1 baked pie crust (completely cooled)
8 ounce package cream cheese, softened (1 block)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (divided)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Zest from 1/2 lemon (optional)
2 pounds strawberries (washed, hulled and dried)
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 ounce package strawberry gelatin
Combine the cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar in a large bowl. Beat until smooth. Add the whipping cream and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until a peak forms. Add freshly grated lemon zest if desired. Spread onto the bottom of the cooled pie crust.
Place the strawberries on top of the cream cheese layer. I like to layer two rows of sliced strawberries and one row of whole strawberries, however you could add all sliced to make it easier.
In a small sauce pan, heat the water, sugar and cornstarch over medium heat. Stir constantly. Once it has come to a boil, cook an additional 1-2 minutes, or until it has become clear and thick. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin. Stir for one minute, or until the gelatin has dissolved. Allow to cool slightly (about 5-10 minutes), then pour evenly over the top of the strawberries, making sure they all get coated with the glaze.
Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours, or until it has set. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Slice and enjoy!