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Strawberry apple pie with pastry stars

I love me a pretty pie! The filling in this strawberry apple pie is so bright and beautiful it deserved a pie top that would really show it off. I pressed a star-shaped cookie cutter into my rolled out pastry dough until I had enough stars to layer atop the pie, leaving enough room in between to show off the ruby red yumminess inside.

The strawberry patch in the garden is full of new green leaves and little white flowers, but we're still about a month away from getting any berries from our patch. In the meantime, I'm making the most of great strawberry prices at the grocery store and picking up container after container of those juicy red berries, mainly to keep the kids stuffing their faces with one of their favourite snacks.

The apples in this filling add a little needed structure to the pie. I decided to leave the skins on for colour and ease of preparation. The filling was so quick and easy without peeling that I may leave the skins on for all my apple pies in future and just call it rustic!

Here's how I made it:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp granulated white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable shortening, cubed
1 egg
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp cold water

2 cups apples, chopped into 1-inch pieces, skins on
4 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
3 tbsp all-purpose flour

2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp granulated white sugar

To make the pastry, I mixed the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. The vegetable shortening was blended in with a hand pastry blender until crumbly. In a small bowl, I beat the egg with the vinegar and cold water and added the wet mixture to the large mixing bowl, stirring with a fork to bring it all together. I divided the pastry into two balls and rolled one out on a floured surface for the bottom crust and laid it in my 9-inch pie plate, tucking the edges under for a clean finish. The other ball was set aside.

To make the filling, I blended the sugar and flour in a large mixing bowl then tossed in the fruit and stirred to coat. The filling was spread evenly in the pie plate, then I set my oven to preheat to 425 degrees (F).

To make the pie top, I rolled the second ball of pastry dough and used a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the pieces. I kept rolling out the scraps until I had enough stars to layer on my pie, leaving small gaps in between. To finish, I brushed the stars with milk using a pastry brush and sprinkled on the sugar. It baked on the low rack for 10 minutes, then I moved it to the middle rack and lowered the temperature to 375 degrees (F) to continue baking for 45-50 minutes until the filling was bubbling.

I love me a pretty pie, but no pie is too pretty to eat!

What are you making with strawberries lately? What was the last pie to come out of your oven? What's your favourite kind of pie to make?