These little Valentine Pies are all over food blogs this February and as soon as I saw them I thought I had to make them at our Asheville, North Carolina Bed and Breakfast this year. With Valentine’s Day falling mid-week, it gives me double the fun of serving “themed” food with two weekends to cater to. And, while most of my cooking here is in the form of breakfast, my family will tell you that I have a deep-seated love of pies, especially fruit pies. (In my world, apple pie is a perfectly acceptable breakfast food although I have never quite dared suggest this to James as a menu item for the inn.)
This recipe started out as a pie-on-a-stick–following on this year’s trendy “Cake Pop” which is ubiquitous these days. But the stick seemed like a needless addition which could only complicate the recipe, both in the making and the eating. I admit it does look charming wrapped in cellophane and tied with a bow… maybe next year.
For the pie crust, I used a simple pate brisee recipe. It’s the same one I use for Christmas Mince Pies and can be found in my cookbook, Recipes From a Big Family. It is typically used in France for both sweet and savory tarts, having a rich buttery flavour. And it is dead easy to make, especially with a food processor.
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) butter cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup of ice water
Place the first three ingredients in a food processor and pulse once or twice to mix.
Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Slowly add the water until the mixture just comes together.
Chill for at least one hour.
When you are ready to bake your tarts, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Roll out the pie crust and using a small heart shaped cookie cutter, cut two hearts for each tart.
The amount of each you will need depends on the size of your tarts. I used a relatively small cookie cutter and got about twenty tarts (40 pieces) from my dough. For this I mixed approximately 1/2 cup of jam with about 1-2 tablespoons of Chambord. The idea is to pump up the raspberry flavour with out making the jam too runny. I placed one teaspoon of the jam filling in the center of each of 20 tart pieces and then add three chocolate chips. Brush the inside of the top crust with a little bit of cream and place cream side down onto the filled crust. Then seal it with a fork. Poke a small hole in the center of each one. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
Bake at 425^ about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve warm or cool on a rack and ice as below.
Mix Icing Sugar with Chambord to a thick but spreadable consistancy. Add a few drops of red food coloring to get a color you like and spread on top of the cooled tarts. Sprinkle with a little colored sugar.
Happy Valentine’s Day!