Heart-shaped baked goods aren’t just for Valentine’s Day. You can prepare them throughout the year to let your friends and family know that you love them. In fact, Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and this recipe for heart-shaped handheld pastries is the perfect gift to express all of the gratitude you feel toward your mom this year.
If you don’t want to make the crust from scratch, you can purchase pre-made pie crusts from your grocery store (the kind that comes in a box), and cut the shapes from the dough. If you’re like me, however, homemade pie crust is the way to go. For the recipe below, I’ve added whole wheat pastry flour for more depth of flavor, but you can use all-purpose flour in its place if you prefer it.
• 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled butter, cut into cubes
• Ice water (about 1/4 cup)
• Your favorite jam or jelly
• 1 egg (optional)
• Raw sugar (optional)
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flours, salt, sugar, and butter. Pulse until the mixture is a coarse, crumbly texture.
Add the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, pulsing between additions. Stop adding water once the dough begins to stick together. It should be easily moldable (not too crumbly) without being wet or sticky.
Divide the dough into two portions, and form each portion into a ball. Flatten the balls into discs and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Preheat your oven to 400°F, and prepare a cookie sheet by lining it with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Remove one disc of dough from the refrigerator. Flour your work surface, your hands, your rolling pin, and both sides of the dough. Roll the dough out until it is 1/4″ thick. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut shapes out of the dough and transfer them onto your lined cookie sheet, making sure that they are lined up in pairs.
Spoon a teaspoon or two (depending on the size of your shapes) of jam or jelly onto the center of one of your heart-shapes in each pair. Sandwich the other heart shaped dough of the pair over the first, preventing the jam from escaping by lightly pressing down the sides. Seal and decorate the edges by flattening them together with the tines of a fork. Assemble all of your heart tarts in this manner.
Beat one egg in a bowl with a splash of water. Brush the beaten egg mixture onto the top surface of each heart-tart, and lightly sprinkle with raw sugar.
Bake in a preheated oven on the center rack for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before eating. If packaging, make sure to wait until the heart tarts have cooled completely before wrapping them up.
Recipe for the crust adapted from Martha Stewart.
To package my heart tarts I used burgundy colored labels in the style Filigree. I placed each tart inside it’s own cellophane bag and added a cute heart-shaped label with ribbon. Because I made so many tarts I decided create little gift boxes to give to my (soon to be) mother-in-law and grandmother.