30 October 2011

Jam Tarts

Jam Tarts

The Queen of Hearts she made some tarts all on a summer's day;
The Knave of Hearts he stole the tarts and took them clean away.
The King of Hearts called for the tarts and beat the Knave full sore
The Knave of Hearts brought back the tarts and vowed he'd steal no more.

Jam Tarts are the first cakes I can remember my Mum baking for the family when I was a child. If using shop bought pastry these would be quick and simple to make for and/or with the kids. For me, this was an opportunity to relive a childhood memory, whilst using a simple recipe to practice shortcust pastry. For tips and pictures on shortcrust look here.

Food processor (or mixing bowl and sieve), clingfilm, rolling pin, 12-hole bun tray, 78mm cutter round fluted cutter (of if you don't have cutters, try your glassware. I found a mug was roughly the right size), cooling rack (or the rack from your grill).

You will want to use chilled butter so get that in the fridge the night before. You need iced water, so get a glass of water with an ice cube in it, stood in the fridge a short while before you get started.

200g plain flour
1 teaspoon  caster sugar
1 pinch of salt
125g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of ice cold water
8-12 tablespoons of thick set jam (avoid runny conserves).


  • Weigh the flour straight in to the main bowl of the food processor. Add the sugar and salt. Using the standard blade, pulse briefly to mix. Add the butter and pulse a little longer until the mix is like fine crumbs.
  • If not using a processor, sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl, before rubbing in the butter by hand.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of iced water and mix further. The crumbs should quickly form a dough.
  • Tip the dough onto clingfilm. You should easily clean the bowl with any crumbs joining the dough. If the pastry is too dry, carefully add more iced water.
  • Wrap the dough in the clingfilm and flatten the ball to increase the surface area. Put this in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. You can use this time to wash up and lightly grease the bun tin with butter. Set the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas mark 4.
  • Either on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin, or between two sheets of clingfilm, roll out the pastry to a 5mm thickness. Flour the cutter and then cut circles of pastry and gently press into the bun tin.
  • Gather the trimmings, and repeat until you have 12 pastry shells.
  • Place a generous blob of jam in the middle of each tart. During baking the jam will become molten and level out. If you can visualise this you'll know what looks right.
  • Bake for 20 minutes during which the pastry will turn a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
Per Tart, based on 10 tablespoons of Tesco Seedless Raspberry Jam:

166 kcal, 7.8g fat, 4.3g saturated fat, 17g carbohydrates, 0.2g fibre, 4.3g sugars, 1.1g protein.

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