I was first introduced to Pink Ladies in the 80s when my husband, John (Butz Construction) had a contract in Cuyama, CA building an office and employee barracks for Logoluso Farms.
I grew up on Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, and Granny Smith apples and I don’t remember much variety in the markets at that time. So, when John brought home “Pink Lady” apples, and I ate that first one, I knew they’d be at the top of my apple list!
Don’t be misled — the apple is not pink inside, but the skin has a pinkish blush, showing areas of light green on its elongated, asymmetrical shape. Words like crunchy, tart, juicy sweet, crisp all come to mind when I try to describe this special fruit, making it a great apple for eating as well as for baking.
When I found this recipe in a 2002 cookbook titled “Apple Pie — Perfect”, authored by Ken Haedrich, I loved the idea of pairing Pink Ladies with fresh strawberries. I hope you’ll enjoy this wonderful summer pie — a dessert for all occasions from a pot-luck dinner, a family reunion, to a simple picnic.
Strawberry Pink Lady Apple Pie
1 pie crust recipe for 9-inch deep-dish pie pan
6 cups peeled, cored, and sliced Pink Lady apples
½ cup granulated sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1-quart ripe strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced
3 to 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Cream Crumb Topping Ingredients:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons cold heavy cream
*Alternative apples or pre-made pie crusts are optional.
Prepare pie crust and fit into 9-inch deep dish pie pan. Place in freezer until ready to fill, at least 30 minutes.
To make the filling, combine apples, granulated sugar, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl; toss well. Pour lemon juice over apples; toss again. Mix in strawberries. Shake flour over fruit—using 4 tablespoons if berries are very juicy; set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Turn filling into frozen pie shell. Smooth filling with your hands to even it out. Place pie on center rack in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
While pie bakes, prepare cream crumb topping. Combine flour, sugars, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder in a food processor; pulse several times to mix. While pulsing machine, add cream in slow, steady stream through feed tube. Stop machine as soon as topping starts to form clumps; for the most part, it should be loose and granular-looking. Refrigerate.
After 30 minutes, remove pie from oven and place on large, dark baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Carefully dump the crumbs in the center of the pie, spreading them evenly over the surface. Pat crumbs gently to compact them. Place pie on baking sheet and place back in oven; bake until juices bubble thickly around the edge of the pie, another 40 to 45 minutes. If topping starts to darken, cover loosely with tented aluminum foil for last 15 minutes.
Transfer pie to cooling rack and cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.