Saturday, 9 April 2011

Jam Tarts


I have made 36 jam tarts this week as part of my Ultimate Grandma Training. One of these days I will actually come up with a list of 'gran skillz' that I need to achieve but for now it's jam tarts! I usually fear the pastry but my gran was awesome at them so learn I must. Hers used to be laced with animal fats which I no longer eat and made with her homemade jam, yet another skill I need to conquer.

So I turned to Google for a recipe. Some of which were along the 'buy some ready-made pastry and add jam' lines but no, that isn't what this is about! I found the others varied in their ingredients some contained eggs and sugar or raising agents and others not, so I chose three recipes and decided to try them all. In place of the lard I used Trex which is a 100% vegetable non-hydrogenated fat. It was only after I had used it I looked at the packaging I noticed it says to use 30% less than the recipe states as it has no water in it, maybe this would have had some bearing on the results? I don't know! Will teach me to read things properly, won't it? No probably not.

The method for all is about the same. Rub the fat into the flour and add water and/or egg to bind then roll out and cut into rounds. The aim was for the quantity to easily make 12. I used the same jam for all which was Duerr's Strawberry as I needed a smooth jam without whole strawberries in.

Recipe 1

4oz self-raising flour
¼tsp salt
½oz sugar
1oz Trex
1oz butter
Cold water

Easy to work with? Yes!
Did it make 12? Yes, but had to use smaller cutter than I intended.
Texture? A bit crumbly but held together well
Flavour? Nice. All 12 disappeared within the hour.

Recipe 2

6oz plain flour
1½oz Trex
1½oz butter
Cold water

Easy to work with? Yes, very
Makes 12? Made extra this time as I wanted to use the bigger cutter.
Texture? Really crumbly but tasted fine
Flavour? The lack of sugar in the pastry was noticeable.

Recipe 3

150g plain flour
pinch of salt
75g butter
1 egg yolk
3tbsp caster sugar
Cold water

Easy to work with? Not really, dough kept sticking or cracking and I found it hard to get the right thickness.
Made 12? Yes with a bit (lot!) of re-rolling. And swearing.
Texture? The best I think but I do begrudge wasting an egg white. I never know what to do with just one.
Flavour? Yum.

So there you have it. None of the recipes were awful as they were all eaten in record time by the rest of the family. I meant to take pics of them all but only managed the first lot! I think recipe 1 (if I increased the quantity slightly) is the best so far but always willing to try any other ones. I also don't know how to get the jam to melt evenly, all mine bubbled up into weird lumpy shapes but I guess that's the way things go with homemade. If you have any pearls of wisdom to help me with my jam tart quest then please do let me know.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend so far. Weather was beautiful here, spent a lot of time outside doing some tidying the yard while the kids looked for worms, coming back in completely filthy! I'm off to Wonderwool Wales tomorrow. Taking my camera and hope to remember to take some pictures this time.

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