I got the idea to make these one day while we were reading The Story Girl, when the thought of Felicity's perfect jam tarts sounded just about perfect for tea-time. So I made these up, according to my idea of a jam tart: buttery, flaky crust filled with just a moderate layer of assorted tasty jams - black currant, blackberry and peach I had on hand. I baked them in these muffin-top pans that had I picked up at the craft store on clearance, and they worked perfectly for my little tarts. Thank you Felicity (and Lucy Maud) for inspiring these simple, homey treats.
3 sticks butter (softened to room temperature)
3 cups flour (we use King Arthur unbleached)
1/2 cup sugar
few spoons of cold water as needed
jam - approximately one and a half pints of good quality jam (hopefully homemade), depending on how much of a dollop you put on your tarts. It's nice to use a variety of jams if you have them.
Makes 4 1/2 dozen 3" tarts.
Mix as for pie crust: toss dry ingredients together, cut in butter and egg with a pastry blender or wooden spoon, add water a spoonful at a time just until dough hangs together. Do not overwork. Roll out thinly on a well-floured board or counter. Cut into rounds with a 3 1/2" cutter (approximately). Place rounds in a muffin top pan. Fill each tart with a wad of jam.
Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for 15-20 minutes. Baking time will depend on how thinly you've rolled your crust. They should be nicely browned so they will be crisp and flaky.
Let cool for a minute or two in the pan, then remove them to a rack to finish cooling. These are at their very best on the day they are made, when they are fresh and crisp. You can dust them with powdered sugar to serve if you want to be fancy. A fresh hot pot of tea to accompany them is a must.