Jam tarts, there’s hardly anything gourmet about these delicious, jewelled morsels but despite their simplicity they are delightful. They used to be my favourite things growing up and I always made sure to get a box of Mr Kipling’s Jam Tarts whenever I accompanied my dad to the supermarket. In fact, that’s why I went. My mum was a great cook but she didn’t dabble in baking too much so I had to get my fill from the boxed kinds.
My son has been asking for jam tarts for months now. I have been putting him off every month. However, Monday, I made these for him. You see, Laith is 7, the same age as all those little angels who lost their precious lives on Friday at the Newtown school shooting. I can’t even begin to imagine how their parents must be feeling at the loss of their child. I have been an emotional mess all weekend. I see their little faces everywhere, when I hold and kiss my son, asking God to always protect him or when I go to pick him from school and see all the other 1st and 2nd graders running and milling about. What happened on Friday is a tragedy of the worst kind and the lives lost, especially those of children is what makes it so difficult to fathom.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention, that this kind of tragedy happens on a daily basis all around the world. Little children and babies are killed everyday in Afghanistan by US drone strikes, in Palestine, Syria and Africa, not to mention the number of little lives lost at the hands of predators. My heart is broken for all these children and I pray that God protects each and every one.
I haven’t wanted to let go of Laith. I hold him tight when he leaves for school and when I pick him up. I just hold him close and tight for a long time and try to feel the pain of those parents who cannot ever hold their little babies again. May God watch over the little ones and may He grant patience and strength to their parents.
Onto the jam tarts, this is a very easy recipe. The hardest part is the pastry and you can even replace that with a shop bought one. Use a good quality, natural jam. There is only one leading ingredient so make it a good one.
2 cups/255g plain or all purpose flour
1/4 cup/50g sugar
8 tablespoons/140g butter, chilled in small cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-5 tablespoons ice water
24 teaspoons assorted good quality jam
Preheat the oven to 350℉ / 180℃
Have two standard muffin tins ready ( I didn’t have to grease mine but if you suspect your tarts will stick, then grease them)
Make the pastry:
a food processor makes short work of it but you can do it by hand like I did ( I broke my processor)
In the bowl of the processor, whiz the flour, sugar and salt together.
Add the butter cubes and pulse until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
Add 3 tablespoons of water and pulse until the dough comes together.
You may not need all 5 tablespoons of water but it depends on the dryness of the flour.
Collect the ball of dough, flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic, refrigerate for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, take out the pastry and roll it out to about 1/8 inch (1/2 cm) thick.
Using a fluted 3 inch/7.5 cm cutter (makes pretty edges, but you can use plain), cut out pastry circles.
You will have to re-roll pastry a couple of times to get 24 circles.
Press the circles into the muffin tin cups trying to be as even as possible.
Dollop a teaspoon of jam into the pastry circle.
Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the jam looks cooked (not burnt) and the pastry is lightly browned.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
These were delicious. I was instantly taken back to my youth in London, enjoying Mr Kiplings, only difference being; mine tasted so much better.
And yes, I did cheat on my diet!! I couldn’t resist. I am terrible at following any kind of diet.
Laith really enjoyed them too and I am so glad I made them for him.
Have a great week!