If you like strawberries with a creamy filling and buttery pastry, then you are going to fall in love with these Mini Strawberry Pies! Just imagine fresh strawberries on top of a divine little cream pie with a super flaky crust! It's a simple 2 step recipe that is the ideal mini individual strawberry pie dessert for your next party or gathering!
🌟 Why this is the best recipe
- Super easy - There are no fancy ingredients or special skills needed to make this mini strawberry pies recipe. You likely have most of what you need already in your pantry.
- From scratch recipe – Some recipes call for store-bought mini crusts and boxed vanilla pudding. Yet, my recipe is from scratch but not complicated making this the best mini strawberry pie recipe.
- Super delicious - I've combined my best all-butter pie crust recipe and my favorite way to make diplomat cream and then topped them with fresh chopped strawberries to craft these fruity little mini strawberry pies that are absolutely delicious.
- It is a detailed tutorial – I go over every detail to ensure that you produce the very best and most professional results. Baking is a science that sometimes requires many trials and errors. However, my goal is to make sure you get it right the first time around!
📝 Ingredient notes
This easy mini strawberry pies recipe doesn't require any fancy or expensive ingredients! You likely already have most of them on hand. The only thing to keep in mind is the importance of choosing high-quality ingredients for the best flavor.
For the Mini Pie Crusts
- Flour: All-purpose flour will work perfectly. You can also use pastry flour if you prefer to make mini pie crust shells. To learn more about types of flour check out my flour guide.
- Butter: It's imperative to use unsalted butter in all pastry recipes to control the amount of added salt. It's also necessary that the butter be very cold when making this pie dough. I suggest cutting cold butter into cubes and then placing it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before starting the dough. I use butter with 82% fat content in all my recipes.
- Water: It works to bring the crust together by creating gluten and needs to be very cold just like the butter.
+ Plus a dash of salt! This is a very important ingredient in all dough recipes to help develop the flavor. So don't skip the salt!
🛒 You’ll find detailed measurements for all Ingredients in the printable version of the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post
For the Diplomat Cream
- Milk- I like to use whole milk with 3% fat, which creates a diplomat cream that is rich and creamy. Whole milk will always give the cream more flavor and produce a better consistency.
- Sugar - Granulated white sugar is all you need to make the cream. You can find more information about what types of sugar to use for different recipes by checking out my sugar guide.
- Egg - You will only need egg yolks for this recipe. You can use fresh farm eggs, which will give the cream a bright yellow color, or supermarket eggs, which will produce a more pale cream.
- Cornstarch - Works to thicken the cream.
- Flour - All-purpose flour works best and is used as another thickening agent along with the cornstarch. Also, remember to sift the flour. For more information on flour types and how to use it please check my handy flour guide.
- Vanilla extract - Why not try making your own vanilla extract?
- Unsalted Butter - I always use unsalted European-style butter with 82% fat content. The butter for this diplomat cream recipe has to be at room temperature.
- Gelatin - I find using gelatin sheets to be the best option. But you can also use gelatin powder at a 1:1 ratio (3 gelatin sheets = 5g gelatin powder of the same strength). For more details on how to handle gelatin and alternatives check out my article on gelatin substitutes.
- Heavy Cream - You must use heavy cream with 36% fat content for a smooth, rich, and creamy diplomat cream. It is also critical for this recipe that the heavy cream be very cold to make the homemade whipped cream.
🛒 You’ll find detailed measurements for all Ingredients in the printable version of the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post
👩🍳 How to make this recipe
This recipe is super easy! It's basically my amazing super flaky all-butter 3 Ingredient Pie Crust turned into mini pie crusts and filled with my heavenly Diplomat Cream! Then the mini cream pies are topped with fresh sliced strawberries to make Mini Strawberry Pies!
1. How to make mini pie crust from scratch
So you've probably made pie crust before. But! How to make mini pie crust? It's basically the same as making any pie dough, but in my opinion, a little more fun to form and bake! For more information visit my mini pie crust recipe.
- Mix flour and salt and place tem in the freezer for about 5 to 10 minutes to chill.
