We’re having a bit of a pie crisis. Our daughter had her heart set on a strawberry rhubarb pie, which we made last year and it was everyone’s favorite. This year, I’ve been to 6 grocery stores and cannot find rhubarb anywhere. The Krogers say they haven’t been able to get it. The Food Lions don’t have it. Our local natural foods store, Eats, hasn’t seen any in a while.
The family all agreed we also want cherry, so we have one pie for Thanksgiving. It’s on this second pie that we’re falling apart. I want pecan, our son wants apple, my husband already made a pumpkin pie because that’s what he wanted and he knew nobody else would want it on Thanksgiving. Our daughter, distressed by our inability to make her first choice, can’t put her finger on what she wants instead. As is often the case when the first choice is a bust, nothing else compares.
She said she wants to try something new. Something we’ve never made. When I asked what she wanted, she couldn’t articulate it. “Some kind of small pastries, like individual ones.” Sounds easy :|.
We’re all kind of hovering around apple pie, and our daughter mentioned maybe some kind of apple tarts would do. I told her about the best apple pie I’ve ever had, which was made with a shortbread crust, and how I tried to replicate it once but working with the shortbread resulted in nearly as much swearing as caramel cake. She knows this level of swearing. We’ve made caramel cake before.
“I bet if we did small pies, we could use shortbread and it would be easier to work with,” I said. “And we could make a crumble topping for something different.”
She likes this idea. So the question now is this: how do we make these pies? If you’ve ever successfully made mini apple pies with shortbread crusts and crumble topping, please help! My primary questions are these:
- Can we bake these in a muffin tin or do we need special mini-pie vessels?
- If muffin tins are usable, what diameter circle do we need to cut the rounds of dough?
- What recipe have you had success with?