I am always worried about over-selling anything I share. There is an overabundance of hyperbole here on the wonderful www and I am loath to add to it. Everything simply cannot be either amazing or horrible - the law of averages would lead one to believe that most things are just... average. But I am super-excited about these little pies. I have tried any number of ways to make a gluten-free, refined sugar free confection that could reasonably be called a pie and (without going into hyperbole territory) I would in all honesty have to evaluate each try as falling far enough from the mark to qualify as a fail. This little pie passes my test. To be truthful it doesn't have a wonderful flaky pastry crust but I really don't care - not for this. The pecans and almonds that stand in for that flaky crust are absolutely as satisfying.
My devotion to rhubarb anything is probably verging on boring but we (the Litchfield clan) love the stuff. Rhubarb pie in its beautiful simplicity is one of our all-time favourite treats. Eden has been very much missing the taste of that dreamy pie and her reaction to this mini-pie was even more enthusiastic than my own. If you have any rhubarb in your garden or at your market and even a tiny bit of love for rhubarb whatevers, give this recipe a go. It is super simple and really, really yummy. Baking it in cute little jam jars or ramekins just ups the appeal but if you would rather just make one large pie, you absolutely can.
Note: if you don't care about gluten-free or refined sugar free (or live where those items are hard to source) simply choose to use brown sugar to replace the coconut palm sugar and unbleached white flour in place of the gluten-free flour mix. You will be happy with what comes out of the oven. Promise.
individual rhubarb maple custard pies
(adapted from canadianfamily.ca)
1 1/4 cups pecans
3/4 cup almonds
4 Tbsp coconut palm sugar, divided
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp melted butter
1/3 cup honey
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 Tbsp gluten-free flour mix, divided
3 cups diced rhubarb
Put the pecans, almonds, 1 Tbsp coconut palm sugar, and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Pour in the melted butter and pulse just until combined. Spoon 3 Tbsp of the mixture into the bottom of each of six 6 oz glass jars or ramekins. (You can also make smaller pies by putting 1 1/2 Tbsp of the mixture into each of twelve 3 oz glass jars - gotta say these were pretty cute!). Press the mixture lightly into the bottom of the jars and set aside for a few minutes. There will be some of the ground nut mixture left in the food processor bowl - save it!
In a medium bowl whisk together the honey, egg yolks, maple syrup, cream, and vanilla. Whisk in 3 Tbsp of the gluten-free flour mix. Spoon 1/3 cup of the egg/cream mixture into each of the prepared jars and top with 1/2 cup of diced rhubarb. If you are making the smaller pies adjust your amounts accordingly - I trust you to do that without an exact measurement :)
To the remaining ground nuts in the food processor add the last 3 Tbsp coconut palm sugar and the remaining 3 Tbsp of gluten-free flour mix. Pulse a couple of times to combine. Sprinkle the mixture over the top of the rhubarb in the jars.
Place the jars about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees F. for 12 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue baking for another 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!!