This strawberry apple pie was inspired by my unsweetened strawberry applesauce. Before that, I hadn’t thought about combining strawberry and apple together.
The strawberries provide depth of sweetness and color that you can’t get from apples alone. And immediately I wanted to use the combination in a strawberry apple pie.
Result? The house smells amazing, and this pie tastes as good as it looks.
The pie crust inspiration
I credit Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Pie and Pastry Bible with my love for pie and her flaky cream cheese pie crust for my level of comfort with pie crust. If you find pie crust challenging to roll out, you should try a cream cheese pie crust at least once (on a not-so-hot day, if you can!). My crust recipe is an adaptation – with only minor changes – from hers.
Tips and tricks for this strawberry apple pie
Making the pie crust
To make the pie crust, use a mixer or food processor to cut cold cream cheese into the flour mixture until it is the size of peas (Panels #1-3 below). You then add cream and vinegar and mix the dough until it just starts to come together when pinched between your fingers (Panel #4).
Preparing the apples and strawberries
If you have very crisp apples, you can parbake them and allow them to cool before constructing the pie. This ensures that your apples are tender in the final pie.
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
To roll and fill the crust, first roll out the bottom crust to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick so it is big enough to just slightly overhang the pie pan (Panel #1 below). 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.
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, or just the yolk. And you can mix it with water, milk, or cream, whatever your preference!
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, you’ll want to protect your crust to prevent it from burning. I just 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.
FAQs about this strawberry apple pie recipe
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.
Yes. The cake flour is there because it has less gluten. You don’t need or want to have a lot of strong protein in pie crust, which is why you want to treat pastry more gently than bread. You can definitely make a crust from 100% all purpose flour, but it just might be a bit less tender.
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 would increase the cornstarch to 1/4 cup if your apples are very juicy and you decide not to parbake them.
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/crust and unroll the crust from the pin. You might have to do some adjusting to make sure it is even in the pie pan.
I haven’t written that post yet, so here’s one from Sally’s Baking Addiction that should get you started.
Yes, tapioca can also be used if you prefer.
Yes, you could sub in cold water for cream in the pie crust, and you could skip the addition of cream and butter to the fruit syrup. The result just will be slightly less richness.
If I’m making pie crust ahead of time, I will keep it in the refrigerator for two or three days. If I make the crust well ahead of time, I’ll put it in the freezer, and it will keep well for 3 to 6 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!
Looking for other apple recipes? I’ve got lots of them. How about an apple and blackberry pie, or these dried apple rings or strawberry applesauce! Because (disclosure) I was recently given two boxes of HunnyZ apples to play with by the folks at Gee Whiz.
Strawberry apple pie
- 1 9 inch pie pan
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
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream, beaten with the egg
- 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) until the cream cheese is broken into small pieces the size of peas.½ cup + 1 tablespoon (128 grams or 4.5 ounces) cream cheese
- Add the butter and mix or process again.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. 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 and leave it in the refrigerator for at least an hour and ideally overnight. Repeat with the top crust.
- 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 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and place in a strainer over a small pot to collect the juice for about 1 hour.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
- Add any liquid that had accumulated from the apples to the pot with the strawberry juice, and place the pot over med-low heat. Bring to a slow boil to thicken.
- Meanwhile, add the strawberries and apples back into the bowl that had the apples. Add the cornstarch and salt and toss gently until all traces of the cornstarch have disappeared.2 tablespoons cornstarch, ⅛ teaspoon salt
- When your syrup has begun to caramelize, remove it from the heat. Add the butter and cream and stir and then add it to the strawberries and apples and toss gently.1 tablespoon heavy cream, 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.
- (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 FAQ). 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/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 wash over the pie. Brush out any places where the egg wash may have pooled.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes on a middle rack (on the pizza stone, if you have one). About 20 to 30 minutes into baking, you will want to 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.
- Cool. If you have the patience to let pies cool to room temperature, they will be less runny.1 egg, 1 tablespoon heavy cream, beaten with the egg
If you make this strawberry apple pie recipe, please leave a comment or rating here. Or share a pic with me on Instagram.