Jam tarts are so quintessentially English, aren't they? The perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea, served during the afternoon when you have guests calling or as an elevensies snack - sweet, sticky jam in a crumbly pastry case. I am loathe to call this a recipe, because these jam tarts are so easy to make, it would be quicker to whip up a batch than it would be to pop to the shops and buy a packet of ready-made biscuits.
I have a huge surplus of jam. My Dad makes jam as a little side business and every time I go home, I get given jars of the stuff. Only problem is, I eat jam once in a blue moon (only on crumpets or scones, never on toast), so it piles up in the fridge, just waiting for an opportunity like this. So I gathered up my stash - blackcurrant, tutti frutti and strawberry and vanilla - and armed myself with a pastry cutter, and 20 minutes later I had a batch of jam tarts!
Of course, there's a bit of a shortcut, but if you ask me, life is too short to make your own pastry unless you absolutely must. So pick yourself up some ready-rolled shortcrust pastry and a jar of jam and make yourself some some sweet treats!
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180oC
2. Grease a cupcake tin with a little bit of butter or margarine.
3. Roll out the shortcrust pastry (or open the packet if you've been lazy like me and bought ready-rolled). Cut out circles using a pastry cutter about the same size as the holes in your cupcake tin.
4. Press each circle gently into the tin so there's a dip for the jam. Fill with jam!
5. Bake in the over for 15-20 minutes, until the pastry has started to brown and the jam has gone all hot and bubbly.
I know you don't need me to mother you, but please be careful when you take the tarts out of the over. The jam is super hot and will burn, particularly if you decide to take a bite too soon, so leave them to cool for at least 15 minutes before slipping the tarts out of the tin and onto a wire rack to cool completely.
And that's it! A batch of jam tarts ready to eat. Mr Kipling, eat your heart out!