Jam tarts

There is simply nothing better than a jam tart and a cup of tea. Everyone loves jam tarts, what’s not to love about short, buttery pastry and sweet delicious jam. For the following recipe I would encourage you to make your own pastry, this is a super easy one which I used when I just started making jam tarts instead of buying them. I tend to use a pate sucree recipe by Michel Roux these days I love the richness of it. The end result irrespective of which recipe you use is a million times nicer than shop bought tarts and I guarantee if you take some when you next pop in to a friends for a cup of tea you will be their favorite visitor!

185g plain flour
125g unsalted butter, from the fridge
About 50ml water

For the filling
350g high fruit (preferably home-made) blackcurrant, raspberry, strawberry, apricot or other jam you like

Sift the plain flour into a bowl. Cut the butter into dice and add to the flour. Make sure your hands are cool and then lightly rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. If you have very warm hands like me, then use a cold table knife to cut through the butter and mix into the flour. Then use your finger tips at the very last minute just to get it all nicely breadcrumb like. next add the water and bring together to form a dough, then knead lightly with your hands on a work surface or large board dusted very lightly with flour.

Do not overwork the dough or the butter will warm up and the dough become greasy. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a plastic bag or wrap in cling film, then refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200C/gas 6. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll into a large disc on a floured work surface or board. Roll very thin, until almost transparent. Use a 9cm/3 ½in-10cm/4in round cutter to make 12 discs. Lightly grease a 12 hole tart tray then line the with the pastry discs, and place a circle of baking parchment in each. Do not use greaseproof paper, because it sticks to pastry.

Place a few baking beans (dried haricot beans will do) in each tart case and bake blind for 10-12 minutes until the edges are dry and pale gold. Remove from the oven and take out the paper and beans. Fill three-quarters full with jam and place back in the oven. Bake until the jam begins to bubble and the edges are golden. Take out of the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes in the tray before removing on to a cooling rack until completely cool. These tarts will keep for around two days in an airtight container but I seriously doubt they will last that long!


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