Okay, remember that one time at 1 am when you were scouring Pinterest to find the perfect Valentine treat for your sweet and thought to yourself, that would be adorable! Well, not so adorable in the light of day after wasting a perfectly good pie crust and praying to the kitchen Gods that mason jars are indeed oven safe despite of any actual written confirmation of that on the packaging. While thankfully the jars didn’t explode into a million shards of glass under the scrutiny of a 400°F oven, the pie in a mason jar idea did not fair so well in the taste and execution department. Adorable? Yes. Tasty? Not so much.
I have been baking all of my life and rarely find myself in the midst of epic failures and this was certainly one of them, and I am so grateful for it. Quite often our inspirations germinate from mishaps. They are opportunities to learn and recreate. This Pinterest fail, along with a mild obsession of all things mason jars, bring us here today, to these adorable Sweetie Pies layered with perfect pie crust and a beautifully balanced sweet-tart berry filling! I made them for all of my loves at home and I hope you will make them for yours.
This recipe will yield 4-8 mason jars pies depending on the size of jar you use.
1 16 ounce (454 grams) bag frozen mixed berries, preferably organic
2/3 cup (134 grams) sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice, preferably organic
Zest of 1 lemon, preferably organic
1/2 cup (100 grams) sanding or raw sugar
How to use them:
Preheat your oven to 400°F/204°C. Prepare a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper.
Place the frozen berries in a medium size pot. I really wanted to use berries for this bake as it feels synonymous with a celebration of love. I am an avid advocate of seasonal baking and when I know the particular fruit I am using is not in season yet, I opt for the organic frozen option. These fruits are picked at the height of the season and flash frozen to maximize freshness and flavor. They are often a great alternative when fresh is unavailable. These berries are exquisite on their own and I did not want to mask their delicate flavor profile with anything other than lemon zest and juice which serves to brighten the filling and balance it’s sweetness.Stir in the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and lemon zest. Heat on medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer. Heat for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens and it takes a few seconds to for the mixture to come back together when you run a spoon across the bottom of the pan.Empty the mixture into a bowl and set aside to cool as you roll your dough. Roll your pie dough on a lightly floured surface, and with each roll turn your dough a quarter turn. Repeat this after each roll and add a light dusting of flour if the bottom or surface of the pie dough begins to stick. Roll to about a 1/8 inch thickness. You can see the thin gradations of the sheets of butter throughout this dough which will result in a most impeccably flaky crust. Using a cookie cutter, cut round shapes that are approximately the size of the bottom and top of the mason jar that you are using.The amount of rounds you will need depends on the height of your mason jars. There are no set rules here. I used three pie dough cookies and decorative hearts tops for my jars. Press your rounds gently into sanding or raw sugar and place on the baking sheet. This step not only adds a flirty visual interest, but the textural element of the crunchy sugar is perfectly placed in between the layers of supple fruit filling.Bake at 400°F/204°C for 9-11 minutes until the pie crust cookies are golden brown on the bottom. Remove them from the baking sheet and allow them to cool on a rack.
When you are ready to assemble your Sweetie Pie Jars, place a cookie on the bottom of each jar and then top it with a tablespoon of filling. Repeat this process until you reach the top of the jar and then top with the various heart cut outs.Serve immediately to all of your precious loved ones at home and don’t forget to tell them just how much you love them, today and everyday!