These mini jam tarts are made for little hands and little mouths. Short pastry crusts are blind-baked and then cradle any kind of jam you’d like-homemade or storebought. Oh, and make sure the kids make these with you.
Mini Jam Tarts
- Quick Glance
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 3 H
- Makes 20 mini tarts
- For the pastry
- For the tarts
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and sugar together. Add the cubed butter and, using your fingertips, lightly rub the butter into the flour until it resembles large breadcrumbs with some pieces the size of small peas. You can also use a pastry blender for this job.
Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add the egg. Using a wooden spoon, mix the egg into the flour until they’re completely combined.
Add the cream and mix until the dough is firm enough to form a ball when you press the mixture together with your fingers—it may be a little crumbly but do your best to form the dough into a disk and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. (You can instead freeze the dough, tightly wrapped in plastic, for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge before you roll and bake.)
Remove the disk of dough from the fridge and let it sit for a few minutes so it’s easier to work with. Divvy the dough in half.
Lightly flour a large sheet of parchment and then place a piece of dough on the parchment. Sprinkle it lightly with flour and place a second sheet of parchment paper on top.
Roll the dough between the 2 sheets of parchment paper to a
thickness of 1/6 inch (4 mm). If the dough is soft, you might need to put it back in the fridge to firm up a little before you cut it.
Preheat the oven to 375˚F (190˚F). Lightly slick two 12-cup muffin pans with butter.
Using a cookie cutter that’s about 3 inches (8 cm) in diameter, cut out rounds of the dough. A cookie cutter with fluted edges makes for pretty tartlets but if you don’t have a cookie cutter, you can use a glass or ramekin that’s the same diameter. One disk of the pastry should make 10 rounds. You will need to gather up and re-roll scraps of the pastry to make sure you get 10—and each time you re-roll, you will need a touch of flour to ensure the pastry does not stick to the parchment. If the dough is very soft and sticky, refrigerate the dough again once it’s been rolled out.
Use an offset spatula to help you remove the pastry rounds from the parchment and gently place them in the muffin cups. You don’t need to press them right down to the bottom as they’ll sink to form a little cup. Make sure the pastry rounds are evenly centered in the muffin cups. Place the muffin pan in the fridge while you work with the second piece of dough.
Repeat with the second piece of dough and refrigerate the muffin pan and pastry rounds for 30 minutes.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and place 1 teaspoon of jam in the middle of each pastry cup. It doesn’t look like a lot but it will bubble up and expand when it cooks. Bake until the pastry is golden and the jam is bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and let the tarts sit in the pans until the jam is no longer runny, about 15 minutes. Depending on the type of jam you use (and its sugar versus fruit content), it may not spread as it cooks. If your jam doesn’t spread, add another teaspoon of the jam when the tartlets are just out of the oven and gently swirl to combine the hot and cold jams and then allow them to set.
Remove the tartlets from the pans and cool on wire racks. Serve at room temperature. You can store these in an airtight container for up to 3 days although it’s unlikely they’ll last that long.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
These mini jam tarts are a tea time classic in England. The dough, not too sweet, is soft on the inside and slightly crunchy on the outside, and the fruit jam, spread across the bottom, gives a good sweet flavor to this little delight. When using jams of different fruits and colors, the result is beautiful and colorful.
You should use a compote with a high fruit content and therefore thicker, this way when going to the oven it doesn’t spread as much and remains inside the small dough base. To keep the sweet balance, the amount of jam should not exceed 1 teaspoon—any more than that and the tarts will become too sweet.
This is a very basic, yet perfectly acceptable, recipe for mini jam tarts. Shortcrust pastry and any available jam goes together easily and quite appealingly. These tarts are usually what happens when I have leftover pastry—this recipe just elevates those little delicacies to the main act.
I don't use eggs in my own shortcrust so I was anxious to see what the difference would be. It did add a little more richness but I found that the shells weren't as tender as I would have liked. I was also surprised to see that there was no mention of overworking the dough, especially in a recipe for tarts which required a lot of handling.
I used 2 different fillings, sour cherry and blueberry lime. I also had leftover lime curd from a gin and tonic birthday cake, so I served the tarts with a little dollop of that on the side. They were delicious and they do make a lovely presentation for a casual dinner.