Heart Shaped Strawberry Hand Pies
Somewhere between the certainty of grade-school rock throwing and the rise of the text message, love became complicated.
Is the three-day “no call” rule really a rule? Is it a bad sign if a man doesn’t punctuate his text messages? What does it mean that my husband bought me a toaster for our anniversary? Do the pink Valentine M&Ms demonstrate more affection than the regular colored ones? COMPLICATED.
This Valentine’s Day, I say we take a deep breath, set “the rules” aside, and say “I love you” with one of the least fussy and most sincere forms of affection: pie.
Pie is homey. It’s sweet. It’s at its best when at its messiest, when the crust so flakey it litters the plate. More than any other dessert, pie, to me, expresses tenderness and caring. While this sentiment applies to pie in any shape, for Valentine’s Day, these little heart-shaped strawberry hand pies are especially dear.
To keep things as simple as possible, I used a basic pie crust (I like Ina Garten’s recipe made with half whole wheat pastry flour, but feel free to use your family favorite or sneak in store bought) and Lucky Leaf Premium Strawberry Pie filling, jazzed with a bit of lemon zest. It contains no high-fructose corn syrup and is a decidedly uncomplicated and tasty way to bring this pie love story to life.
Crust is rolled, then stamped into Valentine hearts. I can feel the romance already.
A brush of egg wash creates a nice seal, then a dollop of strawberry lemon filling goes in the center of each for a fruity, Valentine’s surprise. The second set of hearts sits on top, pop-tart style.
The finishing flourish is a shower of sparkling sugar. Even the simplest Valentines deserve a little glitter.
Heart-Shaped Strawberry Hand Pies: because I love you.
No texting or rock throwing required.
Heart Shaped Strawberry Hand Pies
- Prepared pastry pie dough — enough to yield 2, 9-inch rounds
- 1/2 cup Lucky Leaf Premium Strawberry Pie Filling
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 large egg — beaten
- Coarse Turbinado sugar
Place racks in the upper third and center of the oven, then preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line to baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
In a small bowl, stir together the pie filling and lemon zest. Set aside.
Place the first pie crust on a well-floured surface and roll into a 1/8-inch thickness. With a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut 12 to 14 hearts from the rolled crust. Transfer the hearts to a plate or baking sheet and place in the refrigerator, then roll and cut the second crust. After cutting both crusts, you should have 24 to 28 hearts total.
Beat the egg in a small bowl to create an egg wash, then lightly brush over half (12 to 14) of the hearts. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of the strawberry filling in the center of each egg-washed heart, ensuing that you place a piece of fruit in each.
Gently stretch each of the remaining hearts with your fingers to make them slightly larger, then set them on top of the filling-topped hearts. With your fingers, gently press the edges together. With the tines of a fork, press around the edges of the hearts to seal, then use a small knife to cut two small vents in the top of each heart. Brush the tops of each complete heart with the beaten egg, then sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Place the hearts 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes, until golden and bubbling, rotating the pans’ position half way through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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More simple, heart-shaped treats:
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