Jam tarts are most people’s introduction to baking. I remember standing on a stool in my Grandma’s kitchen watching her roll the pastry out, I’d help her cut out pastry rounds and I’d spoon jewel coloured jam into the tarts. Waiting for the jam tarts to cool once they’d come out of the oven was torture.
I still love jam tarts today. These days I usually bake them with my son; him stood on the stool, spooning jam and waiting impatiently. They’re one of the easiest things to bake and are ideal if you’re baking with kids or if you’re a novice wanting to take your first steps into baking.
I’ve jazzed these simple tarts up for Valentine’s Day. The addition of a heart makes these jam tarts whimsically romantic. Of course your tarts will be perfectly delicious without the pastry heart, but if you can’t push the boat out a bit for Valentine’s Day, when can you?
Love Heart Jam Tarts
Ingredients (makes 12 -15 tarts)
4oz plain flour
2oz butter, cubed
A pinch of salt
2-3 tablespoons of cold water
-or- a packet of ready rolled shortcrust pastry
Half a jar of strawberry or raspberry jam
Milk or a beaten egg to brush your pastry with
Extra butter for greasing your baking tray
Put the flour, salt and butter in a large mixing bowl. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs. Use a knife and stir in just enough cold water to bind the dough together. Do this gradually as you don’t want your pastry to be too wet. Once you’ve made the dough, cover the bowl and chill it in the fridge for 15 minutes or so before using.
Or if you’re using shop bought, ready rolled pastry, take it out of the fridge half an hour before you want to use it.
Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 5 or 190°
Take your pastry and roll it out to the thickness of a pound coin. You can either roll it out on a floured surface, or between two pieces of baking parchment. I find the baking parchment method quicker and a lot less messy.
Grease your bun or muffin tin with butter and cut your pastry into rounds. Gently press each round into the tin and prick the bottom of each one with a fork. With the remainder of the pastry, cut out enough heart shapes to top each of your tarts.
Carefully put a spoon of jam in each tart. Do not over fill the tarts as the jam will bubble up and ruin your hard work.
On a separate baking sheet, place a piece of baking parchment and lay your heart shapes flat, brush them with a little milk or beaten egg and put your hearts and your tarts in the oven for 12-15 minutes.
Once cooked and your hearts are golden, remove from the oven and quickly but carefully place a heart on the top of each tart. Gently press it in place taking care not to touch the hot jam with your fingers. Leave to cool for a few minutes before removing the tarts from the tray and putting them on a wire rack to cool.
As you can see, my jam tarts didn’t come our perfectly round this time; but a rustic, imperfect looking jam tart is still a delicious jam tart.
These jam tarts with a heart are a simple way to share the love this Valentine’s Day. Who will you bake with love for this year?