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Blueberry almond mini pies

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A friend asked me how I came up with this recipe, or any of the recipes you see here. I’m still not sure I have an answer. With most recipes, I just have a feeling that one flavour will go with another. I am very particular about flavours and “what goes with what.” I don’t like to mess too much with pairings that work. My tastebuds like watermelon and feta together, and my tastebuds agree that adding to the mix cucumber, flat-leaf parsley and black olives is just right. Unfortunately, then some people go and muck that up with tomatoes, and my brain immediately says no. Do I have an explanation? Not really. Or at least, I don’t have an intelligent, tangible reason for the firm no. Most of my recipe ideas start with a flavour or a flavour pair and a hunch. I know: a hunch is so very un-scientific of me.

making-blueberry-almond-mini-pies

If you asked François Chartier why two flavours work well together or why certain foods will play well with each other, he’ll tell you that it’s because they share a common thread, and that thread is a compound that both foods possess. For example, according to Chartier, maple syrup and soy sauce are a great match because of sotolone, present in both. Soy sauce and maple syrup work well together because of their similarities. François Chartier has even written a book on the subject: “Taste Buds and Molecules,” which is a really awesome read and one that I’d highly recommend, especially if you are curious about flavours and molecules and food-wine pairings (it’s even been translated into English and is available  on Amazon).

Following that train, we could probably explain why almonds and blueberries work well together. We know benzaldehyde is responsible for that deeply almond flavour, and I’m quite sure it’s also present in blueberries, at least to a small extent. Is that why blueberries and almonds work so well together? I guess the short answer is maybe! Almonds go well with apricots, cherries, and many types of berries, all of which contain benzaldehyde.

Mini-blueberry-almond-pies

So what about this recipe? I honestly wasn’t thinking about benzaldehyde when I came up with this recipe. The inspiration behind these blueberry almond mini pies had nothing to do with molecules and everything to do with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. A couple years back, Ben & Jerry’s had this “special edition” flavour called Mission to Marzipan, and I’d love to eat it with blueberries. In my mind, blueberries and marzipan are a delightful match. That ice cream flavour is long gone, and I thought I might as well revisit it, in pie-form. By the way, apparently the British call pies filled with frangipane and fruit (or jam) “bakewells,” so I guess that’s actually what these are. I’m still calling them pie. If you aren’t a fan of frangipane, you can always make these blueberry hand pies. Or you can always make blueberry white chocolate cookies.

Blueberry almond mini pies recipe

 

Blueberry almond mini pies

These mini blueberry almond pies are very similar to the British bakewells: little pies filled with frangipane and fruit (or jam)
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 30 mini pies
Calories 158kcal
Author Janice

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 400 grams all-purpose flour 3 1/4 cups
  • 200 grams unsalted butter 14 tbsp, diced and kept very cold
  • 125 mL cold water 1/2 cup
  • 1 pinch Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt

For the frangipane filling

  • 100 grams unsalted butter 7 tbsp, room temperature
  • 100 grams icing sugar
  • 100 grams ground almonds
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
  • 150 grams fresh blueberries
  • 1 large egg for the egg wash
  • icing sugar for dusting at the end

Instructions

Make the dough

  • In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour with the butter and salt until the mixture ressembles a fine crumble. Drop in the water, and pulse again. I gave the food processor a good run until the dough wasn't moving.
  • Transfer the dough to your work surface and split it in 2. Give each half a good pressing to form 2 discs of dough, then wrap them tightly and put them in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Prepare the frangipane

  • Cream the butter with the icing sugar, then add the ground almonds mixing it in really well, and finally the egg and almond extract (I did all this by hand with a spatula in a medium bowl). Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge.

Assemble the mini pies

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a cookie sheet with parchment. Roll out one half of the dough to about 1/8 inch thick, and cut out 3 3/4 inch circles (almost 4 inches).
  • Place 2 levelled teaspoons of frangipane in the middle of each circle, and top with 3 or 4 blueberries.
  • Brush the rim of each pastry round with egg and pinch into an open-centered triangle.
  • Refrigerate the mini pies for 30 to 45 minutes

Bake

  • Transfer the mini pies to the parchment-lined sheet. Bake the mini pies on the bottom rack for 15 minutes, then switch to the middle rack and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Let cool then dust with icing sugar before serving.
  • Reroll the scraps to make more pies, and continue with the second disk of dough.

Notes

I baked these blueberry almond mini pies with Stirling Creamery unsalted butter
Tried this recipe?Mention @kitchenhealssoul or tag #kitchenhealssoul!

Nutrition

Calories: 158kcal

If you are baking with blueberries and you notice the blueberries turned green or changed colour as they bake, don’t panic. That could be the effect of pH on the colour of the berries, but that has zero impact on the flavour of the berries.  

Blueberry mini pies with frangipane, triangle shaped mini pies

I do my best to bake with the finest ingredients. Stirling Creamery, a Canadian company, has provided the butter for this post.

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11 Responses to Blueberry almond mini pies

  1. Bernice July 7, 2014 at 4:13 PM #

    Hmmm fascinating! Of course there is a chemical reason why various tastes mesh…or don’t!
    Blueberries and almonds definitely do!

    I have still yet to find stirling creamery 84 here in Calgary 🙁

    • Janice July 7, 2014 at 4:15 PM #

      Hi Bernice,

      Have you tried at Costco? I know in Quebec, the Churn 84 has been sold at Costco off and on. Hope that helps and thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. Joyce Venard February 27, 2016 at 1:46 PM #

    So excited to make for church Downton Abbey tea!!
    400 grams of flour does not convert to only 1 1/4 cups flour, but much more. So what is correct amount?

    • Janice February 27, 2016 at 5:25 PM #

      Hi Joyce! You are absolutely right! THere’s a mistake. I checked my notebook and I definitely used 400 grams of flour, which is 3 cups plus 1/4 cup (3 1/4 cups) all purpose flour. I’ve updated the recipe to fix the mistake. So sorry about that huge typo! Thanks for catching it. Let me know how these turn out when you do get a chance to make them 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] “A friend asked me how I came up with this recipe, or any of the recipes you see here. I’m still not sure I have an answer. With most recipes, I just have a feeling that one flavour will go with another. I am very particular about flavours and “what goes with what.” I don’t like to mess too much with pairings that work.” Click Hear To Read More… […]

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    […] no scooping required. Since I’m on an almond + berries kick this summer (think back to the blueberry almond mini pies), I made this semifreddo with crushed amaretti biscuits, sliced almonds, amaretto and fresh, local […]

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    […] and baked in the oven). Frangipane is one of my favourite fillings. I’ve used it in these blueberry almond mini pies and this pluot pistachio tart (well, that last one is frangipane made with pistachios instead of […]

  5. Homemade pop tarts - January 16, 2020

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  6. Rhubarb bostock made with frangipane and rhubarb jam - April 4, 2020

    […] is one of my favourite fillings. I’ve used it in these blueberry almond mini pies and this pluot pistachio tart (well, that last one is frangipane made with pistachios […]

  7. Blueberry hand pies | Kitchen Heals SoulKitchen Heals Soul - June 21, 2020

    […] I strongly suggest eating the pies the day you baked them. They’re still tasty the next day, but the crust is truly amazing when it’s freshly baked. It’s tender, flaky and a little delicate. And if you are looking for other things to bake with blueberries, try these honey blueberry muffins or these blueberry bran muffins.  Or you could even bake blueberry white chocolate cookies or blueberry almond mini pies! […]

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