It’s only just occurred to me that many of you are probably not familiar with jam tarts. They’re very traditional in Britain and I have memories of them as a regular childhood treat, especially at birthday tea parties!
Usually a shortcrust pastry topped with a dab of jam and then baked, I always enjoyed them, especially when filled with my favourite- raspberry jam. You had to be patient and leave them to cool though as the jam would turn molten hot in the oven and you’d burn your tongue if you rushed to dig in!
Even if you’ve never tasted them I’m sure many of you have read Alice in Wonderland and might remember the scene with the Queen of Hearts and her jam tarts?
“The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts all on a summer’s day;
The Knave of Hearts he stole the tarts and took them clean away.
The King of Hearts called for the tarts and beat the Knave full sore
The Knave of Hearts brought back the tarts and vowed he’d steal no more! “
My version is a little different to the norm. I went for a variation on my usual nut and date no-bake tart crust instead of the pastry, adding in some oats to cut the richness a tad. With the crust already being sweet I didn’t want a super sweet filling so tangy cranberries were the perfect choice for my quick “jam”. Lightly sweetened with coconut sugar, maple syrup and orange juice it worked wonderfully in these.
I recommend making a double batch of jam as it’s fabulous with plenty of other things: the perfect accompaniment to your Christmas meal, a lovely topper for pancakes or ice cream, swirled into non-dairy yogurt, and I recently discovered that cranberry and hummus are rather a delicious duo too.
Healthy, No-Bake Cranberry Jam Tarts:
1/2C Rolled Oats (not quick-cooking)
3/4C Soft Dates
Pinch of Salt
Quick Cranberry Jam:
1 1/2C Fresh OR Frozen Cranberries
2T Maple Syrup
2T Coconut Sugar
1/4C Orange Juice
1/2C (approx) Water
Zest of half an orange
1/2t Vanilla Extract
Using a food processor, blitz the almonds and oats together to form a fairly fine flour. Add the salt and the dates and process until you have a thick mixture which holds together when pinched between finger and thumb. You may need to add a couple of extra dates if it’s too crumbly.
Divide mixture between the 12 holes of a shallow cake/tartlet tin and press firmly in the base and up the sides to form 12 neat tart shells.
Refrigerate or freeze until ready to fill.
For the jam, place all ingredients except vanilla in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, stirring, until the cranberries have all popped and the jam has thickened up. Pour into a jar and refrigerate until cool. (I left mine chunky but blend with an immersion blender if you prefer yours smooth)
Runn a knife around the edges of the tart shells to loosen them and pop them out of the tin. Fill each with a couple of teaspoons of the jam.
Serve at room temperature
I’m submitting this recipe to the weekly link-up, Wellness Weekends.
Anything red and sparkly speaks Christmas to me at the moment so I think these pretty little tarts would be a nice bite-size dessert passed round with Christmas drinks or to accompany your cup of tea on those relaxed afternoons over Christmas.
So tell me, have you had a jam tart before?!