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Strawberry Heart Hand Pies
If you like pie these hand pies are a cross between biscuit sandwiches and a mini pie. Filled with a homemade strawberry jam, shaped into little hearts making for a sweet valentines day treat.
These Heart Shaped Hand Pies are so much fun to make but even more delicious to eat. We make the short crust pastry from scratch and also the strawberry jam. The reason I prefer homemade over store bough tin both instances is because they are both very simple components that need very few ingredients (which are not fancy) and no fancy equipment is needed either. So why bother buying it from outside when you can make it at home?
I loved making them into these little heart shapes but you could make them into rectangles and turn them into pop tarts as well. Honestly, you can use any shape you prefer. I do like to keep them relatively small as they are hand pies hence they need to be easy to hold and eat. You could go a little bigger but this would affect the cooking time in the process as well.
What ingredients do you need to make these Heart Shaped Hand Pies?
Short crust pastry:
To make the pastry I used all purpose flour, butter, orange juice, salt and little orange zest. I prefer leaving the dough unsweetened as it balances out well with the strawberry jam. You need a good pastry as this will hold all that jam filling so it must be sturdy enough for that.
I used fresh strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornflour, fresh thyme and water. The jam is the best part of the hand pie so using a good quality one is important. Also it is important to ensure the jam you use isn’t too liquid which is why I like to make my own as I can control the consistency.
What substitutes can you use?
Short crust pastry:
I have used all purpose and it is the best option here but you could use a gluten free flour mix to make the pastry. I wouldn’t recommend using any other flours to make this recipe as it need to be tender and crumbly but firm to hold.
I love using Amul butter in my baking but you can use any unsalted butter you have. A vegan butter spread would also work here. Nut butters don’t work in this recipe. If you are using a salted butter like I am, reduce the addition of salt in your pastry.
I am using orange juice and zest here. Hence you need to use oranges, it makes for a very light pastry and delicious. The orange really comes through once it bakes.
I used fresh strawberries but you can use frozen here. It will need to cook long as there is more moisture that would need to be released while cooking. You can use raspberries as well. Ideally you can use any berries you like but the valentines theme of red and pink works best with strawberries/ raspberries.
Lemon juice –
To create the jam you need an acid and we are using fresh lemon juice. You can use lime juice or even apple cider vinegar to make it.
I have used Castro sugar to make this recipe, you can use any sugar you like. Brown sugar, coconut sugar, cane sugar, jaggery etc work well. Keep in mind the sweetness will vary depending on the sourness of the fruit. So adjust accordingly.
Usually I wouldn’t add cornflour to make my jam but I want to ensure this jam is not liquid after looking. Also I want to make sure it doesn’t release too much liquid while baking. You can use a little all purpose flour here instead of corn flour/ corn starch.
Fresh Thyme –
You can use fresh rosemary as well. Basil is a good combination with strawberries. If you don’t have fresh herbs leave it out.
What equipment do you need?
Short crust pastry –
To make the pastry I used a food processor as it comes together in minutes. But you could easily use your hands to make the dough as well. You will need a rolling pin, baking paper and baking tray to roll out the dough and bake it. Ive used heart shaped cutters but you can use any shape you like.
Strawberry jam –
You need a sauce pan, spatula and spoon to make the jam. But you need a knife and cutting board to cut up the strawberries. You also need a fork to seal the edges of the pies before baking, I’ve used my hands to seal them up and it works fine as well. I used a brush to coat the top with egg wash, this gives it that shine.
How to make the Hand pies?
We start by making the pastry. In a food processor we add the cold butter, flour and pulse together until we have small pieces of the butter even distributed. We then add the orange zest, juice, and salt. Keep pulsing until it forms a rough dough. If you were doing this by hand, rub the flour and cold butter together, then add the zest, juice and salt. Mix together with your fingers and form into a ball. Once the dough is ready, briefly knead it together a couple of times. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge. While this is firming up we make the jam.
