Friday, February 12, 2016

Jam Tarts

by Sheila Connolly

Happy Valentine's Day

(adapted from 101 Brilliant Baking Ideas)

As we weathered our second snowstorm in the space of four days here in New England—no, let me be specific: my particular county in Massachusetts, which seems to have gotten more snow than any other county in the state—I felt a craving for cookies. Baking is warm; sugar+butter is good. So I baked.

Now you know we at MLK make cookies (and desserts) quite often, and sometimes it’s hard to find a “new” (to us) cookie recipe, but I was prepared with two cookbooks that I brought back from Dublin last year, from a small bookshop near Trinity College. The recipe here is also akin to my last recipe, for Singin’ Hinnies, because there are many British books that mention jam tarts in passing. But I’d never made them, or seen a recipe. So here they are!


Jam Tarts
Ingredients:

1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cold
2-1/4 cups flour
1 Tblsp confectioner’s sugar
2 egg yolks
2 Tblsp ice water (have more on hand if needed)
Jam (your choice!)





Dice the butter and put it into a food processor, along with the flour and the sugar. Pulse until the butter is incorporated and the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.



Add the egg yolks and ice water and pulse again until the mixture begins to hold together. 



Gather the dough into a ball, and flatten it into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap, then chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.



Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and cut out circles with a 2” cookie cutter. [An aside: your baking tins may vary in size. Your cookie cutter should be about the same diameter as the widest part of the tin. You’ll find out quickly how it works.] Fluted edges are pretty but not necessary.



Put the circles in mini tart tins and press into place. [Another aside: don’t try to make them fit exactly. All you really need to do is press down on the middle to make a nice hollow for what’s coming next. I used the rounded end of an ice cream scoop, which doesn’t tear the dough.]



Fill each one with a about a teaspoon of jam (use your favorite variety, or mix and match—I went with a jar of black currant jam that I brought back from Ireland). Do not heap the jam, or it will overflow and stick to the pan and make a mess. [This I know from experience!]



Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the edges of the pastry are crisp and golden.

Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then finish cooling on a rack. (Watch out: the jam just out of the oven can be really hot!).



You will find there is a learning curve to making these. I produced a bunch which were less than picture-perfect before I arrived at a tidy plateful. I ate the evidence.

And! A Turn for the Bad was #8 in mass market paperbacks at Barnes and Noble in its first week on sale! Thank you all!




21 comments:

  1. They look delicious! Thank you for the recipe. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. those look delish Sheila, I would have eaten the evidence too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, the things we do for our craft! (P.S. My husband helped.)

      Delete
  3. They do look yummy, thanks for posting! I had the pleasure of speaking with you last weekend at Nora Roberts' book signing - I'm really looking forward to starting this series! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How nice! And what an amazing event! (My first there.) I hope you enjoy the series.

      Delete
  4. I LOVE your fluted edges. Oh my. They're so perfect. Beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (Well, I didn't show you the less than perfect ones.) I can't stop collecting cookie cutters (I have a moose. I have a hedgehog. I think I have a tractor.) so I usually have one of the right size, if only I can find it.

      Delete
  5. Congratulations on your book's success! Huzzah!

    These look and sound positively yummy. Just right for a cold afternoon with a cup of Irish Breakfast tea.

    You must have packed the jam in your checked luggage. The safety restrictions when flying make transporting goodies challenging.

    I am impressed (but not surprised once you said the jam was from Ireland) by the fine ingredients in the jam:fruit, sugar, water.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did--which meant an additional two pounds of weight in an already heavy suitcase. But I love the stuff (it's great on Irish brown bread).

      Delete
  6. Pat (patdupuy@yahoo.com)February 12, 2016 at 1:02 PM

    Oh yum. Maybe after Lent. . .

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've never met a cookie I didn't think was beautiful! And there are so many more to make.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a fabulous posting. And a delicious looking and sounding one as well. Thank you for the inspiration; I have not been able to bake too much lately so this may inspire me if my health gets better soon. Thank you. Cynthia B.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Be well! I like these because the mixing part is easy with a food processor. You've still got to do some rolling, though.

      Delete
  9. Oh my word, yum! I need to get some hommade Jam and make these. Thaks for sharing. Always great to read anything from you Sheila.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Those look so good! And I am envying you that you got to have another snowstorm. I miss snowstorms. We are in Arizona and now we are having record warmth. Summer is my least liked time of year and winter is my favorite. But I live with people (my husband and my mom) that can't handle the cold. I may have to come visit you to get away from this heat...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd rather be cold and bundle up. That's why I like New England. Summer is hot and sticky, and there are bugs. And you don't want to bake in summer!

      Delete
  11. I love this recipe. So pretty yet simple. Congrats on BN#8! ~ Daryl / Avery

    ReplyDelete
  12. I bought the new book this week. Now I want some jam tarts! And the silver dish is pretty too . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice to see you here! There's a story behind the silver dish (isn't there always?)--it was given to me, or rather, to my mother, by my Irish grandparents, when I was born, so I've had it a long time. I was the first grandchild in the family.

      Delete