Truth be told way back (September 2013) I made some apple filled Hand Held Pies on a whim and before they became highly popular. I'm not saying I created them but since then so many recipes for small pies have been made, photographed and recipes blogged. These mixed berry heart tarts with a Valentine's Day theme therefore are not novel, not new but let me say they are at the very, very least exceptionally good!
From the delicious filling of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries to the outer crust that is flaky and slightly sweet like that of a tart, they eat like a hand held pie because of the size. Although I've made these heart shaped in honor of Valentine's Day, you can use a myriad of other shapes to make them.
To purchase fresh berries would have cost me a small fortune which I why I chose to pick up a bag of frozen fruit with the mixed berries which cost $3.29.
Start by making the crust so that while it is resting you can do the filling.
Put your butter in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes and here's a handy trick. Cut the butter in thirds and use your egg slicer to slice it before adding to the flour mixture. Saves a bit of time!
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 sticks cold butter
- 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
- ½ cup ice cold water (give or take)
- In a food processor pulse the flour, confectioners sugar and butter until a crumbly mixture forms – butter should be about pea size.
- Slowly add in ice cold water and keep pulsing and adding water until the dough is wet enough to form into a ball.
- Do not overwork (over pulse) the dough OR add too much water, otherwise you will end up with tough dough and the pie crust will not be flaky and tender when baked.
- Remove the dough from the food processor and put it on plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap to help form the dough into a round disc.
- Refrigerate each wrapped disc. Allow the dough to rest about 30 minutes.
- When you are ready, take one of the discs out, wait about 5 minutes then begin rolling your crust on a flour dusted surface. You should notice that the dough is smooth and silky in texture.
- Roll in a circle, from the center outwards. Make sure you keep lightly dusting the surface of the dough and rolling pin.
- Rotate the dough and turn it over until you have rolled out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness.
- 1 - 1 lb. bag frozen mixed berries
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. corn starch
- pinch of salt
- Put your berries in a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and let them thaw out.
- Add the thawed berries to a sauce pot along with the sugar and lemon juice and salt and corn starch. Stir. Add just a wee bit of water if needed.
- Cook over medium low heat until the berries softened and the mixture thickens slightly. Cool completely.
- Have at the ready some parchment paper to line your baking sheets.
- 1-2 eggs mixed with a bit of water for egg wash.
- A 5 inch cutter
- After the filling is cooled and the dough is rolled out, begin by using your heart shaped cutter to cut a top and bottom piece.
- Add 1/4 cup filling to the center of each heart.
- Brush some egg wash around the edges for sealing the dough.
- Press the edges together and then use the tines of a fork to further seal the dough.
- Make a small slice in the top of the dough for steam to escape.
- Brush the entire heart shaped tart with the egg wash.
- Place the tarts on a parchment lined baking sheet(s).
- Bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown.
You end up with 5 large tarts and 5-6 smaller cookie cutter sized hearts. There's left over filling but I have plans for using that up as well so for now it will get wrapped and refrigerated. I truly hope you enjoy making these and of course eating them!