This strawberry pie, aka classic Italian crostata, is impossible to resist. It's beautiful to look at and delicious to eat. Our homemade strawberry jam gives it a bright red colour and a delicious strawberry flavour. It's easy to make, fragrant, sweet, aromatic and fruity. And best of all, it's completely vegan. Taste it! You won't believe it.
This strawberry pie recipe is basically a classic Italian crostata that is very easy to do and is made without eggs, without butter, without milk, and without any animal-based ingredients. Yes, this is a 100% vegan strawberry pie that is much healthier than the traditional recipe, but still completely delicious!
The base is made with a simple vegan shortcrust pastry. It's fragrant, light, aromatic, and made with a few simple ingredients.
For the filling, we used our homemade strawberry jam, but you can totally use your favourite homemade or store-bought jam.
We love the combination or the bright red of the jam with the golden shortcrust pastry. The result is a pie that everyone will absolutely fall in love with.
All purpose flour: for pies we recommend all purpose flour. Is less refined than cake flour and it is light enough. If you'd like a healthier pie you can go for semi-wholegrain flour, but your pie will be heavier.
Sugar: we use unrefined sugar, but any sugar will work here.
Sunflower + Coconut Oil: vegetable oils will replace the butter of the original shortcrust pastry. While still fat, they are a lot healthier than butter and eggs. Try to use a mix between sunflower oil and coconut oil. If you want a neutral flavour, go for refined sunflower oil and refined coconut oil.
Very cold water: in this recipe is the perfect substitute for milk.
Orange zest: to add some aroma to the base. Lemon and lime work too. Citrus enhances the strawberry flavour. We recommend organic since you will eat the zest.
Vanilla extract: any will work. Goes well with the strawberry flavour.
Baking powder: this will help make the pie fragrant.
Strawberry Jam: we like to make our own homemade strawberry jam. It's super easy to make. You can use any other jam, homemade or store-bough. Just make sure it's not too runny.
You'll need a rolling pin and a pie dish with removable base (10 inch, 24 cm).
📋 Recipe Card
Vegan strawberry pie
- Pie dish with removable base (10 inch, 24 cm)
- 4 cups all purpose flour (500 grams)
- 1.25 cups sugar (250 grams)
- 0.5 cup sunflower oil (100 grams)
- 0.25 cup refined coconut oil (40 grams)
- 0.5 cup cold water (125 grams)
- 0.5 orange zest
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (10 grams)
- 3 tsp baking powder (12 grams)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1.5 cups strawberry jam (500 grams)
- In a bowl, add orange zest, vanilla extract, sunflower oil, coconut oil, water, salt, sugar, and stir well.
- Add the flour and the baking powder all at once and mix with a spoon.
- When the dough comes together, mix a few more times with your hands until smooth.
- Shape the dough into a bowl.
- Wrap in foil and let rest in the fridge for a an hour, or in the freezer for 15 minutes. This is a very important step as the dough needs to cool down or else it will be very hard to roll.
- Prep the pie dish by greasing it with some oil. We use a 10 inch (24 cm) pie dish. 9 inch is easier if it's your first pie.
- Then dust it with a few sprinkles of flour. This will make it easier to remove the cake once baked.
- Take ¾ of the dough, shape it into a ball, then start flattening it, first with your hands, then with the help of a rolling pin. Make it ⅛ of an inch thick (4mm). Also, make sure you sprinkle your rolling pin and your work table with some flour. You need to work fast here as you want to keep the dough as cold as possible so that it's easier to move.
- Place your hands under the rolled dough, and with a swift movement, move it over the pie dish. You can also roll the dough around the rolling pin to move it around.
- Make sure the dough covers the whole dish and fits in it tightly.
- With a fork, make some whole into the base of the pie.
- Pour your homemade strawberry jam into the dish and spread it around evenly with a spoon. See our recipe. If you are using store bough jam, then pour it into a bowl first, and stir it around to make sure is smooth.
- Take the rest of the dough (you should have save ¼) and roll it flat in a rectangular shape on your table. Make sure your dough is cold. Then with a sharp knife, cut nine stripes, ½ inch wide (1 to 1.5 cm thick).
- Position the first 4 stripes on the pie at equal distance from each other.
- Then position the other 3 or 4 stripes on top of the others diagonally.
- Now seal the pie by pressing with your fingers where the stripes meet the edge of the pie.
- Done! Now, let the pie cool down in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking it. In the meantime preheat the oven at 360˚F (180˚C).
- Bake for about 30 min. The pie is ready when slightly golden on top.
- Let the pie cool down completely before cutting it and eating it. The next day will be even yummier!
👨🏻🍳 Top tips
Keep the dough cool
Due to the high amount of fats, it's important to keep the dough as cool as possible at all times. If the dough warms up it will be harder to work and to keep in shape. If at any point it becomes to hard for you to work the dough put it back in the fridge for 15 minutes to cool down a bit.
Work it fast
Working the dough at room temperature will make it warmer. The longer you keep the dough our of the fridge, the harder it will be to work it. So make sure you work it fast. It will be easier to handle and shape.
Don't use your hands much
The body temperature of your hands will warm up the dough, so make sue you don't touch the dough too much with your hands. If it becomes too warm, put back in the fridge to cool down.
Flour table and rolling pin
This is done to prevent the dough from sticking to your work surface and to the rolling pin. An alternative is to roll the dough in between two pieces of parchment paper.
Pick the right oils
Sometimes vegetable oils taste too much of the vegetable they are made of. If this is the case with your oil, your pie will taste funny to people that are not used to vegan cakes. To avoid this problem, we recommend using refined vegetable oils.
They are still much healthier than butter or margarine, and their flavour is completely neutral. Sometimes it will be written on the label - for instance in the case of refined coconut oil. Other times it doesn't say refined on the label, but you can tell from the taste. Oil with no taste are generally refined, and best for cakes and pies.
Make your own jam
Making your own jam is very simple and much healthier than getting your jam from the store. You control the amount of sugar and, quality of the fruit, and the thickness of the jam. In this pie for instance, we wanted a thicker jam that could stand on a sliced piece of pie, and so we added and extra teaspoon of agar agar to the jam.
Let rest in the refrigerator
Do not skip this step when you make shortcrust pastry, vegan or not vegan. Due to the high amount of fat, shortcrust pastry does not like warm temperature and it will break apart if you don't let it rest in the fridge.
If you have time let it cool overnight in the fridge, then let it warm up at room temperature for 15 minutes before working it. This will give you the best result.
If you don't have time you can put it in the freezer for 15 minutes. In both cases wrap it up in film to prevent it from drying.
Let cool before cutting the stripes
Before you roll and cut the stripes for the top of the pie, make sure the dough is cold. It will be very hard to get straight stripes with a dough that has been at room temperature for too long. Also, it is easier to move the stripes with your hands if the dough is cold.
Let cool before baking
We like to let the pie rest in the fridge for another 30 minutes before baking. This will help the pie keep its shape in the oven.
Let cool completely before eating
It is going to be very very hard to do this, but trust us. This pie tastes best if you let it cool down completely - at least 2 hours at room temperature - and in our opinion is best 6 to 8 hours after baked. The cooling time will first of all bring all the flavours and the aromas together. Also, the crust will be less hard and more friable.
📖 Questions & answers
Yes. You can sub the flour with gluten free flour. The base of your pie might not be as sturdy as with regular flour, but it will still taste good and you'll be able to eat it with a fork.
We pierce the pie with a fork so that during cooking it the hot air and moisture can get out from under the pie and won't form bubbles that would break the base.
Granulated sugar is best for a crispy lighter pie, while unrefined cane sugar will make you pie a bit more farmer-like, less flakey, but still delicious. It's really up to you.
Sure. But if you do, make sure to pour the jam into a bowl and stir it with a spoon to make it smooth and break it up a bit before pouring it onto the pie.
Yes, you can use any type of fruit jam for your crostata. We recommend following the season. If you do it in spring/summer go for strawberry, peach or apricots. If you do it in winter go for chocolate, apples, citrus, etc.
Probably because it's been for too long at room temperature and the oils are warming up. In this case put your dough back in the refrigerator for 15 mins or so. It will be a lot easier to work with.
Then you can either cut the crostata into the tray and only take out the slice you serve. Alternatively, you can cut 2 long and thick stripes of parchment paper and place them in a cross position into the pie dish under the dough. When the pie is baked, let it cool completely and then you'll be able to lift it out of the tray by pulling up the parchment paper stripes.
You need to make sure the dough is cold before cutting it. You also need to use a sharp knife.
Nope, remember we are making a shortcrust pastry vegan cake and we need this much oil to replace all the butter. While we admit it that this is not the healthiest of desserts, it is still a much healthier version of the standard shortcrust pastry as it does not contain any animal-based ingredients. Also, if you want to make it without any saturated fat, just replace the coconut oil with some mild olive oil.
Follow our super simple recipe here. You'll only need 3 ingredients.
Yes, but we don't recommend it because it is likely that the crust will absorb moisture and won't be a fragrant as freshly made.
If however you decide to freeze it you have two options. One, freeze raw before you bake it. Then on the day you want to bake it you need to let it unfreeze for two hours before baking it.
Two, freeze it cooked. in this case we recommend cutting it into slices before you freeze it so that you can take out of the freezer just the right number of slices you are about to serve. In both cases you can only freeze it for up to one month.
The best way is to keep it up to 4-5 days in a dry and cool place covered in a cake cover. You can also store it in the fridge for up to a week however make sure you wrap it up well or it'll absorb weird flavours from your fridge. Ours tasted like onion once. Also, it is likely that in the fridge it'll become a bit soggy as the crust tends to absorb moisture when stored in the fridge.
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If you have any tips or questions let us know in the comments below!