Jam tarts are easy to make and go perfectly with an afternoon cup of tea.
Jam tarts are traditionally made in the summer, when the berries used to make the jam are in season – so, at their ripest and sweetest. While many people still make the jam themselves today, we’ve gone for shop-bought instead to save some time – and focused on the homemade shortcrust pastry instead. Served alongside a plate of strawberries, these jam tarts are a quintessential English treat. In fact, the history of fruit tarts in England dates back to the 15th century, making this one of the oldest sweet treats around.
- 150g (5oz) plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 75g (3oz) unsalted butter
- 3tbsp caster sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- Cold water
- Icing sugar to decorate (optional)
Sift the flour and salt into the bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and drop them in. Rub the butter into the flour until it’s like breadcrumbs.
Add the caster sugar and egg yolk and, with a wooden spoon, mix until it’s stiff.
Add a little cold water (try a tbsp at a time) to make it stick together in a lump.
Knead the pastry gently for a few mins then leave in the fridge for 15 mins.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5.
Sprinkle a little flour onto the pastry board or worktop. Roll out the dough evenly to about an eighth of an inch thick.
Use a circular cutter to cut out rounds of dough and put them in a tart tin. Prick the bottom and sides of the dough a few times. If you like, you can use a fork to press a pattern into the edges.
Put a tsp of jam into each.
Roll out leftover dough and cut shapes to decorate the top of the tarts if you like, or, when they’re cooked, sift icing sugar shapes onto them.
Put the tarts in the top half of the oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown.
Leave to cool before eating, cooked jam is very hot and can burn your mouth.
Tips for making jam tarts:
Swap homemade pastry for ready-made shortcrust if you need to make them in a hurry.
For a professional finish, decorate your jam tarts with dusting of icing sugar