Friday, May 10, 2013

Jam tarts


A great dessert recipe for an empty pantry. ~1 hr
Even though my pictures are not very appetizing these are wonderfully delicious :)



Ingredients:
  • 8 oz all purpose/plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4oz butter 
  • 2-3 tbsp cold water
  • Any fruit jam (or curd or I used thinly sliced cooked cinnamon apples)
  • A little extra butter for greasing
Directions:

Mix the flour and salt separately. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture to form a dough using your hands or a food processor. Add just enough water to get the whole mix to stick together. 
 
The trick to making this dough is keeping it cold. So usually tossing everything into a food processor is the best way to go. However, for those of us without fancy kitchen appliances (that's me!) making this can require a bit more effort. 
 I've found the best way to do this by hand is to mash everything together until the butter chunks are not so blatantly obvious. It is fine to have some small bits in there because these pockets help make the dough flaky. Unfortunately you will notice an immediate problem after you complete this step: the dough is too warm to shape nice little tarts because it won't stop sticking to your hands. :p

So to overcome the sticky goo issue:
1. lightly grease a cutting board
2. press the dough onto the cutting board until it is about a cm or two thick
3. throw in the freezer for about fifteen minutes
4. take a flat broad knife, I use my santoku, to cut out a circle about 2 inches in diameter and scrape it off of the cutting board. I like to just leave the cutting board in the freezer and work with one tart at a time.
5. fold/knead the dough a few times! this creates the flaky layers=very important
6. At this point you can make a single tart out of this portion if the dough is not too sticky and forms shapes well. However, if it gives you problems, press it flat on the cutting board again in the freezer until it is cold enough to work with.

Now go ahead and preheat the oven to 350. I like to wait until later to preheat the oven because the most time consuming part of this recipe is shaping all of the tarts. 

To form them I usually press them as flat as I can without tearing them (a few cm) and then roll the edges a little to form a lip to prevent jam spill-over.
 
Now fill (don't overfill them!) and cook for about 15-20 minutes. The edges of the cooked tarts won't brown very much, so give them a good poke to see if they are done. 

Makes about 20 tarts about 2 inches in diameter.


Adapted from: http://britishfood.about.com/od/eorecipes/r/jamtarts.htm