I am going to be perfectly candid with you right now. And, in the spirit of the coming very pink, very wonderful holiday, I hope that you will love me anyways.
I ate eight of these pies in the course of 36 hours. Oh the wonderful things you can do when left alone with a pot of tea and a plate of mini pies.
This is my last Valentine's Day recipe for you and one might argue that I have saved the best for last.
If you are a long-time reader of this humble site, first, thank you for suffering through some very rough days of photography, and second, you may remember my infatuation with combination of cream cheese and raspberries from these croissants. They are still a favorite of mine.
These mini pies take that dream team to the next level.
The texture of the baked cream cheese mimics that of a cheesecake, and the jam brings moisture and sweetness.
We are making homemade raspberry jam. Yes, homemade. I am reluctantly letting us cheat on the puff pastry front, but I still had to insert a little bit of my pedantic nature.
This jam simmers away for nearly an hour, producing the most wonderful deep, berry flavor. The cinnamon is so subtle, but adds just the right amount of 'unmistakable something' to keep you guessing.
As the jam cools, cream cheese is whipped and sweetened.
I love these pastries because you can assemble them and pop them in the refrigerator before baking. This way, you can bake them just before serving so that they are still flakey and warm. I have to say though, their excellence is not at all diminished when served at room temperature, or even the following morning.
The perfect Valentine's Day dessert...or breakfast...or all of the above.
Happy Valentine's Day to you all! xoxo
MINI PIES WITH CREAM CHEESE & RED + CINNAMON RASPBERRY JAM
FOR THE RASPBERRY JAM
- 12 ounces frozen raspberries
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup dry, red wine
Cook's Note: This will make more jam than you actually need for the recipe, but it will store in the refrigerator for several weeks and is great atop biscuits or toast.
Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart saucepan and set over medium high heat. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat and cook for 45 minutes, stirring every so often.
Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FILLING
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer for 1 minute; until fluffy. Beat in egg yolk until smooth.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and slowly beat in confectioner's sugar. Mix in vanilla extract.
- 4 sheets frozen puff pastry, defrosted according to the maker's instructions
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
- 3 1/2-inch biscuit cutter
- small heart cookie cutter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Lay the puff pastry out onto a floured surface and roll slightly. Use a 3 1/2-inch biscuit cutter to cut 32 rounds out of the pastry. Use a small heart cutter to punch hearts out of 8 of the rounds.
Lay 16 rounds out onto the prepared baking sheets and top with one teaspoonful of jam and one teaspoonful of the cream cheese filling. Whisk together egg and water and brush the edges of the pastry with the egg wash.
Top the filled rounds with the remaining rounds of pastry and use your fingers to seal the edges. Brush the tops with egg wash. Use the hearts you cut out of half of the rounds to lay atop the solid rounds and brush with more egg wash. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar and bake for 18-20 minutes; until puffed and golden.
Cook's Note: You may wish to prep these pies in advance and bake them just before you plan on serving. If so, prepare them fully but do not brush the tops with egg wash or sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Instead, cover the pans with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to an hour. Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar as instructed just before baking.
Allow the pies to cool until just warm before serving. Enjoy!