Jam Tarts are a lovely old fashioned sweet treat. A simple pastry filled with the jam of choice they are perfect with a good cup of tea. Though they have been around for years they may not be so popular these days. However when I was young they were something we looked forward to as a special treat.
In those days we still had food rationing, which was introduced during WWII. That meant that many things, particularly for baking were not easily available. But jam tarts were an easy way of providing a sweet treat. Not too many ingredients but delivering on sweetness and flavour was just what was needed.
Although I have made Jam Tarts before I haven’t had them for many years. But I had a request from my niece, so I decided the time was right to make some again. I am very glad I did.
As I mentioned it is very easy to make Jam Tarts. The ingredients list is short. The flavours are limited only by what jam you may have available.
The pastry is not very sweet, since that is provided by the jam. Once the pastry is made and rolled out it is cut into discs to fit in a bun pan, or similar. A muffin pan can be used, but with the pastry covering just the base and a little way up the sides.
The jam is baked into the tart cases. That makes the jam boil and bubble during baking. The effect is usually that the edges of the tarts become almost toffee like. However I read a tip on how to reduce that effect by adding just a dash of water into the jam. I tried that and I must say it worked very well.
The ‘toffee’ effect is very good, but it means the tarts don’t look very attractive, or appetising. Using just that dash of water makes a much neater looking tart which tastes very good indeed.
In the recipe below I detail both methods, so you can choose between them.
I added water to my jam and my tarts baked perfectly. The pastry was soft and tender. The jam boiled up and then settled down after taking the tarts out of the oven.
I left the tarts in the pan for about 20 minutes, until the jam had set. Then I transferred them to a wire rack to cool completely.
The recipe makes between 12 and 15 tarts. But I made a double batch, just so I could show a variety of jams.
I made 12 with strawberry jam and then 4 each with apricot, raspberry and black cherry jams.
They all tasted great. I Particularly like strawberry jam tarts, so I sampled a couple of those very quickly. But I also had sample the others, in due course, too. All tasted very good.
Another very easy recipe is Quick & Easy Apricot Pastries.
Jam Tarts – Quick & EasyCourse: Biscuits, Cookies, Pies, TartsCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Easy
150g(1 cup, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour
20g(2 tbsp+2 tsp) cornflour
100g(7 tbsp) cold butter, cubed
15g(2 tbsp) icing sugar
1 medium egg yolk(large in USA)
15 to 30 ml(1 to 2 tbsp) ice cold water
150g-200g(8 tbsp) strawberry jam, or other jam of choice
- Mix the flour, sugar and cornflour together in a large bowl.
- Add the butter and rub it into the dry mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs(I did this in a food processor).
- Add the egg yolk and stir it in adding a couple of teaspoons of water as you stir.
- Mix the dough until it clumps, adding just enough water to make that happen. ( I used 25ml – 5 tsp).
- Use a hand to squeeze the clumps into a single ball of soft dough.
- Flatten the ball into a disc, about 1 inch thick, and wrap it in plastic wrap.
- Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out to a thickness of about 3 mm(1/8th inch).
- Cut out discs, with an 8cm(3 inch) cookie cutter and gently place them into the holes of a bun pan.
- Use a scrap of dough formed into a ball to press the discs to the base and side of the bun pan holes.
- For the jam, you can simply spoon about 2 teaspoons into the tart cases, for a toffee edge, or you can add a dash of water into the jam and mix thoroughly before spooning, to get a less toffee effect.
- Chill the pan in the fridge as you preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/375F.
- Place the pan into the oven, after preheating, and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the tarts from the oven and cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled.