These addictively delicious little jam tarts, with their crispy cream cheese pastry and glistening jam centers, are so much more delicate and delectable than their simple ingredients would suggest. Bite into one, and you'll be reaching for another right away. They're a great project for kids to help with, or whip up a batch yourself to serve at a lovely brunch or take along on your next picnic. (Skip to recipe.)
"Come on. Don't be such a jam tart!"
Does that phrase sound familiar to you?
If it does, then maybe you grew up in northern Alberta a few decades ago, too? In my teenage years, being a 'jam tart' was synonymous with being a 'sissy, wuss, pansy, chicken, or scaredy cat'. You did not want to be called a jam tart. You were not cool if you were a jam tart.
This is a whole different kind of jam tart. It's a jam tart that is cool - totally cool and totally delectable. A little boat of tender crispy crust - half cookie, half pastry - is the perfect vessel for a dollop of glistening, jewel-toned jam that's been baked to a magical state of chewy, tangy sweetness.
You want to be this kind of jam tart. You want to eat this kind of jam tart. It's quick and easy to whip up a plateful of these little gems. Kids love to help make them (and eat them). Meredith and I prepared a batch, lickety split. I've had platters full of these jam tarts disappear like magic around here lately.
Why not bake up a batch to take to your next picnic or potluck, or make them for a simple, sweet end to a summer barbecue? They're even fancy enough for a tea party.
These jam tarts are gluten free, so they're good for everybody in your crowd. Even if you aren't feeding a gluten-free eater, you may want to get yourself some almond flour and tapioca starch. Combining these two grain-free flours with cream cheese makes for a particularly light and crisp crust that's not too crumbly. It's just right. I'll be making them often this summer.
Cooking with Meredith
Let's Get Making These Jam Tarts
Blend together the almond flour, tapioca flour, a couple tablespoons sugar, and a dab of salt and baking powder.
Add in a half block of cream cheese and a splash of milk. Mix them in lightly - first with a pastry blender or two knives, then with your hands. It's fun!
You want to form a ball of dough that still has bits of cream cheese visible in it. Roll it out and cut rounds from the dough.
Press the rounds lightly into muffin tins, without pressing the dough down into the corners. Plop a dollop of jam into each one.
If anybody dares to ever call you a jam tart - hand 'em one of these babies and say, Yup, I am . . . and proud of it, too!
* * * * *
Kitchen Frau Notes: Use finely milled almond flour, rather than coarsely ground almond meal, so your tart pastry will be much finer and crisper. You can buy it in health food stores, and for a reasonable price at Costco.
Apricot and raspberry jam are particularly nice in these jam tarts, but you can use up any bits of jam you've got hanging around in your fridge.
The tart crusts brown quickly, so watch the tarts carefully during the last few minutes of baking and take them out when the crusts are a nice deep gold around the edges, so the bottom is baked well, too. Cool them completely before eating them.
Gluten Free Jam Tarts
gluten free, egg free
- 1 cup (100gms) almond flour
- ½ cup (65gms) tapioca starch
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ of a package of cream cheese (4 oz/125gms), chilled
- 1 tablespoon milk
- ~6 tablespoons (90ml) jam (apricot or raspberry are nice)
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Stir together the almond flour, tapioca starch, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.
Add the cream cheese to the bowl and cut it into the flour with a pastry blender or two butter knives, until it is in small lumps about the size of peas.
Add the milk, then use your hands to squeeze the cream cheese and flour together to form a ball. Try not to mix it too much, just work it until it is roughly mixed into a soft ball.
Sprinkle a thin film of tapioca starch onto the counter, then place the ball of dough on top of it, sprinkling a bit more tapioca starch on top of the dough and spreading it around. Roll out the dough until it is about 3/16 of an inch (½ cm) thick. Cut out 3-inch (7.5cm) circles with a cookie cutter or glass that is about that size. Press the scraps together and roll them out again, cutting out 12 circles.
Lift the circles off the counter, and push each one gently down into the well of a muffin tin. To get it in easily without breaking; kind of lay the pastry circle on top of the muffin well, then push down on the sides of the dough to move the whole circle down at once. Don't push the pastry circle right into the corners - leave it a bit rounded, with the edges sticking up to form the sides.
Put a slightly heaped teaspoon of jam into each tart shell and spread it out in the bottom with the back of a spoon or your finger.
Bake the jam tarts for 15 to 17 minutes, until the edges are golden. Cool them in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then use a butter knife to gently lift each tart out and set them on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Will keep, loosely covered at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, or freeze them for several months.
Makes 12 tarts.
For more fun cooking projects to make with kids, see the ‘Cooking With Kids’ series here.
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Jack @ BBQRecipez.com
Made these today. Turned out good. Thanks for your recipe.
So glad to hear it! Thanks for stopping by to comment. Happy cooking 🙂
I guess my lack of the English expression “jam tart” made me curious to try your recipe. I had many clients for the delicious tarts!
I don't know where our expression "jam tart" came from - I'm sure there's an interesting story to its origins somewhere. I'm glad they were a hit for your crew. They're so simple to make, aren't they? Thanks for stopping by to comment 🙂 Happy cooking!