“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 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). They’re great for snacking and lunches, but fancy enough for a tea party.
These jam tarts are gluten free, so they’re good for everybody in your crowd. Combining almond flour and tapioca starch with cream cheese makes for a particularly light and crisp crust that’s not too crumbly.
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 lighter and crispier. You can buy it in health food stores, and 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.
Gluten Free Jam Tarts
- 1 cup almond flour
- ½ cup tapioca starch
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ of a package of cream cheese (4 oz/125 gms), chilled
- 1 tablespoon milk
- ~6 tablespoons jam of choice
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
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 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; 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 with the back of a spoon.
Bake the 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.
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