Strawberry apple pie may not be the first fruit combination you think of for pie. But I promise you’ll be dreaming about strawberries and apples a lot once you’ve tasted it. That’s because strawberries provide depth of sweetness and color you can’t get from apples alone.
The original strawberry apple pie recipe was inspired by my unsweetened strawberry applesauce. Now this is the most asked for pie in my house.
Pie crust inspiration
I credit Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Pie and Pastry Bible and her flaky cream cheese pie crust for my level of comfort with pie crust. If you find pie crust challenging, please try making my pie crust recipe at least once (on a not-so-hot day, if you can!). This cream cheese crust recipe is adapted, with minor changes, from hers.
Tips and tricks
Cake flour vs. all-purpose flour
Cake flour is used in this recipe to reduce the amount of gluten. Unlike bread, you don’t want gluten development in pie crust. That’s why you treat pastry more gently than bread.
You can definitely make this crust with all purpose flour, but it will be a bit less tender. Or you can make your own low-gluten flour (see Tip below).
Tip from the wise quacker: if you don’t have cake flour, make your own with 7/8th of a cup (a cup minus two tablespoons) of all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons of cornstarch for every cup of cake flour in a recipe.
Making the pie crust
You can make pie crust by hand or use a mixer or food processor. Cut cold cream cheese into the flour mixture (Panel #1 below) and then add the butter cubes (Panel #2).
Cut the butter cubes in until they are about the size of your thumbnail (Panel #3 above). Having small butter pieces in your pastry will give it a lighter, flakier texture. Add the cream and vinegar and mix the dough until it just starts to come together when pinched between your fingers (Panel #4).
Divide the pie crust mixture for the bottom and top crusts into two small metal bowls. Or use clean gallon-sized plastic bags if your hands are very warm.
This recipe gets divided into 360 grams (a little more than half) for the bottom crust and 270 grams for the top crust. If you want to make a complicated lattice or be sure to have extra pie dough for pie crust cookies, use the “lots of lattice” formula you can find in this post for mini pie crust shells.
Work the mixture together gently with your hands, pushing the dough together just until it holds together. Don’t knead your pie crust!
Flatten the pie crust into disks about an inch think and wrap them separately in plastic wrap. Now let the pie crust chill and rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to three days. You can also prepare pie dough well in advance and freeze it, double wrapped in plastic wrap, for three to six months.
Preparing apples for apple pie
The best apples for apple pies will vary depending on your location. I was so confused when I moved out to Seattle that I couldn’t get the same pie apples as I could on the East Coast.
The principles for the best apple pie apples hold for wherever you are in the world. Pick two or three apple varieties that are local to you and actually taste of apple. I personally avoid tart apples like Granny Smith or Pink Lady apples. And skip anything that has “delicious” in its name, because they just turn to mush.
If you have very crisp apples, parbake them and allow them to cool before making your pie. This ensures that your apples are tender in the final pie. You can freeze parbaked apples for future pies.
Preparing strawberries for pie
Use fresh, ripe strawberries if they are in season. Frozen strawberries also work perfectly when its not strawberry season.
The trick to hulling a strawberry is to remove the leaves first by grabbing and pulling them off. Then use the tip of a paring knife to work your way around the core. Easy!
Rolling the crust and filling the pie
One of the challenges to double crust fruit pies is soggy bottom. If you butter your pie pan before rolling out your dough, you can get a crisp bottom crust. It also helps to bake the pie on a heated pizzaastone.
Once you’ve buttered the pie pan, roll out the bottom crust on a lightly floured countertop to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. If it doesn’t roll easily, let it sit out for another 15 minutes or so before trying again.
You can tell it’s big enough if you put the pie pan on top of the rolled out crust and you can see crust all around the pan. It should big enough to just slightly overhang the pie pan (Panel #1 below).
Trim the crust to the pan edge (Panel #2). Save pie dough scraps for pie crust cookies!
Use the liquid drained from the fruit to prepare the caramel syrup and then toss it with the fruit and cornstarch in a bowl (Panel #3 above) and carefully fill the bottom crust (Panel #4).
Making a lattice or decorative top crust
Lattice crusts can be made in a variety of ways. The crust for this strawberry apple pie used a leaf cookie cutter to cut out petals from the rolled out top crust.
Lay out overlapping petals, starting from the outside of the pie. Don’t be tempted to lay the petals so the tips extend past the pie pan, or they will droop and break off during baking. I know this from experience.
Baking the pie
This recipe calls for an egg wash with one whole egg and a tablespoon of cream. You can also just use the white to get a shiny crust, the yolk, or just cream. And sprinkle with sugar if you like.
But be sure to bake your pie on a pizza stone, if you have one. This helps the bottom crust to cook well. Soggy pie crusts make me sad.
After about 20 to 30 or so minutes of baking, protect your crust to prevent it from browning too much. I use a piece of aluminum foil with a small hole ripped out of the center. I have used purchased rings before and never found them to work well.
Let your pie cool before cutting and serving so it has time to set up. This strawberry apple pie is best the day it has been made and cooled, but you can store fruit pies at room temperature for a couple days, covered in plastic wrap.
Fruit pies can be stored in the refrigerator, but the bottom crust will definitely get soggy. You can also store fully baked fruit pies in the freezer, but the pie texture does change.
Variations and substitutions
- Use all-purpose flour in place of the cake flour.
- Use tapioca in place of cornstarch as a thickener.
- Omit the heavy cream. Sub in cold water for cream in the pie crust, and skip the addition of cream and butter to the fruit syrup. The result just will be slightly less rich.
No. But there is so much variation in how people measure that you are much more likely to get a reliable result if you weigh your ingredients.
Keeping pie crust and other pastry cold keeps the fats cold, which increases the flakiness of the dough when baked. Resting the dough after making it and constructing the pie helps to prevent the dough from shrinking from the pie pan as it cooks.
No. If you are using soft apples that melt when you heat them, you won’t need this step. Combine the apples with the strawberries in the strainer to collect all the juice from both fruits.
I think the easiest way, once you have rolled out the dough, is to take one side and roll it onto the rolling pin (Use a bench scraper to release it from your countertop if the dough has gotten warm and is sticking). You should be able to roll about half the crust onto the pin. Now just slide the pan underneath the rolling pin and unroll the crust from the pin. You might have to do some adjusting to make sure it is even in the pie pan.
Here’s an example of a lattice crust in my apple and blackberry pie. The braids in one of these photos were made by cutting three quarter inch strips and plaiting them together.
Pie crust can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for two or three days. For longer storage, keep frozen for three to six months. It’s always great to have extra pie crust in the freezer that you can use for future pies, pot pies, pop tarts, or rugelach!
Strawberry Apple Pie
- 1 9 inch pie pan
- 1 Rolling Pin
- Stand mixer or food processor optional
Double pie crust for a 9" pie
- 1 cup (125 grams or 4.4 ounces) all purpose flour
- 1 cup (125 grams or 4.4 ounces) cake flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon (128 grams or 4.5 ounces) cream cheese
- 12 tablespoons (170 grams or 6 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into half inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 6 medium apples, peeled, cored, and sliced one quarter inch thick
- ¼ cup (50grams or 1.8 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
Fruit mixture and fruit syrup
- 12 strawberries (about ¾ pound), hulled, and sliced in half or quarters, depending on their size
- ¼ cup (50 grams or 1.8 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 egg optional
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream, beaten with the egg optional
- In a mixing bowl of a stand mixer or food processor, combine the dry ingredients for the crust (all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, and salt).1 cup (125 grams or 4.4 ounces) all purpose flour, 1 cup (125 grams or 4.4 ounces) cake flour, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Cut the cream cheese into a few pieces and add it to the dry ingredients, and mix for 10 to 30 seconds or so (food processor shorter, mixer longer).½ cup + 1 tablespoon (128 grams or 4.5 ounces) cream cheese
- Add the butter and mix or process again until the butter is the size of flattened peas or your thumbnail.12 tablespoons (170 grams or 6 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into half inch cubes
- Add the cream and vinegar and mix or process only until the mixture clumps together when pressed between your fingers.2 tablespoons heavy cream, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- I find that it is easiest to form the pie crust balls in clean gallon ziplock bags, but you can also do it in plastic wrap or metal bowls. Divide the mixture into two parts. Classic lattice is 2:1 for bottom:top crusts, but I find that this is not enough dough for a lattice or other design and prefer to do a 4:3 ratio.
- Quickly and gently, mash the dough for the bottom crust until it comes together into a ball. I don't want to say knead or you'll do it too roughly. Flatten it into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and leave it in the refrigerator for at least an hour and ideally overnight. Repeat with the top crust.
Parbaked apples, optional
- If you are parbaking crisp apples, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Peel, core, and slice the apples and toss them in a large bowl with the ¼ cup of granulated sugar and lemon juice.6 medium apples, peeled, cored, and sliced one quarter inch thick, ¼ cup (50grams or 1.8 ounces) granulated sugar, 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- Lay them out on two baking sheets lined with parchment or a silicone mat so they are not overlapping. Save the bowl and any liquid that has accumulated.
- Bake for about 45 minutes until they have softened but not browned. Let cool.
Fruit mixture and fruit syrup
- Toss the strawberries with the ¼ cup of granulated sugar and place in a strainer over a small pot to collect the juice for about an hour. If you are not parbaking your apples, mix the fresh sliced apple slices, an additional ¼ cup sugar, and lemon juice in a bowl and add them to the strawberries.12 strawberries (about ¾ pound), hulled, and sliced in half or quarters, depending on their size, ¼ cup (50 grams or 1.8 ounces) granulated sugar
- Return the strawberries and apples to a bowl, and heat the pot with the fruit juices over med-low heat. Bring to a slow boil.
- Mix the cream and cornstarch in a small bowl. When the fruit juices come to a boil, add the cream and cornstarch slurry until all traces of the cornstarch have disappeared.2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Cook until the syrup has begun to thicken and caramelize. Remove it from the heat, add the butter and salt, and then add it to the bowl of strawberries and apples and toss gently.⅛ teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 425°F at least 30 minutes prior to baking. If you have a pizza stone, put it on a rack in the middle of the oven.
- Lightly butter your pie pan.
- (You can do this while the strawberries are straining) Roll out the bottom crust on a lightly floured countertop to about ⅛ to ¼ inch and transfer it to your pie pan (see Tips and Tricks). Cover the crust loosely with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge until you are ready to fill.
- Add the filling from above, recover with plastic wrap, and leave it again in the fridge until you have rolled out the top crust.
- Re-dust the countertop with flour and roll out the top crust. Cut out shapes or strips, depending on how you want to design your top crust (be careful when cutting on the countertop so you don't damage your countertop!)
- If you are using leaves or circles or other shapes, try to cut as many out as possible so you re-roll as few times as possible (there are some who might even suggest not to use the remnants, but then you'd need to have made more crust) Re-rolling does decrease the flakiness of your crust.
- If your kitchen is very warm, you might need to place your shapes or strips on a baking sheet in the freezer for a few minutes so they don't soften as you're working with them. Be careful, though about freezing strips for a lattice for too long or they will become difficult to weave!
- Arrange the top crust, leaving gaps for steam to escape.
- Lightly brush the egg or cream wash over the pie. Brush out any places where the egg wash may have pooled.1 egg, 1 tablespoon heavy cream, beaten with the egg
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes on a middle rack on top of a pie of foil to catch bubbling juices (on the pizza stone, if you have one). About 20 to 30 minutes into baking, protect the crust with a foil ring (with the center torn out for venting). The pie is done when the juices are bubbling and a knife inserted into the center meets little resistance.
- Let the pie cool before cutting so the filling has time to set up.
This strawberry apple pie recipe was first posted June 9, 2021. It was last updated on November 26, 2022.
Disclosure: In 2021, I was given two boxes of HunnyZ apples to play with by the folks at Gee Whiz.
If you make this strawberry apple pie recipe, please leave a comment or rating here.
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