Valentine Heart Tarts with Blueberries & Strawberries

Valentine heart tart

So, what is Valentine’s Day? So much is said about this day and all that you are supposed to do. A pass or fail kind of day, mostly from the girls perspective. I wonder if anyone sits and thinks about how ridiculous that is. Have we become that hypnotized by the commerce of things?

Romance is not about flowers and cakes. Hey, a romance that is forced upon one day a year is easy to do. If my man bought me roses or extravagant gifts just one day of the year and washed his hands off of me the rest of the year, THAT would make me intensely unhappy. For me the romance is in how he holds my hand every time we are out, how he looks at me so intensely every single time he sets his eyes on me, how he opens the door for me even though he knows how independent I am, how he will do anything to make me smile when I am down, how he drives with one hand on mine… I would choose the things he does for me on a daily basis any day.

Having said all of the above, it doesn’t mean you don’t celebrate the 14th of February. I am a convert of sorts for Valentine’s day, but still despise the social pressure that comes with it. Like I would be deemed a loser if I didn’t get a single rose on the day. And yes I’ve been there! So please ladies, if the man in your life doesn’t want to or forgets to, don’t throw a fit. Instead, do something for him. Pamper him, shower him with love, buy the sexiest lingerie to entice him, and see how he will appreciate that! Corny as it may sound, the joy of love is in the giving…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine heart tart

Valentine heart tart

Valentine heart tart

adapted from Martha Stewart

for the crust
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tbsp coarse salt
2 tbsps sugar
340 grams chilled butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup ice water
food coloring (optional if you don’t want red hearts)

to prepare
Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl mix for a few seconds to combine. (I don’t have a kitchen machine so I do everything by hand). Add the butter, and knead gently until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the ice water slowly, just until the dough holds together.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Divide in four parts. Place each piece on a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten, and form into discs. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 30minutes to an hour before using.

optional: If you want the red hearts, take one of the quarter pieces and knead with 3-4 drops of red food coloring. Knead till color is evenly distributed. Then wrap and refrigerate.

for the filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsps corn starch
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 cups strawberries cut into small pieces
2 cups blueberries
2 tbsps lemon juice
water for brushing
sugar for sprinkling on top

to prepare
On a lightly floured surface, roll out each of two disk of dough to fit your tart tin. I used two 7 inch tins. Fit dough onto pie dish, and trim edges, leaving a 1/4-inch overhang, and refrigerate. Reserve scraps. Roll out the other 2 disks, one red if you go for that option. Roll to to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out the hearts, using scraps from bottom crust if necessary. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate until firm.

Whisk together granulated sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add strawberries and blueberries, and lemon juice, and toss to coat. Spoon mixture into pie shell, piling high in the center. Tuck overhang under dough so edges are flush with rim. Brush lightly with water. Arrange the hearts around edge of pie. Press hearts gently on edge, alternating direction and overlapping slightly. (To help hearts stick, lightly brush each with water as needed.) Repeat, overlapping the hearts for the second circle. Repeat, overlapping the hearts, points in, for the final circle. (The hearts’ points might create a star-shaped vent in the center, don’t fret if it doesn’t come exactly to a star shape!) Whisk yolk and a dash of milk in a small bowl. Lightly brush entire pie crust with egg wash, then sprinkle with sugar.

Preheat oven to 400°F/205°C with rack on the lowest rack. Place pie on a baking sheet, and bake until crust turns light gold, 20 to 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F/175°C. Bake, rotating halfway through, until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, another 20 minutes. Let cool before serving.

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