last week, tara and i got ambitious. for some time now, we’ve admired this recipe on the back cover of martha stewart’s february edition (this edition featuring chocolate, hearts & roses! … please refer here for further details about my own valentine’s day). la grande enjoys the bounty of martha (and her amazing staff) in her magazine. the pictures, the layouts, the recipes. how does she do it? well, tara and i set off to find out. adventure pear and strawberry love!

martha’s original recipe calls for pears and raspberries. we inserted straw for rasp and came out with these lovely pie pockets of love. as you know, i have a great love for strawberries. here is another tasty way to savor those summer sweets that you’ve frozen away in your deep freeze.

now, i do believe our technique as a team may not quite meet ms. martha’s caliber. but for ms. tara and myself, we were quite pleased. as were the many mouths our happy pie pockets filled!

pear and strawberry love
(adapted from martha stewart’s magazine, pear-raspberry heart pies)

for the pastry:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for surface
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water

for the filling:
2 firm ripe pears (we used anjou), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (go for the freshly grated nutmeg here, it’s totally worth it)
1/2 cup frozen strawberries, coarsely chopped
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
sugar for sprinkling

1. make the pastry. tara did this, so i will fill in as i can. pulse flour, salt, and granulated sugar in a food processor until combined (alternatively, i’d say whisk it all together in a large bowl). add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 5 seconds (alternatively, i’d use a pastry mixture). essentially, you’re making pie crust here.

tara making the pastry!
2. evenly drizzle ice water over mixture, pulse until mixture just begins to hold together, about 10 seconds (again, use pastry mixer and look for similar conditions, if you’re not using the machine).  turn out dough onto plastic wrap, wrap, and shape into a disk. martha recommends refrigerating until firm, 1 hour or overnight. we let ours chill out in between batches (we made 2), so we kind of skimped on this. it worked out just dandy, though.
3. make the filling: toss pears with lemon juice. melt butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat. add pears, toss to coat.
4. cook, adding granulated sugar a little at a time, about 5 minutes. stir in nutmeg. transfer to a bowl and mix in strawberries.
5. divide dough in half, and roll out each piece to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. martha says to refrigerate for 15 minutes, we skipped this part completely!
6. preheat oven to 350.
7. drain pear-strawberry filling in a sieve (or we used cheese cloth). we saved the butter juices… still in the fridge, any ideas on what we can do with it? let me know!
8. cut out 20 hearts from dough using a 4-inch cutter, transferring them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. we didn’t have such a cookie cutter, and made our hearts each by hand. how heart-felt, heart-y, heart-ful!

9. lightly brush rims of half the hearts with egg wash, and top each with 4 heaping teaspoons filling. top with remaining hearts, and gently press around sides to seal. brush pie tops with egg wash, and sprinkle with sugar.
10. bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes.

*we had a lot of extra dough after making our 20 hearts (we doubled our recipe, a single recipe makes 10). with our extra, we used a mason jar and cut circles, filling them with different jams we’ve had in our fridge (pink banana marmalade, plum, and wild berry). these were quite delicious, too!