I see all of these fun ideas on pinterest. TONS of them. And I pin them. This may be a problem.

The word ‘problem’ is just a matter of opinion. Justification.

This is another thing I’m REALLY good at. Just sayin…

I saw this fantastic idea on pinterest (no, pinterest DOES NOT sponsor this post, I’m just obsessed) and knew it was THE way to use some of my mason jar lids. Especially in light of fall, and pie season, and gift giving season. It’s like the perfect storm, in a good way. Everything came together at the perfect time.

Mason jar lids are floating around my kitchen. Clogging my silverware drawer, junk drawer, and spilling out of the ‘snack’ bowl on top of the fridge. Who knows, the baby may even be storing (hoarding) lids in her diaper along with the Cheerios and banana pieces I found in there the other day. There HAS to be a way to put these lids to use. I even tried canning some jelly to use up the lids. But still, I have lids oozing out of the kitchen…

Make the tarts in the mason jar lids and wrap them up (still in the lid so they don’t crumble) in plastic wrap or parchment paper with a festive bow. This is a great little gift. It’s a homemade baked good, but it isn’t the typical cookie, quick bread or fudge. You can do whatever flavor pie/tart you want. The original pie filling recipe was for apple, but I had pears. I bet you could even do blueberries or peaches too.

The recipe below is for a 10 inch free form tart shell. But I made just 2 mini tarts using 1/8 of the tart dough recipe, well, approximately 1/8. I kinda eye balled it and hoped for the best.

I suggest making the entire recipe and making a bunch of mini tarts to give as gifts. Why not? The recipients will be thankful you did! You can even freeze the unbaked dough. Freeze it int he dough ball or in the tart shells, either way. Just thaw them and continue on with the process…

Pastry Crust
Recipe from Ina Garten
Makes 1 10 inch free form tart shell
Serves 8 (I bet you can squeeze 12-16 mini tarts out of this recipe)
Time: 2 hours (a lot of that is inactive)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup ice water
Pear Pie Filling (recipe below)

Directions

For the pastry, place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
*Or put it in the freezer for about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray your mason jar lids with nonstick spray.

Pull clumps of dough (about 2 tbsp for each mini tart) from the large dough ball and smoosh them into each lid. Push the dough so it covers the bottom and sides of each lid.
*If you are making 1 pie or tart, roll out the dough so it’s about 1/4 of an inch thick into a large rectangle.

Refrigerate the formed shells while you prepare the pears.
*If you prepared the pears in advance and they are just sitting in the fridge, you can leave out this step. I did, and my tarts turned out great.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the pie filling starts to set. Rotate the pan once during cooking. If the pastry puffs up in one area, cut a little slit with a knife to let the air out. It’s ok if some of the filling runs, it just gives it a ‘rustic’ effect.

Loosen the tart with a metal spatula so it doesn’t stick to the edge of the lid. Push the bottom of the lid up, so the ring falls around your wrist. Ta daaaaa, your mini tart is ready.

Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.
*You can wrap the individual tarts and freeze them also. Just thaw them completely before serving.

Pear Filling
Makes about 28 ounces, enough for a regular size pie
Recipe from the back of a Ball Mason Jar Lid Box

5 cups diced pears (I kept the skin on)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp flour
1/2 a lemon juiced

Toss all the ingredients into a large pot, mix until the flour is distributed evenly. Allow to sit for about 30 minutes. Turn the heat on medium-high. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Bring mixture to a boil and lower to low/medium heat. Stir occasionally. Keep over the heat for about 30 minutes, until it begins to thicken. Pour into a container, cool, then store in the fridge until ready to use.

*The pear pie filling can be made up to 2 weeks in advance and stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator. By air tight container, I mean another mason jar. I use these things for EVERYTHING.

These are individual personal sized tarts, but why not cut yourself a tiny slice?!?! And then another…

Update February 2012: There appears to be some concern about BPA being released from the lids during the baking process. While I have no idea on the validity of this, if it concerns you, then please don’t use mason jar lids to make mini tarts.