Tuesday, 15 July 2008

The Queen of Hearts

... she made some tarts, and so did I:

Here's a recipe just in case you want to as well - it's basically Nigella's sweet shortcrust pastry with some jam in, but I lazily skip a couple of her steps.

Jam tarts

120g plain flour
30g icing sugar
80g butter
1 egg yolk
0.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
Jam - strawberry, raspberry, whatever.

Process flour, icing sugar and butter until crumbly (or do it by hand if you have more energy than I do). Add vanilla and egg yolk and process until dough is formed. I never need to add water, but do so if you need to.

Store the dough in the fridge for half an hour to firm up.

Line the holes of a fairy cake /tart tray with the pastry - I don't roll it out, I just put a ball of pastry in each hole and squish it into place with a spoon or with my magic pastry pusher, a Lakeland purchase from years ago that I can no longer find. Humph.

Blind bake for about 8 mins - you can put in baking beans but that's one step too far for me so I just hoick the tins out and flatten the bases down with a spoon. Bake a couple more minutes, then spoon in a teaspoon of jam and return to the oven for a final 2-3 minutes. You may need to spread the jam out a little more.

Sprinkle with icing sugar and eat them while they are still warm. Or once they've gone cold. Or whenever you feel like it! I bet these would be good with unbaked lemon curd ...

And in other news, more sweet goodness arrived in the post, from Nicolette. She asked for our favourite words a while back; mine is 'discombobulated' as it describes my state of mind most of the time - and it turns out Nicolette understands that feeling too so I was one of the winners of her giveaway ;-)

I think I have dug my blogging and crafting inclinations into the allotment - anyone feel like coming and helping me to retrieve them? I have dug and dug, and planted out some tomatoes, and dug some more. And now the bindweed is coming back, so I am digging out more roots! I know we'll win in the end and it just takes time but I did come close to abandoning my organic principles this morning - what would Prince Charles say?!


  1. Just keep digging away - you'll get there in the end. Very nice tarts by the way!
    Gina x

  2. Gosh, I love jam tarts. I want to make some too! Maybe I will! Keep on digging. The more you dig the more jam tarts you'll have to eat... shame.

  3. I know what you mean about the weeds. Very disheartening. At the moment I am fighting with blimmin nettles which seem determined to evict me from my plot. Sooo close I have come to giving in ... What would Thora Hurd say though??

  4. Discombobulated is one of my favorite words too (apparently it's an Americanism). I find it describes my state of mind quite a lot of the time!

    The other day I discovered a wallpaper pattern called Bindweed. It was lovely, but I can't imagine any allotmenter wanting to be surrounded by bindweed in her living room as well!

  5. Lemon curd definitely sounds like the way to go! I love it, love it, love it!
    Good luck with the bindweed. I have to say that I have abandoned a few of my organic principles and have started using slug pellets near my lettuces. I felt bad for a while but then thought I actually need to eat the food, not the slugs and they always got there first. I admire anyone who can do it wholeheartedly from start to finish.
    Cathy X

  6. Urgh, bindweed. It is Satan. I need to slather on the (organic, natural) skeeter repellent and get out there to tackle mine. RE: organic pest control -- I had a triumph recently using just soapy spray to eliminate cabbage worms -- hooray! Oh, and your tarts are making me drool!!

  7. Your jam tarts look scrummy so I'm going to try that recipe out soon - I have suddenly got rather a large quantity of strawberry jam...........

    Good luck with the allotment - I'm afraid the weeds just keep coming back - I'm hoping they'll get bored one day and give up!

    Lucy x

  8. Jam tarts strike me as the perfect fuel for a spot of digging.

    Actually, come to think of it, jam tarts are the perfect fuel for just about anything.

  9. Tarty! I'm ravenous this evening - I could wolf the lot, especially still warm. Delish.

    Bindweed's so persistent - I have it in the new flower bed I dug this year. The more I dig out the more it comes back. It'll be so worth it for all the lovely autumn and winter beg though.

  10. Yummy, the tarts look quite delicious! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe...these I must try!



  11. The tarts look very yummy and your goodies from Nicolette are lovely! If you have dug your crafty inclinations into the allotment it may be no bad thing - just keep them well watered and they'll be blossoming in no time!

  12. Bindweed is horrid isn't it? You turn your back for 5 minutes and it springs back up again!

    Those tarts look lovely - I've never put icing sugar in pastry before. Might try that.


  13. Jam tarts, yummy. I used to adore lemon curd tarts. I always get put off by the whole baking blind bit.

  14. I do like a jam tart now and then....and lovely doogies you received in the giveaway.

  15. Woops! Doogies? I meant goodies!!!

  16. Mmm....your jam tarts look deeelicious!

    Bindweed really is the pits! Keep digging Missus, it'll be worth it when you taste your first veggies.


  17. just popped by your blog and have to say your jam tarts look deliciously mouthwatering! i must admit i have come close this year to spraying the blasted bindwind, but have not succombed!

  18. Yummy jam tarts. I've about given up on my weeds they grow faster than the veg, if the veg survives it'll be a miracle and I'll plant that veg next time round. Good luck with the bindweed.

  19. What a classic word! Yes think I suffer from discombobulation at times!! :D
    Nice recipe and goodies there Gx


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