Simple, quick, easy and oh so yummy! I’ve pimped up one of my all-time favourite childhood treats; jam tarts have become sweet vanilla pastry jam tarts!
These were a real staple of my childhood, cheap, easy and simple to make they made the perfect after-school snack. And it also helped that they are so pretty 🙂
To pimp them up I decided to make a sweet vanilla pastry, I love vanilla and I love to see those gorgeous little black flecks running through anything sweet. But don’t throw out your used vanilla pod, check here for a couple of useful things you can do with it!
I experimented with a bunch of different fillings for mine, homemade lemon curd, my vanilla and yellow plum jam for that extra vanilla hit. Strawberry jam, lemon marmalade raspberry jam nutella peanut butter and fresh fruit.
Now I have to be honest, most of these worked out beautifully. But the peanut butter and Nutella one’s were not so good. Once baked both of these fillings hardened and just tasted a little odd. So on the next batch, I blind baked a couple of the cases and added the peanut butter and Nutella fillings once the pastry cases had cooled. Much better.
You can pretty much add any filling you like, the fresh fruit was very nice but they were more like mini fruit pies than the jam tarts I was trying to recreate.
I loved the lemon curd and more traditional jam fillings the best. They were the ones that reminded me the most of my childhood treats.
These are so easy to make and brilliant to make with kids, but just a word of caution, when they come out of the oven the jam is molten lava hot! And sometimes the jam can overflow from the cases so little fingers could get burnt if not watched carefully. But thankfully they don’t take long to cool down.
I used a shallow bun tin to make mine but any normal bun tin could be used, a shallow one just makes it easier to get them out.
And if you are short on time, you can always buy your sweet shortcrust pastry ready made. The choice is yours.
Sweet Vanilla Pastry Jam Tarts
- 250 grams Plain flour (All Purpose, (2 and 1/4 cups))
- 50 grams Icing sugar (Confectioners sugar, (a scant 1/2 cup))
- 125 grams unsalted butter - cold and cubed ((1 stick and 1 tablespoon))
- seeds from 1 vanilla pod
- 1 large egg - beaten
- 1 splash milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 24 dessert spoons of your favourite flavour jam / curd / jelly ((approx. 50 teaspoons))
- Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F / Gas mark 4
- Mix the flour and icing sugar together in a large bowl.
- Add the cold cubed butter.
- Using your fingertips rub it in as quickly as possible till it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the vanilla seeds and give them a quick mix in.
- And the egg and gently work in, add a dash of milk to bring the whole mix together till a dough forms.
- Empty the dough onto a lightly floured surface, give it a gentle pat and wrap it in clingfilm (Saran Wrap) and place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- I like to double this recipe so I can freeze half of it and have this lovely pastry on hand. It should keep in your freezer well wrapped up for 3 months.
- Once your pastry has rested in the fridge, take it and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it is just about 0.5 centimetre / 1/4 inch thick.
- The best way to gauge what size cutter you need it to place it on your bun tray, you want the round to be a little bigger than the size of the bun holes as the pastry cases do shrink a little during the cooking process.
- Add your jam’s/fruit curds/marmalades to the cases, I found a dessertspoonful was the perfect amount. (Approx 2 teaspoons) in any cases you want to add peanut butter or Nutella to you will need to blind bake them first.
- Pop them in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes.
- Once baked take them out of the oven and allow them to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, as the jam is super hot.
- Once they have cooled a bit transfer them to a wire rack to fully cool down.
- These will keep in an airtight tin for up to 5 days.