Easy Recipe for Traditional Jam Tarts

English Jam Tarts. i-stock
  • 35 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: Serves 12 - 18
Ratings (165)

This jam tart recipe is one of the first recipes my mum ever taught me to bake probably as they are so easy to make,  just a little pastry and jam or, for lemon tarts, using lemon curd.

Jam tarts, it seems, have been around forever and any historical reference to them appears at the same time sugar was available for jam making (honey, though sweet is no good for making jam). As sugar in any form was costly, the simple jam tart had quite a status symbol. The tarts no longer carry such celebrity and have been out of fashion for quite some time but I for one am happy to see them making a comeback. 

What You'll Need

  • For pastry crust (or substitute ready-made shortcrust pastry dough, if desired):
  • 250g (8 oz)  plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100g (4 oz) butter (cubed, or an equal mix of butter and lard)
  • 2-3 tablespoon cold water
  • For filling:
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam (or any fruit jam, or lemon curd)

How to Make It

Preheat the oven to180C/ 350F/Gas 4.
Lightly grease a 12 hole tart mould with a little butter.

If you are making the Pastry

  • Put the flour, cubed butter and the pinch of salt into a mixing bowl.
  • Working as quickly as you can, rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Add the water 1 tbsp at a time to the mixture and using a cold knife stir to bind the pastry together. Stop when the pastry comes together so it is not too sticky.
  • Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for a minimum of 15 minutes, up to 30 minutes.

The dough can also be made in a food processor by mixing the flour, butter and salt in the bowl of the processor on a pulse setting. Add water and wrap as above.

Assemble the Pies

  • Unwrap the pastry onto a lightly floured work surface and roll to a ¼" /0.5cm thickness. Using a tart cutter or cup, cut circles from the pastry just slightly bigger than the holes in the prepared tart mould. Gently press one disc into each hole.
  • Place a heaped teaspoon of jam or lemon curd into the pastry lined tins. Be careful not to overfill as the jam will spill out when hot and burn.
  • Repeat until all the pastry is used up - you can squish the pastry trimmings back together and re-roll several times, so don't worry, just make sure you rest the pastry circles before cooking.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 15 mins or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely, do not eat while hot or you may burn your mouth, the jam stays hot for a long time.