Eat Like a Princess - Snow White - Mini Gooseberry Pies
A Christmas cookie always found at my parent's house is the buttery jam tart. My mom made multiple batches of these miniature pie cookies each Christmas with strawberry, raspberry, or blackberry jam. According to her they are my dad's favorite Christmas. For good reason, too. The dough is slightly sweet and buttery crust with a moist chew from the jam.
As a kid I loved pressing the edges of the cookies together with a fork, adding a dollop of jam to the bases, and cutting shapes in the tops. My mom made little trees in the tops one year. It was so cute!
Originally I thought I would adapt this recipe to make cookie tops that looked like the Evil Queen’s poison apple. I quickly discovered the dough was good for punching out designs but not free-handing poisoned faces. So I switched tactics making some modified buttery jam tarts with hearts cut-outs like the box meant for Snow White’s heart, linzer style cookies with hearts, and I created something totally new!
Using my tart molds (from my Jack-Jack Cookie Num Num post) and a 5 inch Pyrex lid I created Mini Gooseberry Pies! Snow White was a pro-baker and whipped up gooseberry pie for the dwarves when she found their cottage. Gooseberries are the size of cherries and come in a variety of colors with the green variety making an appearance in Snow White’s pie. They are commonly found in Europe but not in Northern America. They are tart to taste and common substitutes for them are cranberries. I chose the Smuckers Mosaics Cherry Blueberry preserves which has a deep red/purple color and oddly tastes similar to cranberries.
To make my mini pies I used a similar process to pie making: cut a top and bottom, pressed the bottom into the tartlet mold, filled with jam, and covered with the top. I curled the top down and tried to pinch top and bottom together along the sides. After pressing into the mold I used a fork to make the bird foot prints along the edge, a sharp knife to make the slits in the top, and placed a spare heat from my other cookies on top. I did attempt a “Grumpy” on the top but without any feathered friends to help I was hopeless!
The end result was a buttery jam tart to the power of 10! It cooked perfectly through and released from the silicone mold without any ingredients to prevent sticking. The crust was butter and crumbly. Interior was moist and tender. The jam was amazingly warm just out of the oven and didn’t overflow at all. A few of these at a tea party would knock the socks off of any Evil MIL.
The recipe in this post is for the basic version without the tart mold. They were perfect this way, too!
Mini Gooseberry Pies
aka Buttery Jam Tarts
Yield 1-2 dozen
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup preserved (any flavor works!)
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line baking pans with parchment paper.
- Combine all ingredients except preserves in large bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.
- Roll out dough on well-floured surface, one-half at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter.
- Place half of cookies, 2 inches apart, onto cookie sheets; place 1 teaspoon preserves in center of each cookie. Make small x or cut-outs with very small cookie cutter in tops of remaining cookies. Place on top of preserves; press edges together with fork. Bake 12-15 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned.