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Italian Cream Pie with  Strawberry Sauce has 210 calories per slice. It was a finalist in the 2006 Pillsbury Bake-Off.
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Italian Cream Pie with Strawberry Sauce has 210 calories per slice. It was a finalist in the 2006 Pillsbury Bake-Off.

Splenda, skim milk make this pie a no-guilt indulgence

By Patrice Stewart
DAILY Staff Writer

pstewart@decaturdaily.com 340-2446

Looking for a lighter spring dessert?

This Italian Cream Pie with Strawberry Sauce may be the answer.

It's sure to please, whether you're trying to decide on a dessert to follow that Easter ham or looking for something low-fat to serve to a weight-conscious bridge or bunco group.

Because it's made with Splenda, it also may be suitable for diabetics in your family. It also includes skim milk, part-skim ricotta cheese, fat-free whipped topping and light, fat-free yogurt.

Jean Gottfried of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, created this pie and was one of 100 finalists chosen to compete in the recent Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando.

Her Italian Cream Pie with Strawberry Sauce received the $10,000 Splenda Pure Magic Award. This is a new category this year, and hers was judged the best recipe using at least 1/2 cup of Splenda Sugar Blend for Baking, which is a mix of Splenda brand sweetener and sugar.

Cooks can use just half a cup of this baking blend to replace a full cup of sugar. It allows baked goods to have the desired sweetness and texture while also browning and rising.

Splenda Sugar Blend for Baking can be found in grocery stores in a 2-pound resealable plastic bag that provides the sweetness of 4 pounds of sugar.

For more recipes and tips, check www.splenda.com.

Italian Cream Pie with Strawberry Sauce

Crust:

1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (from 15-ounce box), softened as directed on box

Filling:

1 cup skim (fat-free) milk

1 package unflavored gelatin

1/4 cup Splenda Sugar Blend for Baking

1 cups part-skim ricotta cheese (12 ounces)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup frozen (thawed) fat-free whipped topping

2 containers (6 ounces each) Yoplait Light Fat Free very vanilla yogurt

Strawberry Sauce:

1/4 cup Splenda Sugar Blend for Baking

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 bag (10 ounces) Cascadian Farm organic frozen whole strawberries, thawed

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Unroll pie crust; place in 8- or 9-inch springform pan, pressing crust up side of pan to top edge. (Do not overwork or let crust get too warm.) Prick bottom and side of crust with fork. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, place 1/2 cup of the milk. Sprinkle gelatin over milk; let stand 5 minutes to soften. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup milk and 1/4 cup Splenda. Cook on low heat, stirring frequently, until gelatin is completely dissolved (do not boil).

Pour milk mixture into blender. Add ricotta cheese and vanilla; cover and blend until pureed. Pour into large bowl; stir in whipped topping and yogurt.

Remove side of pan; remove crust from pan and place crust on serving plate.

To create collar for crust, wrap piece of string around outside of crust to measure; cut sheet of waxed paper length of string plus 3 inches. Fold waxed paper in half lengthwise; fold in half again. Wrap around outside of crust; staple collar together to secure around crust. Pour filling into cooled baked crust. Refrigerate until set, about 2 to 3 hours.

In 1-quart saucepan, mix 1/4 cup Splenda and the cornstarch. Stir in thawed strawberries. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice. Refrigerate until serving time.

To serve, remove waxed paper collar. Cut into wedges; place on individual dessert plates. Top servings with strawberry sauce. Store dessert and sauce in refrigerator.

Makes 12 servings, each with 210 calories (calories from fat 70); total fat 7g (saturated fat 3.5g, trans fat 0g); cholesterol 15mg; sodium 140mg; total carbohydrate 29g (dietary fiber 0g, sugars 17g); protein 6g.

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 other carbohydrate, 1 fat.

Carbohydrate choices: 2.

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