In fact, Oreo cookie crusts may be my favorite kind of crust of all. So I figured, if you can make a crust out of original Oreos, then why not Golden Oreos? It worked out beautifully, creating a sweet vanilla-flavored crust that was delightfully golden and crisp.
The Golden Oreo crust was the perfect base to cradle the lusciously light and fluffy strawberry-mascarpone mousse. By combining pillowy fresh whipped cream with creamy mascarpone, you get a mousse that’s wonderfully light and airy yet rich and creamy at the same time. It’s just heavenly. I made the mousse with fresh ripe strawberries so you really get that wonderful, real flavor. No artificial stuff here! Plus, that slight tartness of the berries perfectly balances out the sweet Golden Oreo crust.
Since these pies are chilled, they are wonderfully refreshing on a hot day. Their mini size makes them great for parties and get-togethers. You can make them early in the day then store them in the fridge until you’re ready to dive in. Between their fresh fruit flavor, light filling, and beautiful pink color, these teeny-tiny pies are made for summertime.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- Like I mentioned above, I encourage doing this as a make-ahead dessert. The longer the pies chill, the better the flavors will infuse.
- These are quick and easy to make, so you have no excuse not to try them.
- If you’re not a pie person, you can serve the strawberry-mascarpone mousse in a glass. That stuff is certainly good enough to eat straight up with a spoon. In fact, my mother prefers it that way.
- You could do a Nilla wafer crust instead, although the Golden Oreo version is a refreshing new twist that I highly recommend.
- Top with fresh whipped cream to take these over the top.
- If you can’t find the mini cake pans I use, you could use ramekins instead.
- In order to make sure your whipped cream whips up quick, and especially since it’s warm out now that it’s summer, you should pop your mixing bowl into the freezer for a few minutes before whipping.
Mini Strawberry Mousse Pies with Golden Oreo Crusts
By The Smart Cookie Cook
Yield: 5 mini pies
- 24 Golden Oreo Cookies (I used Double Stuf)
- 4 tbsp. butter (1/2 stick), melted
- 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 12 strawberries with the leaves sliced off, plus 5 whole strawberries for garnish
- 2/3 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Special Equipment: 5 4.5-inch round cake pans or ramekins
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, crush the cookies until they resemble a fine crumb. Pour into a small mixing bowl with the melted butter and stir until well-combined. Distribute the mixture evenly among the 5 pans. Use your fingers to press the crumbs down into a thin, well-packed crust and form it to the shape of the pan. Bake crusts for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown. Set on wire racks to cool.
- While the crusts cool, make the filling. In a large mixing bowl (preferably one that has been chilled), beat the heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over-beat or you’ll have butter. Cover and store in fridge.
- Place the strawberries in a food processor and puree until completely smooth, about 5-10 minutes. Pour the juice into a mixing bowl with the mascarpone and vanilla extract and whisk until well-combined. Retrieve the whipped cream from the fridge and fold in the mascarpone-strawberry mixture just until well-combined. The mousse should be one color. Cover and store in fridge until pie crusts are completely cooled.
- To assemble the pies: Fill a large ziplock bag with the mousse, pushing it down to one corner of the bag. Snip off that corner to create a piping bag. Twist the top of the bag to seal the mousse in the bag then pipe into cooled crusts. Be generous; you have more than enough mousse. Piping is quicker, but if you don’t want to pipe the mousse, you can just spoon it into the crusts.
- Top pies with additional strawberries or whipped cream. Store in fridge until ready to eat. I recommend letting them chill at least 4 hours before serving. If you have leftover mousse, store in the fridge in an air-tight container.