September 5th, 2009


Old Fashioned Jam Tarts

This recipe gives me that lovely and overall warm feeling. It’s simple and easy to make but brings back priceless memories of my Grandmother.

We went to visit her during most of our school holidays and she would have made Hertzogies, which are a traditional South African jam tart topped with coconut meringue. Granny would also have used her own home made apricot jam.

This recipe is not even a spin on grannies coconut topped meringue jam tarts but just a simple old fashioned jam tart made with my own home made greengage jam. I was so impressed with them that I thought that even Mr Kipling would have been proud of them.

I made these jam tarts after a successful day making lots of seasonal fruity delights. I made greengage jam, smooth damson jam, damson and bramble plate pie, a Victoria Plum and Blackberry parfait and then finally these little old fashioned jam tarts. This was the one that I thought would be the final recipe to celebrate the end of a very fruitful summer.

The sweet pastry recipe is the one out of my basics range, it’s  seriously reliable and delicious. I make large batches and then freeze what is not used. The reason why I love the sweet pastry recipe so much is that you have no waste, you can re-roll the pastry without it shrinking and becoming elasticated. It has a velvety soft feel. I also found that if you  roll the pastry between two sheets of parchment paper with very little flour, if any at all, you will have no problem with the pastry stretching too much or getting stuck to the work surface.

I bake a load of these pastry shells and keep them in a airtight container in a cool dark place. You will be surprised how well they keep, they remain crispy and are  very handy to be filled with a bit of jam for the unexpected visitor or two.


Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

  • 230g plain all purpose flour
  • 140g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 1 free range egg
  • pinch of salt

Weigh the softened butter, salt and sugar into the bowl of a mixer, use the flat paddle attachment and cream the sugar and butter until fluffy and pale in colour.

Crack the egg into a small bowl and lightly whisk. Slowly add the egg a bit at a time to the butter mixture, mix well.

Remove the mixing bowl and sieve the flour over the creamed butter, return to the mixer  use with the paddle, slowly mix the flour into the butter, do not over mix. Once the pastry comes together, stop.

Turn the pastry out on to a lightly floured work surface, do not knead the pastry, just push it together into flat square.

Cover with clingfilm and let the pastry rest for 30 minutes before using.

Makes 240g sweet shortcrust pastry

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Cut the pastry in half, place one half in the freezer and roll the second half between two sheets of parchment paper.

Use a 58mm or 1 1/4 inch scalloped edge round cutter to cut 24 rounds. Line a mini tartlet tray with the pastryand blind bake them for 14 minutes. I line the reverse side of the tray and for that reason I do not need to fill each tart with blind baking beans.

Let the golden brown blind baked tartlet cases cool on a cooling rack.

Old Fashioned Jam Tarts

Divide the jam between the tartlets and lightly dust them with the icing sugar.

Serve them with a cup of carefully brewed tea.

Makes 24

Food Fanatics Tips

These tarts stay crispy even if you do not eat them all at once. I left a few in the kithcen in a airtight container and they remained crispy for two days.I can't confirm whether they would have have ever gone soggy, as by then I had eaten them all, oops.

Any jam would be suitable for these old fashioned jam tarts. I make a large batch of the pastry and freeze them in 120g blocks. It's perfect for lining large tarts or even something as simple as the plate pie.

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15 Comments to “Old Fashioned Jam Tarts”

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  1. How do you line the reverse side of a tartlet tray?

  2. Madalene says:

    Dear Andie,

    Please have a look at this recipe I have used this technique here too. To line the reverse side of a tartlet tray is to turn the tray upside down, line the upside of the ‘bumps’.

    Happy cooking.


  3. hazel frackelton says:

    dear Madalene.for many years i made very short pastry.friends could not wait for my mice pies and tarts.but the last few years my pastry is hard and will not keep fresh more than a few hours.i have thought it is this modern low fat butter.i make it in the procceser.but it always was so soft.Do you think its the fat to blame
    hazel cheers

  4. Madalene says:

    Dear Hazel,
    I think you are probably over working your pastry and yes your right. I never use low fat dairy produce to cook with. It always ruins my baking as the fats are man made and not really natural, hence it making your pastry go hard. If you are using a food processor remember not to over work the pastry, I usually pulse the ingredients until it all just about comes together. if you over work the flour the gluten will over develop and turn the pastry hard.

    Hope it all makes sense.
    Happy Cooking

  5. Mikey Sygacz says:

    Hi Madalene
    We sold over 30!!! of those last week on the bun run .
    Maybe my one wasn’t as great shape, and bit bigger (each was sold by £1 price) but still I had lots of fun making it .

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