In a sauce pan add the quartered strawberries. Add in the sugar, water and let that cook a little. Until the strawberries have broken down and the mixture is bubbling. Add the cornflour, fresh thyme and lemon juice, stir together and cook for a couple of mins until it has thickened – this means the cornflour has gotten activated. Take it off the heat and transfer to a plate to cool down quickly. While this is cooling down, preheat the oven and line your baking tray with a sheet of baking paper. Rollout the chilled pastry between two sheets of baking paper and cut out hearts. Transfer them to the lined tray and fill the centers with the cooled strawberry jam. Brush the edges with beaten egg and seal with another heart shaped pastry. This is the time to get creative. Egg wash the top and sprinkle over some Demerara sugar, bake until golden brown. Let them cool on a wire rack for a few mins before serving.
How to serve the hand pies?
You can serve them warm with a little dusting of icing sugar, a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some whipped cream. You could also serve them on its own and with some tea/coffee.
How long can you store the hand pies?
One the pies are baked you can store them at room temperature for 2-3 days in an air tight container but any longer than that will dry them out. You could store them in the freezer in zip lock bags for upto 1 month. The unbaked filled pies can be stored in the freezer on the baking tray until firm. Transfer to zip lock bags and stash them in there for 3 months, when you are ready to bake, let them thaw for 30 mins before baking in the oven. They will take little longer to bake so keep an eye on them. The shoot crust pastry can be wrapped and stored hint he freezer for upto 2 months. Make sure to wrap it well as it would dry out. The jam can be store at room temperatures in a glass jar for 2 weeks at room temperature and for 3 months in the fridge.
Now that we have covered all the important details on how to make this recipe, lets make some Heart Shaped Hand Pies. Happy Baking Ninjas!
Strawberry Heart Hand Pies
- Food processor
- Rolling Pin
- Baking paper
- Baking tray
- Sauce pan
- Heart shaped cookie cutter
Short crust pastry
- 240 gm Flour
- 120 gm Butter
cold and cubed
- 65ml Orange juice
- 1 tsp Orange zest
- Pinch of salt
- 240 gm Fresh strawberries quartered
- 25 gm Sugar
- 2 tsp Lemon juice
- 35 gm Corn flour
- 50 ml water
- 1 sprig Fresh Thyme
- 1 Egg beaten for egg wash
To make Short Crust Pastry
- In a food processor we add the cold butter, flour and pulse together until we have small pieces of the butter even distributed. We then add the orange zest, juice, and salt. Keep pulsing until it forms a rough dough. If you were doing this by hand, rub the flour and cold butter together, then add the zest, juice and salt. Mix together with your fingers and form into a ball.
- Once the dough is ready, briefly knead it together a couple of times. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for an hour.
To make Strawberry Jam
- In a sauce pan on low to medium heat add the quartered strawberries. Add in the sugar, water and let that cook for a couple of minutes. Until the strawberries have broken down and the mixture is bubbling.
- Add the cornflour, thyme and lemon juice, stir together and cook for 4-5 mins until it has thickened - this means the cornflour has gotten activated. Take it off the heat and transfer to a plate to cool down quickly.
- Preheat the oven to 180℃ and line your baking tray with a sheet of baking paper.
- Roll out the chilled pastry between two sheets of baking paper and using a cutter, cut out the hearts.
- Transfer them to the lined tray leaving an inch worth of space between each piece and fill the centers with the cooled strawberry jam.
- Brush the edges with beaten egg and seal with another heart shaped pastry. This is the time to get creative. Egg wash the top and sprinkle over some Demerara sugar, bake until golden brown. Let them cool on a wire rack for a few mins before serving.
- Do not over work the pastry dough this will make it tough once it bakes.
- If the jam is too thin let it cool longer on low heat. It will thicken as it cools down.
- Do not add hot jam into the jam, this will be disastrous.
- You can make the components ahead of time and make the pies on the next day.