I was and still am absolutely satisfied with this bake. It is not because of the difficulty level of these tarts but how much Jeriel and Daddy liked them. As a matter of fact, these tarts are easy to prepare. Jeriel brought one to his play school in the morning, and at night, he took another three while watching television. I know these tarts can be too sweet for a kid but seeing how much he liked the tarts, guess it was too cruel to stop him from taking them. Guess this is the kind of dilemma every mother has to deal with.
I started appreciating jam tarts when I was studying in the United Kingdom. As students living on limited budget, we liked going for shopping just before the supermarket closed. We often got very good deal on food and other perishable items, so jam tarts were one of the items we seldom missed as they could be unreasonably cheap at times. It started with price slashing, like 50p for half a dozen of jam tarts or buy one get one free kind of thing. The filling could be any jam, e.g. strawberry, raspberry, lemon, apricot, blueberry, etc. These tarts did bring back fond memories, of the time we saved so hard for the dream UK and Europe tour, and of the sleepless nights before the examinations. They did, indeed, bring back lots of memories....
125g cold butter, but soft enough to leave a print when pressed
200g all purpose flour
10g icing sugar
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
200g jam of your choice (I used strawberry jam)
- Sift flour and icing sugar into a mixing bowl.
- Rub in butter with hand, or by using the paddle attachment of your mixer on low speed, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add in the egg gradually. Observe the change in dough consistency. Do not be tempted to add in all the egg if not necessary. Mix just until the pastry begins to form large lumps. Press together gently with your hand until the pastry forms a ball.
- Chill pastry dough for about 30 minutes to 1 hour to relax the dough.
- Grease tart moulds. I like to use non-stick spray.
- Divide chilled shortcrust pastry into 10 portions. Press pastry evenly into each tart mould. Trim the edges to remove excessive dough. Prick base of each tart with a fork to allow air to escape during baking.
- Fill tart with about a tablespoon of jam. Add or reduce the amount of jam according to your personal preference. In any case, do not fill the tart to more than 50% full as the jam will bubble and overflow during baking.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degC for 15-20 minutes.
- Leave the tarts in moulds for 5 minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool.
- Do not be tempted to 'appreciate' your tarts when they first come out of the oven as the jam can be boiling hot!
Shortcrust pastry can be very versatile. You can fill your pastry case with anything you like, be it sweet or savoury, and they get baked pretty fast. Make more the next time you prepare shortcrust, vacuum pack and pop into the freezer. Thaw at refrigerator the night before you want to use it. Remove the packet from refrigerator and test hardness by pressing the dough. If you are able to leave your finger mark on it, it is ready to be rolled.