Adorable sweet pastry hand pies bursting with morello cherry jam. Melt in the mouth pastry combined with sweet, tart morello cherry make these a perfect Valentine’s Day treat.
This week I picked up one of my favourite books to re-read. The Time Traveler’s Wife is one of those books I can read over and over and over again. The type of book where I enjoy returning to the characters, revisiting the familiar words, going back to the scenes I remember so well. With best seller accolades, and a film adaptation, I’m sure many of you know this book well yourselves. For those that don’t, its the story of Henry, a man with the strange and unfortunate ability to time travel, and of his wife Clare, who has to watch him disappear in and out of her life without warning. Its a beautiful, heart wrenching, honest love story. Somehow, despite the fantastical time travel, its a very real tale of hope, passion and longing. It admits to the messiness of love and life, yet shows how this itself creates something very beautiful.
When the sickliness of Valentine’s Day sometimes feels like its spilling over everywhere, its good to be reminded of love stories that aren’t all hearts and flowers. Reminders that everyday love stories, in all their hesitations, compromises and normality, are the truly inspiring, heart warming ones.
Talking of love stories, our own personal one has reached an exciting stage – we’ve got a wedding date sorted. Planing is still very much in its infancy, but we do know that we’re getting married in the little church in the village I grew up in. I won’t bore you with too many details here, but if you do want to read more about it, I’m now blogging for the utterblog as an Uttering Bride. Come and have a read here!
Today’s love themed recipe are these Cherry Heart Hand Pies.
Made with a sweet short crust pastry and filled with a burst of delicious cherry jam.
The pastry is sweet, buttery and deliciously tender. The top crisps to a beautiful golden brown, and with each bite it melts in the mouth. A sprinkle of sugar adds a little crunch of sweetness. I’ve wanted to make little hand pies for a long time, and Valentine’s Day seemed the perfect excuse. They look adorable heart shaped, but if you’re not feeling that way inclined, they’d also be cute in little circles, or even rectangles. I’ve made them on lolly sticks for an extra touch of cuteness, but you don’t need to if you don’t want to.
They’re filled with a delicious cherry jam. I skipped the time and hassle of making my own jam and used a shop bought jam. I used a morello cherry jam from Marks and Spencers which has a rich, sticky, headiness to it, and a sharp tart tang that goes beautifully with the sweetness of the pastry. You can find similar ones here and here. The left over jam is delicious swirled through porridge the next day too.
What are your favourite love stories?
Are there any books you can revisit again and again?
– I used these lolly sticks from Lakeland. If you choose to use lolly sticks, make sure you lay them at least half way up the heart. This gives them support to be held up by the stick.
– make sure you don’t over handle your dough. Limit the amount of times you re-roll your dough. Over handling your dough makes it tough and unpleasant.
Cherry Heart Hand Pies
(makes 12 small pies)
200g plain flour
2 tablespoons icing sugar
100g cold unsalted butter, cut into 1cm cubes
1 medium egg (plus an additional egg for glazing)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
12 teaspoons of cherry jam
1 tablespoon caster sugar
12 ovensafe lolly sticks, optional
In a large bowl combine your flour and icing sugar .
Cube in the cold butter and rub into the flour using your finger tips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
In a separate jug, whisk together your egg, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of water.
Make a well in the centre of your flour mixture.
Pour in the egg mixture and bring together with your hands. Knead lightly to bring the dough together. Wrap and cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for half an hour.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C/ 180C fan / 390F.
Once the dough is chilled, roll out the dough to a couple of mm thickness.
Cut out 24 hearts with a heart shaped cutter (measuring approximately 2 inches. Squash the off cuts together and re-roll as required, but try not to do this more than twice as the dough will become tough.
Arrange 12 on baking sheets. Place a lolly stick half way up the centre of the heart and top with a teaspoon of cherry jam. Brush around the edge of the heart with beaten egg, and each with another pastry heart. Use a fork to gently press down around the edges and seal the pies. Brush each with a beaten egg. Using a sharp knife cut a cross in the top of each pie. Brush with a beaten egg.
Put into the centre of the warmed oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Take them out when they are golden and the pastry has firmed.
Cool completely on a wire rack.