I enjoy apple pies year round, but there are some fruits that I only bake with seasonally. For instance, I usually bake pies with berries during the spring and summer, when berries are in season and are at their best. When I have fresh berries in my kitchen, I also tend to look for more unusual ways to put them to good use. For this pie, I combined fresh, in-season strawberries with crisp Fuji apples for a springtime twist on apple pie: Strawberry Apple Crumble Pie.
The filling for this pie – as you might guess – is made up of fresh strawberries and sliced apples. Fresh strawberries give the pie a lovely floral sweetness and really contrast in both color and flavor with the sweet-tart apples. Fresh strawberries are going to give you the best texture in this pie filling, as frozen berries will break down a lot more in the oven, becoming overly soft and releasing a lot of additional juice/liquid into the pie. The filling is lightly sweetened with with sugar and I used a bit of cornstarch to soak up the juices and prevent the crust from becoming soggy during baking. Since the strawberries are so sweet, the filling has relatively little sugar in it and has a lot of strawberry flavor. I prefer to use Fuji apples or Pink Lady apples in this pie, rather than extra tart apples, simply because I feel like slightly sweeter fruit pairs better with the strawberries.
The crumble topping is a simple buttery streusel made with both white and brown sugar. You could add in spices like cinnamon, allspice or even ginger, as they all work well with both strawberries and apples, but I opted to keep the topping simple so that the fruit would really be the star. The streusel adds a great texture and a lot of flavor to the pie, but the fruit is still the focus in every bite.
I used my Flaky Vinegar Pie Crust for this particular pie, but you can use any single-crust pie dough recipe that you like. You can even use store-bought pie crust, if you’re in a bit of a hurry, though making pie dough in the food processor is quick and easy. The dough should be prepared in advance, as the filling and topping come together quite quickly once you get started on them. The pie should be allowed to cool completely before slicing, though it is excellent when reheated if you want to serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side!
Strawberry Apple Crumble Pie
dough for one 9-inch pie
3 – 3 1/2 cups thinly sliced apples
2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
Prepare the filling:
Roll out the pie dough on a lightly floured surface and transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Press gently into place, then put the crust in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to rest.
In a large bowl, combine apples, strawberries, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir with a spatula or spoon to combine and set aside while you prepare the topping and the pie crust rests.
Make the topping:
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugars and salt. Pour in melted butter and stir mixture together with a fork until it resembles wet sand. Squeeze the dough together in your fingers to form it into larger clumps. Set aside.
Assembly and baking:
Preheat oven to 375F.
Pour filling into prepared pie crust and top with crumble topping, making sure to cover the pie as evenly as possible.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until apples are tender when poked with a sharp knife and the pie crust is browned. If the crumble topping browns too much, tent the top of the pie with a piece of aluminum foil.
Allow pie to cool completely before slicing.