Lock down has made me appreciate a more frugal and old style way of life. I have been thinking about my grandparent’s generation a lot, they knew how to survive things. My last living grandparent is in his 90s. His kitchen is filled with old coffee jars that are used to store things like biscuits. He has a small larder which as a girl I thought was cool and as an adult I am deeply envious of.
I too reuse old coffee jars to store things. I currently have nuts, dried fruit, sugar and rice in old Kenco and Douwe Egberts jars. I find them delightful to look at and they always make me think of my Grandpa when I see them.
I first cooked with my Grandma. That’s not to say no other grandparent or parent played a part in my culinary journey, because they all did, but my earliest cooking related memory is making jam tarts with my Grandma.
This particular set of grandparents lived next door to me growing up. Now it is my Dad and Step Mum who live in my childhood home and my Grandpa is still next door. That reassures me during this time.
Since lock down started I have been craving making jam tarts. And to be clear, although I do like jam tarts from a taste point of view, my craving was to make them and remember my Grandma and my first cooking experiences.
This isn’t really a recipe, most people could make this and probably many people have a much more sophisticated recipe than me. But just in case you don’t here is mine.
2 ‘Parts’ Plain Flour
1 ‘Part’ Butter
Flour for dusting
Butter for greasing
1 – 2 x Muffin Trays
Large circular cookie cutter
So why parts? It is simply because you can scale up or down this recipe according to your needs. I used 130g Butter and 260g Plain Flour. This made about 17 jam tarts, though the 17th was a bit ‘rustic’ and cobbled together from scraps. If you want fewer jam tarts than half the recipe, if you want twice as many scale it up.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4
Mix the butter and flour together till it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add a tablespoon of cold water one at a time, mixing the breadcrumbs together each time. It is very easy to make the dough far too wet. About 5 tablespoons was all it took to bind my dough together.
Knead the dough, then roll out. If you don’t have a rolling pin, and I didn’t for ages, then use a wine bottle.
Cut out circles using the cookie cutter then line them in the greased muffin tray.
Place one heaped teaspoon of jam in each centre. You don’t need much.
Bake in the oven for around about 12-20 minutes until golden brown. Keep checking.
LEAVE TO COOL FIRST BEFORE EATING! – Hot jam is like lava in your mouth. Don’t do it.