Difficulty: A wee bit harder
Time: 30 minutes plus 10 minutes baking
Serves:30 + hearts
These jam hearts are a fun easy treat to make for Valentine’s day. Don’t be put off making pastry from scratch; it’s really easy and a lot nicer than pastry you can buy in the shops. Having said that, if you want to make your own pastry or don’t have the time you can buy shortcrust pastry in most supermarkets – look in the chilled or frozen departments.
We used some homemade raspberry jam to fill our hearts but you could use any jam you like. Alternatively, stew some berries or apples in a pan with a little sugar to soften them and use that. We tried a few this way and they were delicious, but took a bit longer than the jam version.
375g (3 cups) plain flour
260g (1 1/6 cups) unsalted butter, softened
125g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 large egg, plus 1 beaten egg for glazing
3 tbsp jam for the filling
Make the pastry
Get your toddler to weigh the flour (375g) out and put it in a large mixing bowl. Measure the butter (260g) and cut into small pieces before adding to your bowl.
Rub together until it looks like breadcrumbs. This is a fun step for kids to do if they like getting their hands dirty.
Get your child to measure the sugar (125g) and add to the bowl. Crack the egg into the bowl.
Mix everything until it’s coming together then tip out onto a lightly floured surface. Fold until the pastry comes together – try not to over mix, as soon as it happily forms a ball you’re done. Wrap the pastry up in cling film and pop it in the fridge for 15+ minutes or so.
Preheat your oven to 180C/170C Fan/350F
Make the jam hearts
Line two baking trays with baking paper
Start with half your pastry to make it easier to roll. Lightly flour your work surface then get your toddler to help you roll the pastry out until it is about 3mm thick. When you’re rolling it out, be sure to turn it 90 degrees between turns – it helps to stop it sticking to your work surface, and also ensures you get an even thickness. When it gets a bit bigger, roll it round your rolling pin before rotating it to stop it tearing.
Get your kids to cut out hearts with a pastry cutter. Pop them on the prepared baking trays. Re-roll the pastry and cut out more hearts – repeat that until you have used up all the pastry.
Add a teaspoon of jam on to the middle of half the hearts. Put another heart on top and press down the edges gently with a fork to seal them. Using a sharp knife, pierce the top of each heart.
When you’ve finished all the hearts brush them with a beaten egg to glaze them.
We used half our pastry dough. If you don’t use all of yours wrap it up with cling film and it will keep in the fridge for a week or two.
Bake the jam hearts
Pop the hearts into the oven for approximately 10 minutes. They’re ready when they have turned a nice golden brown and don’t feel soft.Remove from the baking tray and leave to cool on a wire rack.