It is starting to appear as if my best recipes result from trying to use up leftover ingredients. The other day, I made a batch of chocolate cherry mini-tarts (not yet blog worthy but close). I’ve made Kringle from time to time with this recipe. As a result, I had cherry pastry filling in my pantry. Pastry filling is NOT canned pie filling. It is thicker, less chunky, and more like jam or preserves in texture. For the mini-tarts, I needed about 2/3 of a container of pastry filling. That left me with a 1/3 of a cup of cherry pastry filling and no idea of how to use the filling. Hello, Pinterest.
I found inspiration from this mini pop tart recipe. I wasn’t sure, though, about the pastry. Pastry dough is not my strength and I have little success with pastries or cookies that have to be chilled before rolling them out. Seriously, how long do you chill the dough to make it the right rolling texture?
Recipes that contained gluten seemed to use plain pie crust with filling. My husband, though, has a sweet tooth. I wanted a crisp, flaky but sweet pastry.
Here is the result:
For the pastry:
Preheat your oven to 375. Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Get your rolling area prepped with a bit of gluten free flour.
2 c gluten free flour blend (see note 1)
1/2 c (that is one stick) of cold butter cut into small pieces
Pinch of salt
1/3 c of sugar
Approximately 2-4 T water
(You will also need an egg beaten with a tablespoon of water for binding and, of course, fillings of your choice.)
Mix the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the cubed, cold butter. Pulse until evenly incorporated. Add the egg and 1 T of water. Pulse. At this point, add just enough water to make a dough ball that holds together.
Roll out the dough on a parchment lined, (gluten free) floured surface. You may want to work two halves of this dough.
Using a small square cookie cutter or even a ruler, cut squares out of the dough. My cookie cutter is about 2 1/2 inches square. You could use any shape, large cookie cutter but round or square will work best with filling.
Place the squares on a cookie sheet. Drop about a teaspoon to a teaspoon and a half of filling on the pastry. Brush egg wash around the outside edge of the dough. Top the square with a second square of dough. Bind the top and bottom together by pressing a fork around the outside edge. (I did not “dock” my pastry, but they probably need it. Docking is pricking the dough to vent steam during baking.)
Bake the pastries about 15-18 minutes. Check the doneness by looking at the color not by firmness. You want them browning on the bottom but not overly browned.
You could fill them with almost anything. My next batch will have Nutella in them. Or apricot preserves. Or cinnamon sugar…
You could top them with glaze or sprinkled sugar. Because the dough is sweet, I was hesitant to glaze them.
My husband and I ate some of them right off of the cooling rack. Be careful; the filling is hot.
If you use a fruit filling, I would store these in the refrigerator. If you do so, reheat a bit to serve. They are spectacular warm.
Note 1- you can use a good gluten free blend with xanthan gum for the whole 2 cups. I like 1 and 1/2 cups of gluten free blend plus 1/4 cup oat flour (Bob’s Red Mill is certified gluten free) and 1/4 c superfine almond flour (like Honeyville). This combination adds sweetness without making the pastry too dense.