I anticipate a barrage of ridicule for posting this recipe, even though those same people are among the most likely to make it because it’s easy, and they know it’s delicious. Shoney’s began almost 70 years ago as a Charleston, West Virginia drive-in, and over the next thirty years became one of the South’s most iconic restaurant franchises. Both the hot fudge cake and strawberry pie remain popular. While Shoney’s menu claims the pie is baked, only the pie shell is baked; the filling itself is cooked and cooled, the strawberries simply washed and hulled. The berries are whole in restaurant servings, but I think sliced is a more attractive (and palatable) option.
Combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with a cup of sugar and a half a package of strawberry gelatin. Mix in a cup of water and heat, stir until thick, and cool. Bake a 9-inch pie crust until lightly browned. Cool, blend strawberries into the gelatin, and spoon into pie shell. Refrigerate until the gelatin is firm. Garnish with whipped topping and chopped nuts.