Edible Insects Recipe: Mini Mealworm and Pecan Pie
Sweet Nutty Buggy Tarts
Sept. 16, 2018
May 5, 2019
May contain affiliate links.
The mealworms and chopped pecans blend well together, adding an interesting visible texture to these delicious little treats! For extra flavor, try using cinnamon-fed mealworms.
Time 50 mins; Active 25 mins; Serves 12
- 1/3 cup mealworms, boiled and toasted
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 12 mini pie crusts, either freshly made or store bought
1. If you are using ready-to-eat mealworms, skip to step 3; all you have to do is open the bag. If you are using frozen mealworms, follow provider instructions on the package. If you have raised your own mealworms, you will need to euthanize them in the freezer a day ahead of time, then boil for 3-5 minutes to kill any parasites, and drain. The easiest way to boil something tiny, like mealworms, is to bring water in a small pot to a rolling boil, then place mealworms in a fine mesh stainless steel strainer, and lower into boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Then, all you need to do it lift the strainer out of the boiling water, and rinse the mealworms, still in the strainer, with cool water.
2. To roast, preheat oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit (160 Celsius), and spread mealworms over a pan or piece of tin foil. You don't need any oil, they are fatty enough. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes until they are fragrant, and lightly crispy and dry to the touch. Be sure to watch carefully, as they can burn very quickly! Remove mealworms from oven, and spread across a new baking sheet, which you have covered in parchment paper. Set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. In a medium mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg, then add to it corn syrup, brown sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. In another mixing bowl, combine pecans and most of the roasted mealworms, reserving some mealworms for topping the pies with. Pour egg mixture over mealworm and pecan mixture, and stir gingerly, taking care not to crush the mealworms.
4. Disperse the filing into your mini pie crusts, about 1 tablespoon at a time. Make sure you do not overfill, as the filling will bubble up when baking, and you don't want it to overflow. Leave a little bit of room in each mini pie, to accommodate this. After you have filled the mini pies, go ahead and top them with the reserved mealworms. Adding extra mealworms last ensures that mealworms are prominently displayed on top of each mini pie, and it's clear what kind of pecan pie this is. Bake the mini pies for 20-25 minutes, until the filling has started to brown and set. Remove pan from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
Tip: After baking, pies may be frozen for 2-3 months. Before serving, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake just long enough to warm, before serving.
NOTE: It is advisable to only consume insects that are meant to be consumed by people, such as those sold by reputable edible insect suppliers (ie not pet food). Edible crickets such as those featured here can be purchased online from many suppliers, which can be found in the Resources section of this site.
This entomophagy recipe is included in Bugs for Beginners, a cookbook which teaches Westerners how to prepare and safely eat insects. Text may include affiliate links
I'm Mic. I love reading about, writing about, thinking about, photographing, and especially eating, food. Especially bug food. Enough talk, let's eat!