These magnificent little tarts have been the culinary highlight of the summer. The trick to this recipe is achieving balance. Work hard on making a fabulously light and crumbly shortcrust pastry that is just able to hold its own to get from plate to mouth.
Makes: 36 English tea jelly tarts
450g plain flour
220g cold butter, sliced
1 pinch salt
4 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water
4 jars favourite jam,
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Directions Preparation:20min › Cook:20min › Extra time:2hours › Ready in:2hours40min
Sift the plain flour into a large mixing bowl and add the cold butter. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add a pinch of salt and mix well. Gradually add a little cold water until a soft dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C. Grease a 12 hole tart tin.
Remove the shortcrust pastry from the fridge and roll out onto a floured surface.
Cut into rounds using a fluted biscuit cutter. Place in the tart tin and press down into the holes.
Bake in the oven for 7 to 10 minutes until the shortcrust pastry rises slightly and is beginning to cook.
Remove from the oven and spoon a teaspoon of jam into each pastry case.
Bake for a further 7 to 10 minutes until the jam has relaxed into the shell and the pastry has turned golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely before serving.
Repeat steps 4 through 7 for the second batch of tarts.
Making great shortcrust pastry is focused around two things 1) working the dough as little as possible, and 2) using cold ingredients and keeping the pastry cool. When it is time to add the water, add just enough to ensure that the pastry keeps a good form when it is rolled out, but not too much water making it sticky. Remember, you can always add more water, but you can't take it away once added.