Sure, there's ice cream and no-bake icebox cakes, but if you ask me, there isn't a more quintessential summer dessert than a sweet berry pie — preferably strawberry. This is a season that demands simplicity, which is why this super-easy version of the classic summer dessert starts with your trusty cast iron skillet — so you won't be crimping any fussy edges!
Double Up on Pie Dough for the Best Skillet Pie
Although this recipe skips the traditional bottom and top layers of crust, we still call for enough dough for a double crust. Why? For starters, the pie is baked in a 10-inch cast iron skillet, which is wider and deeper than your standard nine-inch pie plate. So instead of dividing your homemade dough in half, you'll combine them into a giant disk of dough and roll it to about 16 inches wide. Don't stress about rolling the dough into a perfectly round circle — just as all summer desserts should be, skillet pies are meant to be simple and rustic.
Once it's draped over the skillet and filled with berries, the crust is folded over the fruit (similar to a galette), without actually covering the filling entirely.
If you only have a 12-inch cast iron skillet, you can absolutely use it! There will be a few small differences, but you will get the same delicious results. Using a larger skillet means you can expect a thinner layer of fruit filling and a crust that doesn't cover quite as much of the filling.
As with all great skillet desserts, go ahead and serve your strawberry pie straight from the skillet. Because of its naturally nonstick surface and the subtly sloped edges of a cast iron skillet, this buttery-crusted pie is easy to slice and serve straight from the pan.
Start here: How To Make Flaky Pie Crust
Here's What to Expect When Using Store-Bought Pie Crust
If you plan to use store-bought crust over homemade, you'll still want to use enough for a double crust. Start with one (14- to 16-ounce) package of pie crust (not pie shells). Once thawed, stack the crusts and roll out on a floured work surface. Because most store-bought pie crusts are slightly smaller than our homemade crust, plan to roll until it's about 14 inches in diameter (any wider and the crust may crack). The crust won't cover quite as much of the top of the pie, although you can expect the same results.
Prep the Strawberries at the Last Minute
Although macerating berries is a great technique when serving the sweet gems with ice cream, it's not the best approach for pie. Macerating draws out the fruit's liquid, creating a sweet, fruity syrup — not ideal for pie, as it leads to a soggy bottom. Instead, wait until the pie dough is prepped and the oven is heated before prepping the berries.
Easy Cast Iron Strawberry Pie
Serves 8 to 10
Prep time: 30 minutes to 35 minutes ; cooking time: 0 hours 50 minutes to 1 hour
Flaky Pie Crust (enough for a double crust pie), chilled for at least 30 minutes
All-purpose flour, for rolling
large egg yolk
strawberries (about 3 pints), hulled and quartered
Sprinkle a work surface and rolling pin with flour. Unwrap the dough and place it on the flour. If chilled in two disks, use the palm of your hand to quickly gather and press into one thick disk.
Working from the middle of the dough outwards, roll the dough into a rough circle about 16 inches in diameter.
Place the rolling pin on one edge of the pie crust and begin gently rolling the pie crust over the rolling pin. When it's rolled up, transfer it to a 10-inch cast iron skillet and gently unroll the dough over the skillet. Ease the pie crust into the corners of the skillet, with the excess hanging over the edge. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Whisk the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl; set aside.
Just before ready to bake, place the strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl and toss until strawberries are fully coated and the cornstarch is dissolved. Transfer to the skillet and spread in an even layer over the crust. Fold the edge of the crust up and over the filling, overlapping the dough as you go around and pleating the dough. Brush the top of the pie crust with the egg yolk mixture.
Bake until the pie crust is deep golden-brown and the filling is bubbling, 50 to 60 minutes. Place the skillet on a wire rack and cool completely, about 3 hours. Slice and serve directly from the skillet.
Using a 12-inch skillet: You can use a 12-inch cast iron skillet for this recipe, but the filling will be thinner and there will be less crust folded over the top.
Using store-bought crust: One (14- to 16-ounce) package of pie crust (not pie shells) can be substituted for homemade crust. Thaw both crusts, if frozen. Sprinkle your work surface and rolling pin with flour. Unwrap both crusts and place one on top of the other on the floured work surface. Working from the middle of the dough outwards, roll the dough into a circle about 14 inches in diameter. Follow recipe instruction for placing the dough in the skillet, filling, and baking.
Make ahead: The pie crust can be made, wrapped well, and refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
Storage: Leftover pie can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.