Friday, 14 October 2011

Bring Back Jam Tarts


So tell me, when was the last time you had a jam tart? Was it a Mr Kipling one from a plastic packet of 6, half red, half yellow? Was it in your school lunch box? Did you scrape out all the jam and lick it off your finger before even thinking about eating the pastry. No- that last one just me?


Well I think jam tarts are in need of a come-back. They're not fancy, not the star of any show, they just bring a quiet glow of fun and yummyness to a picnic or party, as well as being trusty lunch box fodder.


What I love best about them though is how such a tiny amount of kitchen effort can make something so smile inducing. Their simplicity mean it's the perfect recipe to turn to to use up dribs and drabs of left-over pastry, just roll, cut, spoon, bake, done. No need to make new calculations for other ingredients because you only have enough pastry for 7 when the recipe makes 12.


And really who doesn't  love a jam tart- it's pastry, and jam. Nuff said. With Love and Cake.


Jam Tarts

A few notes:
  • Don't be tempted to overfill the pastry with jam- it will bubble up and stick and cause disaster. Be restrained at this point.
  • I used muffin pans here, just because my shallower fairy cake size pans haven't yet made the journey to my Scottish kitchen. So use fairy cake ones if you can, muffin pans just make it a bit trickier to get the baked tarts out.
  • Use any preserve you like, I always like to do half lemon curd and half jam, Mr Kipling Stylee, but use whatever you fancy or just what you have in the house.
  • Although I said it's a good recipe for leftover pastry, I'll pop a recipe for it from scratch in case you want to make it specially, or you could easily use shop bought shortcrust.
Makes as many as you fancy, this amount of pastry will make tonnes
You will need

Fairy cake tins, heavily greased and dusted with flour

For the pastry
210g plain flour
50g caster sugar
50g ground almonds
125g butter
1 egg

Jam, curd, preserve etcetc

  • So let’s get going. First things first make the pastry by popping all the dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse together. Then whiz in the butter followed by the egg and leave trundling around until it comes together to form a dough (you could also do this by rubbing in the butter with your finger tips then mixing in the egg by hand).
  • Turn out the dough, pat into a disc and chill in the fridge for at least half an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°c.
  • When the pastry's ready roll it out, cut discs to fit your tin with a cutter or mug and line the tin.
  • Fill each little pastry case with a teaspoon-full of jam and pop the tin in the oven.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes until the pastry is golden round the edges.
  • Throw a party and feel nostalgic.



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