- Cut the cold butter into small cubes then place them into the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the chilled butter chunks to the cold flour and then rub the mixture between your fingers until it looks like coarse sand.
- Don't overwork the flour and butter with your hands. There must be some bigger chunks of butter to produce a flaky crust.
- Stir in a small amount of the cold water into the flour and butter mixture a little at a time to start bringing the dough together. You can use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to do this step.
- With your hands carefully start binding the dough. It may look a little crumbly at first, but after a minute or two it will come together.
- Shape the dough into a disk and cover it with plastic wrap. Then place it in the fridge to rest for a minimum of 2 hours.
- Place the chilled dough on the kitchen counter to rest for a few minutes or until the dough is slightly warm enough to roll. The dough should still be cold, but not so cold it starts to tear when you try to work with it.
- To roll out the dough, the easiest way is to roll it into a 42x30 cm / 16x12 inch rectangle in between 2 silicone baking mats (or on a lightly floured surface) with a rolling pin.
- Measure the size of your muffin pan holes to help you figure out what the diameter of the circles of dough should be. They need to be the same size as the muffin holes (from the back) in the following way: 2x side + 1x bottom. In my case, this was 11 cm / 4 inches.
- Cut out circles of dough to fit your muffin pan holes using a cookie cutter then start carefully shaping the dough down over the muffin tin cavities. I like to use every other cavity to prevent the mini crusts from touching each other as they bake in the oven.
- It's very important that you do not force the dough or stretch it. The idea is for the dough to be moldable but still cold and not pulled on too much.
- Put the muffin pan with the formed mini crusts back into the freezer for 10 minutes to chill while preheating the oven to 200 C / 372 F (no fan)
- Bake the crusts for 20 minutes on the pan. Then remove the crusts from the pan very carefully. Now, lightly brush the bottom and edges of the crusts with a light egg wash made of egg yolk + milk. Then put the crusts on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and place them back into the oven for another 5 minutes to finish baking.
- When done, the pie crusts will be golden brown in color. Then place them on a wire rack to cool to room temperature before filling.
💡 Top Tip: I've tested 15 different variations of egg wash along with 7 substitutes including vegan options. So if you'd like to learn more about egg wash, please check out my perfect egg wash guide!
2. How to make diplomat cream
Making diplomat cream is actually pretty easy! All you have to do is make a basic pastry cream, then add some cold heavy cream, visit my diplomat cream post for more information.
- Start by soaking the gelatin sheets in cold water
- Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together in a large bowl for about 1 to 2 minutes or until the mixture is slightly fluffy.
- Whisk the cornstarch, flour, and vanilla bean paste into the egg yolk mixture
- Bring the milk just to a simmer over medium then pour the warm milk over the egg yolk mixture while constantly and vigorously whisking.
- Pour the milk and egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan. Now, cook it for a few minutes over medium heat while whisking until it thickens. Yet, if the mixture gets lumpy, don't worry, just keep whisking until it becomes smooth and glossy like a custard.
- Remove the gelatin sheets from the water making sure to squeeze out the excess water. Then stir them into the mixture one sheet at a time.
- Mix the soft room temperature butter into the pastry cream using a rubber spatula until it is completely blended then strain if needed to remove any lumps.
- Allow the pastry cream to fully set and cool to room temperature.
- Once cooled, give the pastry cream a few whisks just to lighten it up. This will make it easier to add the heavy cream.
- Using an electric hand mixer whip the very cold heavy cream until it reaches soft peaks. Yet, be careful not to over whip it to the point that it forms lumps.
- Gently fold the whipped heavy cream into the pastry cream with a rubber spatula. I like to add a third of the heavy cream at a time while carefully folding it in with each addition.
- Once made, store the diplomat cream in the fridge for up to two days.
💡 Top Tip: When cooking the pastry cream, it's best to add the soft room temperature butter to the mixture in three stages and mix well after each addition for the best results.
3. How to assemble the strawberry mini pies
This is the most exciting part! So how to make strawberry mini pies? You've got your mini pie crusts baked, diplomat cream whipped together for your pie filling, and sweet strawberries! Now, all you have to do is put them all together and you have mini strawberry pies!
