Saturday, July 30, 2016

Jam Tarts

I once tried to make jam tarts by just putting jam in pie crust and baking it.  The jam boiled and got too hard to eat.  I figured that was the end of that experiment.

Recently, I noticed all the open jam jars I still had in the fridge from the tea party.  I thought I might want to give tarts another try and went looking online to figure out what I did wrong the first time.  Probably nothing.  All the recipes looked pretty much like what I did, even with high temperatures.

The day I decided to try them again, I also remembered that I still had hamantaschen dough in the freezer (also from the tea).  It's basically a pastry dough with baking powder in it, so I figured I would give that a try.  It does bake at a lower temperature than pie crust, and the jam would weigh it down so it wouldn't puff too much.  Besides, I really like that dough recipe.

They came out nice and soft, like the cookies they are, not crisp and crumbly like pie.  Since mini-muffin tins make tarts small enough to eat in a single bite, either texture would work.  Most important, the jam did not turn hard-crack.

1-1/3 C flour
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp grated orange peel
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C butter
1 egg
1 Tb milk
jams for filling

1. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, orange peel, and salt in a medium bowl.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add egg and milk and combine until dough forms a ball.  Wrap in plastic or waxed paper and chill for at least 30 minutes, or you can freeze to use another day.

2.  Roll out dough on a floured surface until very thin, 1/16".  Cut out rounds with a 3" cookie cutter and coax into mini-muffin cups.  For standard muffin tins, use a 5" cutter.  The circles look big, but you've rolled the dough so thin there's no room for it to stretch into the cups.  Press lightly against the sides of each cup.

3.  When all cups are filled, get out the jam.  Spoon 1 tsp into each mini tin, about 1 Tb for standard size.  The jam should come up no more than halfway into the cup.  Place tin in the fridge to chill while the oven is preheating to 350º.

4.  When the oven is ready, bake tarts for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly puffed and golden.  Cool and remove from tin to serve.

Makes about 2 dozen mini tarts

Difficulty rating  :)

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