My great Auntie Dot made the best pies. Hands down. No contest. She used to have this picnic basket that she always carried them in. So if she came over to your house with that basket in hand, you KNEW you where in for a big treat! Auntie Dot never let you get away with just eating a little bit of pie. If you asked for a sliver, she would give you the biggest slice your eyes have ever seen. It was as if she didn’t even know the meaning of “just a small piece please”. We still get a laugh out of that today and it’s a great memory that I have of her.
The farmers markets have been full of beautiful looking rhubarb lately, so I knew I wanted to make my Auntie Dot’s strawberry-rhubarb pie. While I kept the recipe for the filling the same, I decided to bake it off in little ramekins for individual serving sized treats, instead of making a whole pie. Don’t you just love food that comes in small packages like that? I know I do. Besides being just plain adorable, I think when you are served something in a small, individual dish it just makes you feel really special. Like somebody went to all the trouble to make this just for you. I like that.
This recipe for the strawberry-rhubarb pie filling made six 6 oz ramekins, but it can also be used to fill a single 8-9 inch pie. I decided to omit the bottom crust, and just do the lattice work on the top. The recipe for the crust below makes enough dough for 2 whole full-sized pie crusts. Obviously, this is way more than you need for the little bit of lattice work for these ramekins. But pie dough freezes really well. So I figured, if I’m going to bother with getting out all the ingredients and the food processor, I might as well make the whole recipe and save the rest for later. But feel free to scale back if you want.
I think my Auntie Dot would be very happy with the way these this little tarts came out. They are sweet and tangy and make perfect use of late springs bounty of rhubarb. Although she probably wouldn’t approve of the small serving size!
Recipe for All-Butter Pastry Dough from Tanglewood Baked Goods.
A good tutorial for making lattice crust can be found on Simply Recipes.
—Liz @ FloatingKitchen
- Serves 6
- All Butter Pastry Dough
- Strawberry-rhubarb filling
rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
fresh orange juice
quick cooking tapioca
butter, cut into small pieces
sugar (large-grain decorating sugar if you have it)
milk (any kind is find)
- Make the pastry dough. Cut up the butter into small pieces. Measure out 1 cup of water into a glass measuring cup. Place both the butter and the water in the freezer for about 20 minutes. You want everything to be really cold when you start.
- In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt by pulsing 2-3 times. Add in your cold butter and pulse several times (approximately 15-20 times) until a course meal forms. Now add about 1/2 cup of the cold water and continue pulsing. Scrape down the sides of the food processor as needed. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time and pulsing in between each addition, so that the dough starts sticking together into a loose ball. I ended up adding an extra 3 tablespoons of cold water.
- Remove the dough from the food processor. Shape it into a ball and split it in two. Flatten each ball slightly into a disk shape and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Each of these halves would be enough for a full 8-9 inch pie crust. I took one of the dough balls and squirreled it away into the freezer for later use. The second dough ball I stuck in the refrigerator, to be use for making the lattice for the strawberry-rhubarb tarts. The dough needs to rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour before using. Make the strawberry-rhubarb filling. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix. Let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature.
- During this time, pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Your definitely going to want the parchment paper – these will make a nice mess while baking! Spray the inside of your ramekins with cooking spray and place on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Divide the strawberry-rhubarb filling evenly between the ramekins. Dot each ramekin with a few small pieces of butter.
- On a well-floured surface, roll our your pastry dough to about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into thin strips (somewhere between a 1/4 and a 1/2 inch wide works well). Place 4 parallel strips onto of your filled ramekins, leaving a little space between each one. Fold back every other strip, and place one strip of dough perpendicular to the original 4 strips. Unfold the strips. Now repeat, but this time fold back the two strips that did not get folded back the first time, place one strip of dough perpendicular to the original 4 strips. Unfold. Repeat this whole process one more time. Check out the tutorial on lattice making on Simply Recipes site - it's extremely helpful!
- Once you have finished the lattice work on all the ramekins, pat down the ends of the strips with your finger. You can trim off the excess dough if there is a lot of overhang. But I kind of like to leave it – it looks rustic and you end up with some nice crunchy dough pieces to eat! Using your finger, dot the top of the dough with a little milk. Sprinkle with sugar.
- Place the ramekins in the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes. Then rotate the pan and cover loosely with tin foil to prevent the crust for getting too browned. Continue baking for another 25 minutes. Remove form the oven and let cool. It’s best to let the tarts rest for about 30 minutes for the filling to firm up a bit. Serve with ice cream, if you wish.