3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
2 cups sliced fresh rhubarb
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 drops red food coloring, optional
Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)
Sweetened whipped cream, optional
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Place tapioca in a small food processor or spice grinder; process until finely ground.
2. In a large saucepan, combine strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, orange zest, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, tapioca and, if desired, food coloring; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until strawberries are tender, stirring occasionally, 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of dough to an 18-in. circle. Cut 12 circles with a 4-in. biscuit cutter, rerolling scraps as necessary; press crust onto bottom and up sides of ungreased muffin cups. Cut 6 more circles with remaining crust. Spoon strawberry mixture into muffin cups.
4. Bake until filling is bubbly and crust golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool. If desired, serve with whipped cream.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. + chilling Bake: 15 min. + cooling YIELD: 18 mini pies