- Fill the mini pie crusts with some sliced strawberries then spoon or pipe diplomat cream on top.
- Slice some more fresh strawberries and then place them on top of the cream.
- Garnish each small strawberry pie with some fresh mint leaves.
💡 Top Tip: The mini crusts must be cooled off and the diplomat cream must be fully set before you can begin assembling this strawberry mini pies recipe.
🎓 Expert tips
- All the crust ingredients must be cold when making the pie dough. If the butter begins to melt or the dough starts to get too soft, you need to put it back in the freezer immediately so that it can firm back up.
- Never knead the pie dough or use a mixer. Always use your fingers to prevent overworking it and ensure that there are large butter chunks to create an extra flaky texture.
- How much water you will need to add to the pie dough can vary. So it's really important to only add a little bit at a time and also to stop adding it once the dough comes together.
- It's essential to properly measure the diameter of your muffin pan holes before using a cookie cutter to cut the dough. Not doing so can result in dough circles that are either too big or too small.
- Use a shallow bowl when cooling the pastry cream to speed up the process and cover it tightly with a plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the top.
- Always strain the pastry cream mixture to avoid any lumps before adding the whipped heavy and turning it into diplomat cream.
🥣 Equipment notes
These delicious fresh Strawberry Mini Pies don't require much equipment to make, but there are a few tools that I always like to use for the most professional outcome.
First off, if you don't have a digital scale then you are missing out! This affordable little piece of equipment is the only way you can really ensure that the ingredients for the mini strawberry pies are being measured correctly. And when it comes to numbers and baking, I also highly recommend using a digital oven thermometer. Ovens can often vary by a few degrees, which can be due to age or even model.
Now, for the crusts, you will need a sturdy rolling pin to roll out the dough as well as some silicone baking mats for ease if you like to roll it out in my suggested way. And of course, you will need at least one 12 cup muffin pan to both mold and bake the mini pie crusts. I also recommend using a silicone pastry brush to apply the egg wash perfectly.
As for the diplomat cream, you like already have a decent hand whisk to mix the pastry cream. But you will also need an electric hand mixer to whip up the cold heavy cream to soft peaks and rubber spatula to gently fold it into the pastry cream without overmixing.
Yes, most likely you can. However, you can't just replace flour with gluten-free flour 1:1 without reformulating the recipe. When one ingredient changes, some other ingredients need to be changed too in order to keep the balance in the texture and flavor.
The main reason pie crust gets tough is due to overworking the dough, which is why you should never use a mixer or knead pie dough.
Use your hands to make the dough to ensure there are large chunks of butter and properly chill the dough before rolling it out and baking.
Yes! The most popular substitutes are agar agar and cornstarch. However, you should check out my article on gelatin substitutes to determine what you need to replace the gelatin with to create your preferred consistency.
No! Diplomat cream works wonderfully as a filling or topping, but baking it will cause it to melt.
Assembled mini strawberry pies will keep for about 2 days in the fridge. But they are best eaten the day they are put together. Overall, the baked unfilled crusts will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days when covered. Diplomat cream will keep for about 2 days in the fridge.
You can keep unfilled mini pie crusts frozen for up to 3 months in a sealed freezer bag. However, diplomat cream does not freeze well at all. So you could make the pie crust ahead of time and the cream when needed.
🥧 More Pie Recipes
Mini Strawberry Pies
Mini Pie Crusts
- 375 g (3 cups) All purpose flour
- 270 g (1¼ cups) Unsalted butter 82% fat, use it very cold
- 120 g (½ cups) Water use it very cold
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- 500 g (2 cups) Whole milk 3% fat
- 100 g (½ cups) Granulated sugar
- 80 g (⅓ cups) Egg yolk approx. yolk of 4-5 eggs
- 25 g (⅕ cups) Corn starch
- 25 g (⅕ cups) All-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
- 50 g (¼ cups) Unsalted butter 82% fat, room temperature soft butter
- 3 Gelatin sheets 3x1.7g=5g gelatin overall
- 200 g (¾ cups) Heavy cream very cold. 36% fat
- 250 g (1¾ cups) Strawberries fresh
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
Mini Pie Crust
- Mix flour and salt and place them into the freezer. In the meantime, cut cold butter into small chunks and place them also into the freezer for 5-10 minutes to chill.
