Afternoon tea-time everybody!
Excuse me while I sing ‘jam tarts, jam tarts’ to the tune of that song ‘ bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do?’. Because apparently it is no trouble at all for me to make the mental leap between little bitsy jammy tarts, like out of Alice in Wonderland, to the theme song of Cops. No trouble at all. And perhaps, that in itself is a little troubling. Which brings me to these tarts, because they are perfect for taking your mind off your troubles.
Troubles, troubles, troubles, troubles.
These tarts are one of those rare foods that you cook for the sake of cooking them. There is never really a time when you need a jam tart. There are only ever times when you want them. When you feel the urge coming on you to bake something easy, and frivolous and cute and fun. Little jam tarts fit the bill perfectly; they use ingredients you will almost certainly have, they cost nothing to make, and they taste like old-fashioned English high teas.
I love them.
My mum used to make these with my sister and I when we were little – she used to sprinkle some mini chocolate chips into the bottom of a couple of them, so that it was a lucky dip which one you got. I like to do that too sometimes, as well as using a nice selection of different jams. If you’re having friends over for tea or coffee anytime soon (and why not?) you should bake up a batch of these. The amount of joy and delight you’ll create far outweighs the effort they require. And just look at them! Aren’t they cute?
An original recipe by Sarah Coates for The Sugar Hit
Makes 24 tarts
125g (1 cup) plain flour
50g (1/2 cup) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
pinch of salt
75g (3oz) butter
1 egg, beaten
splash of milk
24 tsp assorted jams, jellies, curds and marmalades.
Spray a 24 hold mini-muffin tray with cooking spray and set aside. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Grate in the butter, straight from the fridge, and work into the flour with your fingertips, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the beaten egg, using a fork to quickly incorporate the egg into the mixture. It should begin to clump together into a soft pastry dough. If it seems too dry, you may need to add a splash of milk. Press the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and set in the fridge for 15 minutes or so to chill.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Once the pastry is chilled, roll it out quite thinly – 1 0r 2 mm thick – and then cut out rounds with a 2 inch cutter. You may need to re-roll the scraps to get to 24 rounds. Press each round gently into the greased mini-muffin tray, and then fill each pocket with a scant teaspoon of your chosen jams. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in the tin for at least 15 minutes before removing them onto a rack to cool completely. Tea-time!