Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Homemade Jam Tarts and Jammie Dodgers

I love strawberry jam. It's my favourite of all preserves and if I ever get the chance I try and make it myself. However, with it only just coming into strawberry season in England, it's pretty hard to find the juicy plump fruit to stew and make good quality jam. Therefore, I cheat (like most normal people) and bought the delicious Bonne Maman Strawberry Conserve with the intention of making some sweet treats on my day off. Morning toast aside, there's nothing I like more than dipping a spoon into a freshly opened pot of the sweet stuff. Today I decided to make two yummy confections: jam tarts and my version of the jammy dodger.

JAM TARTS

Jam tarts are super easy to make - you can even cheat and whip these babies up in about 12 minutes if you buy readymade pastry and jam. A childhood favourite of most kids, I think they could be a good start for your little ones in the kitchen during this half term week. And here's how you make them...

To make your own shortcrust pastry (easier than you think!) you'll need:

175g (6 oz) plain flour
90g (3 oz) well-chilled butter or margarine
2 tbsp of cold water
  1. Sift the plain flour into a large bowl. Cut the butter or margarine (I used salted butter) into small chunks and add to the bowl. Stir to coat the fat with the flour.
  2. Using your fingertips, quickly and lightly rub the fat into the flour, lifting the mixture to incorporate air, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the cold water and stir gently with a table knife to mix. If the mixture seems too dry to bind together, add a little more water.
  3. Gather the mixture together and knead very briefly until smooth (handle the dough as little as possible or the pastry will be tough). If the dough feels at all sticky, add a little more flour. Shape into a ball, wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.

Once chilled, roll out the pastry dough onto a floured surface and cut circles with a pastry cutter that has a fluted edge. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, and place your pastry circles into a cupcake tray, pressing lightly to make tart cases. Add a teaspoon of jam to every tart and place into the oven for approximately 10-15 minutes. The jam will be bubbling like crazy so be careful! Leave them to cool on a wire rack, and by the time you've cleaned up you'll have delicious little jam tarts!

JAMMIE DODGERS

I adopted a Mary Berry shortbread recipe for these, simply because they're tried and tested (and taste amazing). They would be great for a summer afternoon tea, with the addition of some fresh whipped cream - ooh baby...

To make the shortbread you'll need:

125g (4 oz) plain flour
60g (2 oz) semolina or cornflour
125g (4 oz) butter
60g (2 oz) caster sugar
  1. Mix the flour with the semolina or cornflour (I used the latter) in a bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips. Stir in the sugar. Knead the mixture lightly until it forms a smooth dough.
  2. Lightly grease a baking tray. Between two sheets of baking paper, roll out the dough into an 18cm (7 inch) round. 

The recipe makes about 20 biscuits in all, so that's 10 if you sandwich them together into jammie dodgers. 10 were just cut out into hearts, the other 10 had a smaller heart cut out of the middle so you can see the jam. I didn't have a smaller heart cutter so I just cut out the middle freehand. 

Bake in the oven at gas mark 3 for up to 35 minutes, or until pale but golden-brown. Once cooled, turn the big heart biscuits upside down and spread liberally with strawberry jam. Dust the cut-out biscuits with icing sugar, piece together and you're done!

And there you have it - two quick and easy recipes involving the beloved British favourite strawberry jam. Do you have a sweet tooth?
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10 comments

  1. These look so yummy - I'm going to have to make some myself x

    daisy-drops

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    Replies
    1. They taste so good! Yay, let me know how they turn out! Xx

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  2. My mouth is watering, these look delicious! The heart shaped ones are so cute! <3

    x Hayley-Eszti | www.hayleyeszti.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. I have a bit of an obsession with heart-shaped things at the moment, especially kitchen stuff! So adorable xx

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  3. These are making me so hungry right now!! just love how pretty they look :) bookmarked this to try myself xx

    www.krystelcouture.com

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  4. Those heart shaped biscuits look so pretty!

    littlepaperswans.com

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