10 tablespoons (140 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 - 1 cup (120 - 240 ml) jam
Jam Tarts: In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about two minutes). Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat just until incorporated.
Divide the pastry in half and then roll each half between two sheets of parchment or wax paper until it is about 1/8 inch thick. As you roll, periodically check the top and bottom sheets of parchment and smooth out any wrinkles. Place the pastry on a baking sheet (along with the parchment paper) and place in the refrigerator until firm (about 1-2 hours).
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Have ready 30 miniature muffin cups, preferably nonstick.
Once your pastry has chilled, remove one portion from the refrigerator and peel off the top piece of parchment paper. Using about a 2 1/2 inch (6 cm) cookie cutter, cut out rounds of pastry and gently press them into the muffin cups. Then fill each tart shell about two-thirds full with your favorite jam. Bake for about 12 - 14 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Can garnish with a dollop of whipped cream or clotted cream or sprinkle with finely chopped nuts.
Makes about 30 - 2 inch (5 cm) Jam Tarts.
A bit of pastry and a dab of jam makes a very fine Jam Tart. You can make them big or small and while delicious as is, they are also very good with a small dollop of whipped cream or clotted cream, or a sprinkling of finely chopped nuts.
To make a good looking and a good tasting Jam Tart you need a jam that is bright colored and of excellent quality. Now, the jam you use definitely needs to have a smooth (no pieces of large fruit in it) yet fairly thick consistency so it does not boil during baking. I like to use my homemade raspberry jam (recipe and video here) as it looks so cheery and its tart yet sweet flavor pairs so well with the sweet and buttery flavor of the pastry. The pastry I've used is actually the same recipe I use to make Sables. Sables are a French butter cookie that is very similar in taste and texture to a crisp shortbread. And while it's excellent for making these mini tart shells, there are other options. If you have leftover pastry after making a pie or tart, by all means use that. And this shortbread pastry is also very good for making tarts.