- Once all ingredients are nicely chilled, add very cold butter chunks into flour and rub the mixture between your fingers until it becomes a sand like consistency.
- Add very cold water into the dough, a small amount at a time, and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon after each addition.
- Start working the dough with your hands. First, it will look crumby but it should come together in the next minute or so. No need to knead the dough, stop mixing it as soon as it comes together. Remember, leave in some butter chunks, do not overwork the dough, and do not use a mixer.
- Form a disk, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rest in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, take the pie dough disk out of the fridge and let it rest few minutes on the kitchen counter. The dough should stay cold but slightly warmed up to be able to roll it out without breaking it.
- Alternatively, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and start rolling it out into a rectangle of 42x30 cm / 16x12 inches. No need to add too much flour while rolling, the pie dough should be cold enough not to stick to the kitchen counter. If at any point the dough gets too warm, pop it back into the freezer to chill for a minute then continue.
- Check the size of your muffin pan holes. The diameter of the dough circle should equal the size of the muffin tin holes (from the back) in the following way: 2x side + 1x bottom, in my case is was 11 cm / 4 inches.
- With the help of a cookie cutter, cut out circles of the dough that will fit your muffin pan holes.
- Flip your muffin tin and slightly press down the dough on the cavities of the tin.
- Chill the pie dough again now in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 200 C / 372 F (no fan)
- Take the cupcake tin out of the freezer and bake the mini pie crust in the following way: 20 minutes on the tin, then carefully remove them from the tin, apply a light egg wash (egg yolk + milk), and bake for further 5 minutes.
- The pie crust is ready when it is baked even golden brown.
- Diplomat cream can be made with room temperature pastry cream stabilized with gelatin and whipped heavy cream.
- Soak gelatin sheets in cold water.
- In a large enough bowl, with the help of a Hand whisk, whisk together sugar and egg yolk until slightly fluffy for about 1-2 minutes then whisk in corn starch, flour, and vanilla until thoroughly incorporated and have a smooth paste.
- Bring milk to simmering on medium heat then pour the warm milk over the egg yolk mixture slowly while whisking vigorously with a Hand whisk.
- Then, pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook on medium heat for a few minutes until it thickens. Concretely it is approximately 1 min after the first boil. It might get lumpy first but don't worry just keep whisking and the cream will get smooth and glossy.
- Squeeze excess water from the gelatin sheets and stir them into the mixture one by one.
- Add in room temperature soft butter and mix with a Rubber spatula until completely incorporated. It is worth adding the butter in 3 stages and mixing well after each addition.
- Cool pastry cream to room temperature. Place the cream into a shallow bowl or cake pan and cover the entire surface with plastic wrap to avoid skin forming on top.
- Once cooled, whisk the pastry cream for 1-2 minutes to get a smooth texture. Make sure you do not over whisk it as it can get runny.
- Whip very cold heavy cream until soft peak then carefully, with the help of a rubber spatula, fold in heavy cream into the pastry cream. It is worth adding the whipped heavy cream in 3 stages and folding after each addition.
- The Diplomat Cream can be used immediately in your mini pie crusts, or place the cream into the fridge for a few hours to further set.
- Fill each mini pie crust with sliced strawberries on the bottom then spoon or pipe the diplomat cream on top. To finish, decorate the mini pies with sliced strawberries and a few mint leaves.
- Serve the Mini Strawberry pies immediately. Any leftovers can be stored refrigerated for 2-3 days.
- Leave some bigger butter chunks in the pie dough mixture - this will encourage flaky pie texture on the pie crust - no need to fully incorporate the butter into the flour
- I recommend using every other cavity on your muffin pan so that when the crust puffs up during baking, they won´t touch each other
- While rolling and working with the dough, do not force it, do not stretch it. Always work with a dough that is cold enough to be able to handle but not too cold to break it
- It's worth keeping a good quality (so that the milk won't burn in it) small/medium-sized saucepan for making pastry cream only
- Let the pastry cream chill before folding the heavy cream in