Jammy Almond Hand Pies feature nutty almond filling and fruity jam tucked inside flaky pastry dough. Shaped like hearts, they’re perfect for Valentine’s Day!
Heart-shaped cookie cutters make it so easy to transform foods of all kinds into Valentine’s Day treats!
I had originally planned to bake some heart-shaped Jam Hand Pies for my family this year, but I felt inspired to try something new with the almond paste I found in my cupboard. Rather than just jam pies, I made Jammy Almond Hand Pies!
Almond paste adds rich nuttiness to these little heart-shaped pies, while a dollop of jam imparts fruity sweetness and a pop of color. Wrapped up in flaky, buttery pastry dough, this flavor combination is irresistible.
How to Make Jammy Almond Hand Pies
Start by making the pastry dough as it will need time to chill before you can roll it out. If you prefer to use prepared pie dough, go for it!
As the dough chills, I usually gather and prep the ingredients needed for filling and assembly, like mixing up the egg wash, deciding what kinds of jam to use, and shaping the almond paste so it will fit inside the pies.
Almond paste — sold in 7-ounce tubes at most grocery stores — slices nicely into pieces to use for this recipe. Its thick, pliable texture makes it easy and satisfying to shape into small flat hearts. It’s kind of like working with playdough.
Once the dough has chilled, roll it out and stamp it into 3 1/2 to 4-inch heart shapes. You’ll want a total of 32 hearts for 16 pies. Set 16 of the hearts on a parchment-lined baking sheet. These will be the bottom crusts.
Cut small hearts or other shapes in the remaining top crusts, saving the cutouts to decorate the pies once you’ve filled them.
Add the prepared almond filling to the bottom crusts and top it with your favorite jam.
When making jam-filled pies, I like to use more than one jam flavor for variety. This time I made both strawberry and raspberry versions. Their rosy hues felt right for Valentine’s Day.
With a clean finger, add egg wash around the border of the bottom crusts. Align the top crusts and press the dough edges gently together before crimping them with a fork.
Place a dab of the egg wash on the back of the reserved shapes and place them on top of the pies.
Once you’ve finished assembling, brush the top surface of the pies with egg wash and sprinkle them generously with coarse sugar. It looks pretty and gives these pies a satisfying crunch.
Bake the pies golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Be sure to wait for at least 10 minutes before indulging — the filling gets super hot!
These little hand pies make a satisfying, easy-to-serve dessert for Valentine’s or any day.
At my house, since these pies are filled with nuts and jam, they pass as breakfast and snack food, too.
Why not, right? Especially on Valentine’s Day!
Jammy Almond Hand Pies
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter cut into small pieces
- 1 egg yolk
- 5 tablespoons strained ice water
Filling and Assembly
- 1 egg white
- 2 teaspoons water
- pinch kosher salt
- 7 ounces almond paste
- 1/2 cup jam (I used both strawberry and raspberry)
- coarse sugar for sprinkling
- Whirl flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt in a food processor with the blade attachment. Add about half of the butter and whirl until no chunks remain. Add remaining slices and whirl briefly to chop them into pea-sized pieces.
- Whisk together the egg yolk and strained ice water. Turn food processor on again and quickly begin drizzling yolk/water mixture through the feed tube, stopping before the dough comes together. Pinch some crumbs together between your fingers; if they don’t stick together, add a bit more water and whirl briefly.
- Turn the mixture out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap to help you bring the dough together; fold the edges of the dough toward the center and press down until it holds together, taking care not to overwork the dough. Divide it in half and shape into two flat disks wrapped tightly in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before continuing.
- Remove one of the chilled pastry disks from the refrigerator. On a floured surface, roll the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut as many 3 1/2 to 4-inch hearts as you can. Roll out remaining dough and cut additional hearts to make 32 total, re-rolling the scraps as necessary.
- Place 16 of the rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet and set them aside to serve as the bottom crusts. On the remaining rounds, cut vent holes with a sharp knife or a miniature heart cutter. Save the cut-outs for decorating.
Filling and Assembly
- Whisk together the egg white, water, and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
- Slice the almond paste into 16 evenly-sized pieces and shape them into small flattened hearts about 2 inches across at the top.
- Center the almond paste hearts on the prepared bottom crusts.
- Add a generous teaspoon of jam over each almond paste heart, spreading to cover it.
- Working with one heart at a time, use a clean finger to spread some of the egg wash around the the outer 1/4-inch edge of the bottom crust. Place a prepared top over the filling, lining up the edges carefully. Lightly press to the edges together with your fingers and then seal them with a fork. Dab some of the egg wash on the back of one of the reserved dough shapes and press it on the top crust to adhere.
- Once all the pies are assembled, apply egg wash lightly to the entire surface of each pie and sprinkle generously with coarse sugar.
- Bake the pies until crisp and pale golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Let the pies cool for at least 10 minutes before eating as the filling will be quite hot straight from the oven. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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