Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend! My parents were able to make it into town, so it was a fun-filled weekend for me! I hadn’t seen my parents since Christmas and they hadn’t been to Madison since October, so there was lots of catching up to do. This included showing them around to the different places I’ve worked since October (don’t worry, there’s only two…and I plan on staying at my current one for awhile. :)). There’s just something about being able to visualize where somebody’s at during the day.
Plus, it was fun to show updates to our home, especially my new spring decorations I had made and put up. It’s been so dead and dreary in these parts that I finally said enough was enough and had to extend the bright colored jackets and clothes to our home decorations. I scavenged Pinterest for some ideas and on my day off last week I picked up the things I needed to spruce up our living space. Of course, after getting home and attempting the Pinterest version (and eating too many of the jellybeans that were meant to be only for decoration—who was I kidding?!), I realized it looked a lot better in my head (isn’t that always how it works?). So, I scrapped those ideas and actually used my own creative brain cells to make up my own. It made me remember what the days were like before Pinterest.
I think they turned out pretty well! Who needs Pinterest anyway?
Besides showing off my minimal decorating skills to my parents, I made sure to make something tasty for dinner when they arrived on Friday. Of course, dessert was the main thing I was concerned about. :) I had seen the recipe for individual pies awhile back and instantly knew I wanted to save it for my parents. My mom loves almonds, fruit pies, and is as excited as me for spring to really get here, so I knew Individual Strawberry Rhubarb Pies with Almond Crust would meet all of those criteria.
These pies were definitely a hit. The almond crust gave the pie a mild nutty flavor and complimented the sweetness from the strawberry-rhubarb filling really well. The strawberry and rhubarb, as always, made for a perfect pair for the filling and they each helped balance the tartness and sweetness. Plus, I love that this recipe is already portion controlled! One cup is just the right size, not to mention so cute! I can’t even stand it. It leaves room to add a scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream along side a warmed pie without bursting at the seams. Mmm…talk about tasty!
It’s a cinch to make, too! Start by making the crust. To a food processor, add chopped, raw almonds and blend until it turns into a fine crumb. If you don’t have a food processor, feel free to purchase almond flour in the grocery store. You can find this in the bulk section or health section of most grocery stores.
Add the remaining crust ingredients to the food processor and continue to blend until the mixture begins to clump. Don’t worry if it looks slightly crumbly, it will compact together when you press it into the muffin tins. The crust includes both vanilla and almond extract, which really enhances the flavor of the crust. It tastes pretty great on it’s own, too…not that I would know, or anything!
Generously spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. I really sprayed it in there because I was so worried they wouldn’t come out clean, especially since the dough was so crumbly. All my spraying worked, because all 12 of my pies came out perfectly clean. Once the muffin tin cups are sprayed, scoop a 1/4 cup of the crust mixture into each of the muffin cups before compacting the mixture along the bottom and sides of the muffin cups—this way you know you’ve divided the mixture evenly to all the cups.
Prick the bottoms with a fork, bake them in the oven slightly to set the crust, and your house will now be smelling like almonds. :)
Moving on to the filling…
Add the chopped strawberries and rhubarb to a sauce pan with sugar and tapioca.
The tapioca helps thicken the filling and give it that gel consistency often found in pies. Once the mixture is bubbling and starting to thicken, it’s ready to assemble the pies!
Fill the pies with about two tablespoons of the filling, top with some reserved crust mixture, and they’re ready for the oven. I promise you, your house will smell amazing!
I allowed myself to let these cool just long enough so I could safely take them out of the pan, but after that I had to give one a try. Hovering over the kitchen counter with a large bite out of the pie cup, I think I audibly mumbled, “oh my gosh, these are good,” and immediately texted Philip a picture of them. He agreed once he gave them a try—they’re pretty darn good.
Individual Strawberry Rhubarb Pies with Almond Crust
Yields 12 pie cups
Slightly adapted from Eating Well
- 1 cup chopped almonds, divided
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 2 Tbsp instant tapioca
- 2 cups chopped rhubarb, fresh or frozen (thawed)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups chopped strawberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
- Crust & Topping: Add 3/4 cup of the chopped almonds to a food processor and blend until finely ground. Add the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the almonds in the food processor; pulse until combined. Add butter and pulse until well incorporated.
- Whisk egg, oil, vanilla, and almond extract in a small bowl. With the motor running, add the mixture to the food processor. Process, then pulse, scraping down the sides if necessary, until the mixture begins to clump, 30 to 45 seconds (it will look crumbly). Measure out 1/4 cup of the mixture and combine in a bowl with the remaining 1/4 cup almonds; set aside for the topping.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Generously coat a 12-cup nonstick muffin tin with cooking spray.
- Press about 1/4 cup of the crust mixture into the bottom and all the way up the sides of each muffin cup. Prick the bottoms with a fork.
- Bake until the crusts are set and the edges are just beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
- Filling: Combine the tapioca, rhubarb, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until bubbling, thickened and the rhubarb is starting to break down, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in strawberries. Divide the filling among the crusts (a generous 2 tablespoons each). Sprinkle with the reserved topping.
- Bake the mini pies until the topping is beginning to brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes. Loosen the edges with a paring knife, then gently pry the pies out of the tin with a butter knife. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!