These mini strawberry pies are everything you want in your pastry: a jammy fruit filling with the perfect flaky crust.
Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m obsessed with mini desserts.
You’ve probably already noticed this. I’ve got recipes for mini cheesecakes and mini peach pies. Now I’m hitting you with these bite-sized strawberry pies. And I can guarantee that if you’re a strawberry lover like me, this recipe may become one of your new favorites!
Would you say the best part of summer is when all the colorful, fresh fruit finally comes in season? Sweet blueberries, succulent mangoes…
It’s just the best.
If you want to learn how to make pies but are intimidated by the thought of baking a full sized one, this is a great recipe to start with.
I have step-by-step photos of how to make the crust, as well as how to assemble these adorable little treats. The filling is super straight forward and quick, as well.
Since these are mini pies, you won’t have to worry about putting them in the fridge overnight to set. Just let them cool enough on the baking pan, and enjoy them slightly warm. They are best fresh.
With summer getting closer and closer, these are the perfect little desserts!
Ingredients for mini strawberry pies
This is a very basic recipe with simple ingredients:
- All purpose flour – For the pie crust dough.
- Unsalted butter – Serves as the fat that will make your crust nice and flaky. It is extremely important to use very cold fat when making a pie crust. This cold butter reacting to the high heat in the oven is what makes a flaky pastry. I recommend putting your butter in the freezer for a few hours, then transferring it to the fridge about 20 minutes before you begin making your dough. You can slice or cube your butter before freezing.
- Lemon juice – Only a splash in the dough to help inhibit gluten development. I learned this from Preppy Kitchen, where I also got this pie crust recipe. We also use a little lemon juice to bring out the flavor of the strawberries in the filling.
- Ice water – This helps brings the dough together. It’s important to use enough so that the dough isn’t dry and crumbly, but not too much to the point where the dough is too wet.
- Strawberries – I used fresh, finely chopped strawberries for these pies. If you opt to use frozen strawberries, be sure they are small enough pieces and do not thaw them beforehand.
- Cornstarch – The thickener that will prevent our juicy filling from making our crust soggy. If you don’t have cornstarch you can use flour; you’ll need 2 tablespoons of flour for every 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
- Granulated sugar – Plain white sugar is needed to both sweeten the crust and the filling.
Pie crust for beginners
Making homemade pie dough from scratch can be very intimidating at first. But, once you familiarize yourself with the process, you’ll realize it’s actually quite simple. Here is a step-by-step breakdown:
- Whisk flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the cold butter cubes/slices, and give them a gentle toos to get them coated in the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter, or two forks, gently mash the butter pieces until they are about the size of small peas or lima beans. Some bigger pieces are okay.
- Fill a bowl with ice, and then add water. Sprinkle a little lemon juice over the flour-butter mixture, then add in 3 tablespoons of the cold water. Using a fork or rubber spatula, mix it in. Continue to add water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together without crumbling. It should feel moist, but not too wet. You can test to see if you have the right consistency by squeezing a small piece of dough in your hand and see if it clumps together. If it’s still crumbly, you’ll need more water.
- Gently knead the dough just a few times, then form it into a ball. Cut the ball in half, then flatten each half into a disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. Do not skip the chilling time.
Pie crust troubleshooting
Easy answer: not enough ice water. See my step-by-step breakdown, with pictures, above.
This is what happens if you skip the chilling time. Be sure to chill the dough for at least two hours. Overnight is preferable. If you’re going to need it more than 3 days in advance, pop it in the freezer so that it doesn’t mold.
Tough pie crust is the result of overworking, which causes too much gluten to develop. You’ll only want to work your dough just as much as it needs, as little as possible.
The butter wasn’t cold enough. Or, your butter melted at some point in the process. You want your dough to be cold the entire time, not just when making it, but also when rolling it out. Here are my tips to keep butter cold:
-Use partially frozen butter cubes/slices
-If you plan on using a marble slab to roll out the dough, put it in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. If you’re rolling the dough out on your counter, let bags of ice sit on that surface for a little while.
-If it’s a very hot day, turn on your air conditioner to cool down your home before rolling out the dough.
How to make fresh strawberry pie filling
To make the filling, combine chopped strawberries, cornstarch, sugar, and lemon juice in bowl. Mix gently together to combine, and let sit for at least 10 minutes to release juices.
Assembling mini strawberry pies
This process is easy but a teensy bit time consuming. Let’s break it down:
Rolling out the dough: Generously flour whatever surface you’re using to prevent the dough from sticking. Sprinkle some flour on top of the dough, and flour your rolling pin as well. Slowly and gently roll outwards from the center, lifting and turning the dough after each roll. Add more flour as necessary. You want the rolled out dough to form a fairly large circle shape, but be careful not to roll too thin.
Side note – Only roll one disc at a time. While you are working on one, keep the other in the fridge. Once you’ve finished rolling out one, place it in the freezer so it can stay cold.
Cutting out shapes: Use a 3 inch round cookie cutter to cut circle shapes into the dough. You’ll have some scraps remaining; piece those back together, re-roll them, and cut out more shapes. You should have ten circles. This will be the bottom crust. Place the circles on large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, then pop them in the freezer while you work on the second dough for the top crust. After finishing the second dough, you’ll have 20 circles in total.
Fill: Add about 2 tablespoons of the strawberry filling to the center of the dough circles, leaving the edges bare. Slice a small slit into the rest of the circles, then place them on top of the bottom crust, press them together, and crimp the edges with a fork.
Egg yolk wash: Beat one egg yolk and a splash of milk together in a small bowl. Brush the top of each pie with this mixture, and now the pies are ready for baking!
For the refrigerator: Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
For the freezer: Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, freeze for up to 6 months.
Mini Strawberry Pies
For the pie dough
- 2 and 1/2 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt
- 2 (227 grams) sticks unsalted butter, cubed or sliced frozen
- splash of fresh lemon juice
- 5 tablespoons (73 mL) ice water plus more as needed
For the strawberry filling
- 2 cups (248 grams) fresh strawberries finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons (20 grams) cornstarch
- 1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
- splash of fresh lemon juice
Make the pie dough
- Fill a bowl with ice, then add water and set aside. Whisk flour, sugar, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add frozen (or at least VERY cold) butter cubes/slices, and toss them gently to combine with flour. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, mash the butter into the flour mixture until its the size of small peas to lima beans. It should resemble coarse meal. A few bigger pieces are okay.
- Sprinkle a splash of fresh lemon juice over the dough. Add in 3 tablespoons of ice water and mix with a fork or rubber spatula. The mixture will become less crumbly. Add more water, about a tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together without crumbling. If you squeeze a piece in your hands, it should clump together without crumbling.
- Gently knead the dough in the bowl a few times, then form into a ball. Cut the ball in half, flatten each half into a disc. Cover tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
Make the strawberry filling
- Add chopped strawberries, cornstarch, sugar, and lemon juice. Mix together and let sit for at least 10 minutes to release juices.
Roll out the dough
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place chilled dough on a floured work surface. Sprinkle flour on top of the dough; flour your rolling pin as well. Starting from the center, slowly and gently roll the dough outwards. Lift and turn the dough after each roll, adding more flour to the surface and rolling pin as needed. Roll into about a 13 inch circle; be careful not to roll it out too thin. Use a 3.5 inch cookie cutter to cut circles into the dough, re-roll and cut any remaining scraps. In total, you should have 20 circles, 10 for the bottom crust and 10 for the top crust. Transfer the crusts to a large (or two) sheet pans lined with parchment paper. **Only roll one dough at a time, keeping the other in the fridge as you work on the other**
Assemble & bake the pies
- Add about 2 tablespoons of the filling to the bottom crusts, leaving the edges bare. Make a small slit in the center of the top crust circles so that the pies can release any steam while baking. Add the top crusts and press gently. Crimp the edges with a fork.
- In a small bowl, whisk together one egg yolk and a splash of milk. Brush the pies evenly with the egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.
- Bake the pies for 28-33 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit on the sheet pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack until they're cool enough to handle. Serve slightly warm, enjoy!