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Jam-Filled Pie Bites

jam filled pie bites feature

Jam-Filled Pie Bites are quick and easy, the perfect snack or dessert when you just want a little something!

Are you, like me, over the whole winter thing by January 2nd? When my holiday spirit gets packed away for another year, my patience for cold and gray and dreary goes with it. This wouldn’t necessarily be a problem in other areas of the country, but I live on top of a mountain in Northeast Pennsylvania. So I may be done with winter, but it’s nowhere near done with me. It’s going to be a long 4 months.

When my longing for warm weather starts to get the best of me, I take refuge in my kitchen. In the first place, I have a really big stove and as soon as I rev that bad boy up it’s pretty warm in there. I really like to be warm, it’s a driving ambition for me this time of year. Also, while I may not be able to feel the warmth of June in January, I can sure taste it if I want to! These jam filled pie bites, full of strawberry jam that I canned back in the late spring, bring those sunny days and warm breezes back even if it’s just for a moment.

Pie bites are deceptive in their simplicity. It’s just pie crust, jam, and a vanilla glaze. It sounds like something you’d find on a wire rack in a gas station. But they’re not. They’re so not! They’re crispy and buttery, sweet and fruity, and very definitely delicious. What they’re not is a commitment. They’re just a bite. A bit of pastry, a little spoonful of jam, and done. These pie bites are perfect when you just want a little something sweet, but dessert’s more than you’re looking for.

They’re also super versatile, because you can pick any flavor jam you like! I used strawberry because I make and can it every year, so there’s a lot of it in my pantry. If you like something else, use what makes you or your family happy. Even applesauce would be great in here. Not a pie crust maker? No problem. Buy some in the refrigerator section and move along! These are supposed to be quick and easy. If pie crust gives you stress, don’t make it. Not for this.

These pie bites are also great portable snacks. They’re ideal for picnics, after-school snacks for your kids, and they travel well. No plates, no utensils, no need to be kept cold. I’ve even thrown these in a lunch box container for my boys.

Ingredient Notes

Pie Crust

  • Flour – All-purpose flour is all you need. Nothing fancy, nothing special.
  • Butter – Unsalted, please. Different manufacturers add different amounts of salt to their salted butters, so there’s no way to adjust a recipe correctly. And the butter needs to be very cold. This is really important.
  • Salt – While this is a sweet recipe, a bit of salt in the crust helps enhance and balance flavors. I use kosher salt (Diamond Crystal) when I cook and bake. If you are using table salt, I recommend cutting the amount in half. Table salt is a much “saltier” salt ounce for ounce than kosher or sea salt.
  • Water – The recipe calls for 1/4 to 1/2 cup of very cold water. The cold water helps keep the butter from softening. You want your butter to stay very cold to preserve the flaky texture of the pie crust. The reason for the range in the amount of water is that how much water you’ll need to make pie crust varies seemingly from day to day. When it’s humid, the flour absorbs less water. When it’s dry, the flour mixture needs more water to come together. In my experience, I need at least 50% more water in the winter when the air inside is dry from the heating system than I do in the humid summer.

Are you looking for sugar on the pie crust ingredients list? It’s not there. I put sugar in pie crust for certain things, but not for these jam-filled pie bites. Using jam as a filling means you start with a LOT of sugar. Most of us think of jam as sweetened fruit, but it’s not. Jam is fruit-flavored sugar. There’s more sugar than fruit in nearly all classic jam recipes! Even after the jam, the pie bites will be topped with a vanilla glaze that is made from confectioner’s sugar. This whole operation is sweet enough. The crust doesn’t need to add anything to that.

Filling

  • Jam – Any flavor you like! From grape to gooseberry, if it tastes good, throw it in there! Assuming, of course, it’s actually jam. If it’s a sugar-free spread, I don’t know. Without knowing what alternative sweetener is used in the product, I have absolutely no idea whether or not you can bake with it. I’m sorry.

Vanilla Glaze

  • Confectioner’s Sugar – It will be easiest to make your glaze if you give your sugar a bit of a whisk before you add the milk. Everything comes together better if there aren’t any lumps.
  • Milk – Any kind of milk is fine. It’s only here to turn the confectioner’s sugar from a powder to a drizzly glaze. Dairy or not, whole or skim, any of it will work.
  • Vanilla extract – Because it makes stuff taste good.

How to Make Jam Filled Pie Bites

Pie Crust

This step is completely optional. If you prefer to buy pre-made pie crust, then skip this step and go to the assembly portion of the directions.

If you do decide to make your own pie crust for these pie bites, there are a few methods. I use a food processor. Others make pie crust by hand, and that’s perfectly fine too.

