Pie meets the best part of crumb cake (the topping) in this loaded up fresh Strawberry Hazelnut Crumb Pie!
Happy first day of summer you guys! Wait. . . is there an echo in here? I swear I was saying the same exact thing last month but seriously happy official first day of summer this time around! Summer got an early start with rising temperatures in May but now that school is out and the days are longer, it finally feels like summer is here. There is nothing quite like summer in the city – it’s hot, humid and crowded from the extra tourists visiting. Not to mention that ghost town feeling on the weekend when the real New Yorkers bust out of here for weekend getaways. However there’s also an extra buzz and an energy that you don’t really feel the rest of the year. I wish I could pinpoint the exact reasoning behind but maybe we all just feel a little more relaxed in the summer months than the cold? It’s shedding those excess layers that bring just a little more joy or maybe it’s the summer foods.
Yeah, that’s it.
As great as it is to appreciate the warmer weather and long days, we really know the summer is about the foods. It is the best time of year to eat with color bursting all over the place plus it’s the best excuse to have ice cream every day if you really want to (hey – the city is hot you gotta cool down)!
So yes, while I won’t turn down an ice cream opportunity, the summer really is about the fruit. I start in succession with one after another beginning with strawberries in June and ending with peaches in August. The goal is always to be one of those people running away from the city on the weekend but the reality it doesn’t happen often. It’s all good, that’s why I have a CSA – if I can’t pick those berries from a farm out east, I just have someone bring it to me!
Oh and they did, 4 quarts of strawberries they did!
Do you know how many strawberries is in 4 quarts? A lot and way more than 2 people and a strawberry crazy pug can handle.
What is a person to do except make pie. Which is a bit of a big deal because pie is always my nemesis. Something tends to go wrong somewhere, it’s either the crust or the filling that doesn’t work out but pie was calling my name.
So I did. Except I also kind of wanted strawberry crumb bars but instead I compromised and took the best part of the crumb bars and put it on my pie. We have to admit, it is way easier than a lattice top and you get the bonus of crunch on top of your pie. It’s a great contrast of texture between those soft, juicy strawberries and flaky pie crust.
So how did it turn out, pretty darn good I would say! Maybe. . just maybe my old foe pie has been defeated after all!
In the bowl of your food processor add the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Pulse 1-2 times to combine.
Add in the cubed butter and pulse until the butter is broken up into a combination of small and medium size pebbles.
With the motor running, drizzle cold water from the top of the food processor until the dough starts to come together in a ball.
Remove from the food processor and gently knead until all loose pieces of dough have formed into a ball. Flatten into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight.
Heat your oven to 350 degrees F.
While the dough is chilling prepare your filling. In a large bowl combine the halved strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla bean paste and salt. If any clumps of cornstarch remain that's fine, it will dissolve. Set aside.
Prepare the crumb filling in a medium bowl by combining the flour, hazelnuts, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and with a bench scrapper cut off 1/3 of the dough and set aside.
Roll the dough on a well floured surface so that it is large enough to fit in a 9-inch pie pan with at least 2 inches overhanging from the sides.
Press the dough into the pan and the trim the excess off from the sides but make sure it is press firmly down on the rim.
Roll the remaining 1/3 dough out and cut into 6 long strips. Divide the strips into 3 and braid. Once braid should fit on half the pie pan and arrange the second braid on the other half pinching them together. Gently press the braid into the rim so that it stays firmly on.
Place the pie in the freezer to chill for about 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven, cover the dough with parchment paper, weigh down with pie weights or dried beans and par-bake for 8 minutes.
Remove from the oven, the dough should be pale or start to slightly brown. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
Using a slotted spoon fill the par-baked crust with strawberries, leaving most of the accumulated juices in the bowl.
Top with the crumb topping and place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes and then lower the temperature to 350 degrees F. and bake for 40-50 minutes.
Check the pie after 20 minutes, if the crust or crumble is starting to brown too much tent with foil.
The filling will still look loose after it is done baking but you want the crust to be cooked all the way through.
Let the pie cool down thoroughly and the filling to set before serving.
Pie can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, after that it should be stored in the refrigerator.