  • Combine butter, flour and salt – Measure flour and salt into a bowl or into the work bowl of a food processor. Cut up your cold butter into small cubes, and add to the flour. Process either in your food processor, with two forks or a pastry blender or with your fingers until the mixture looks like coarse meal with small, pea-size pieces of butter.
  • Add water – Add your water in stages, until your pie crust just starts to clump together. If you’re using a food processor, try to pulse 3 or 4 times between water additions in order to avoid overmixing the dough.
  • Wrap and rest – Once your pie crust is mixed, divide it in half and flatten each half into a disk. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap or parchment and chill for at least an hour. Don’t skip the resting! Your crust will be easier to roll out and will bake up better if you let it rest.

Assemble the Pie Bites

  • Roll and cut – Remove your pie crust from the refrigerator and roll it to no more than 1/8″ thick.
  • Cut out circles – With a 2-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out circles of dough. You should be able to cut out 24 circles of this size from each disk of dough. You’ll need to re-roll the scraps, and that’s just fine. If the dough gets sticky or difficult to cut out, put it on a baking sheet and return it to the refrigerator for a few minutes until it firms up again. Place half of the circles onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
  • Spoon jam filling onto circles – Place 1 tsp of jam in the center of each pie crust circle. Don’t overdo the jam filling. It never looks like enough. If it looks like enough, you are in a lot of trouble when you try to place the top crust on and seal it. You will have a leaky, sticky mess and will be very unhappy. Ask me how I know.
  • Add the top crust circles and crimp to seal – Place a second pie crust circle on top of each filled crust circle, and crimp to seal. I use the fork-around-the-edge method, because I know it works and it makes me feel better to see those little tine marks all the way around. Make a small steam vent hole in the top of each pie bite. It helps to discourage the jam from blowing out the crimped seam and leaking all over the pan.
  • Chill the assembled pie bites – Pie crust always bakes better when it’s cold. After all of this rolling and cutting and filling and crimping, your crust dough has been handled a lot. Let it rest in the refrigerator and firm back up while the oven preheats. About 15 minutes is all it needs.

Bake and Cool

  • Preheat Oven – While the assembled pie bites chill, preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Bake – Bake the pie bites at 400F for 18-20 minutes. You want some lightly golden crust around the edges and on the bottom of each bite.
  • Cool – Cool the pie bites on the pan until they are fully cooled. We’re going to add a vanilla glaze next, and it will roll right off if they are not cooled all the way.

Glaze the Pie Bites

  • Mix the glaze – While the pie bites cool, combine confectioner’s sugar, milk and vanilla extract in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. If the glaze is too thin, add more sugar. If it’s too thick, add a few drops more milk.
  • Drizzle glaze over pie bites – With a teaspoon, drizzle the glaze onto the top of the cooled pie bites. Let the glaze drop slowly from the end of the spoon while you move it back and forth over the pan. I do each one individually, but some people are a bit more talented and can drizzle the whole pan at once and still get a pretty pattern on top.

Yeah, one disappeared between baking and glazing. So what? Judge all you want, I am unashamed!

Jam-Filled Pie Bites

Course: Desserts, Pastries, Pies, SnacksCuisine: American
Servings

24

servings
Prep time

40

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes

Jam-Filled Pie Bites are quick and easy, the perfect snack or dessert when you just want a little something!

Ingredients

  • Pie Crust
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup ice-cold water

  • Filling
  • 1/2 cup jam – your choice of flavor

  • Vanilla Glaze
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar

  • 2 tbsp milk

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  • Pie Crust
  • Add flour and salt to a bowl or the work bowl of a food processor.
  • Cut cold butter into small cubes and work into flour until it resembles coarse meal with pea-size pieces of butter.
  • Add water in stages, until the dough just begins to clump together. Do not overmix.
  • Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a disk. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap or parchment paper and chill for at least one hour.
  • Assemble Pie Bites
  • Roll out pie crust one disk at a time to no more than 1/8″ thickness. Cut into 2″ circles with a round cookie or biscuit cutter.
  • Lay one half of the circles out on parchment-lined baking sheets and place 1 tsp of jam in the center of each circle. Be sure not to overfill.
  • Place a second pie crust circle over each filled circle and crimp the edges to seal. Cut a small steam vent hole in the center of each top crust.
  • Chill the assembled pie bites for 15 minutes while the oven preheats.
  • Bake and Cool
  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Bake pie bites for 18-20 minutes until light golden around the edges and on the bottom.
  • Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  • Glaze
  • Combine confectioner’s sugar, milk and vanilla extract in a small bowl and whisk to combine until smooth.
  • Drizzle glaze over pie bites with a small spoon.
  • Allow pie bites to sit untouched until glaze has set, approximately 25-30 minutes.

I love to see what you’re cooking. Tag me at #jessiescozykitchen or @jessiescozykitchen on Facebook and Instagram!

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