Fruit tarts are quick to make, especially if using homemade (or shop bought) jam. The tart pastry bases only use flour, salt, butter, and water. Simply fill with your favourite filling, pop in the oven, and a few minutes later you will be enjoying delicious fruity treats!
Jam tarts, apple tarts, or cream tarts, all are wonderful ways to enjoy fruit!
For variety, try baking with fresh apples or pears, or blind baking before filling with cream and soft fruit.
Watch How To Make Fruit Tarts
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Jam tarts make an indulgent treat, but they do contain the goodness of real fruit whether using homemade or shop bought jam, baked apples, or fresh fruit.
The tart case is made from short crust pastry. Chopping the butter into cubes makes it easier to mix into the flour.
I used finger tips to mix in the butter, but some people prefer to use a blender. The aim is to achieve a consistency of fine breadcrumbs. When this is ready add a pinch of salt.
It is important not to add too much water. Add the water by the spoonful spreading around the bowl and stirring in with a knife. The water helps the dough to bind, just enough to be gently pressed into a ball.
Wrap the dough and place it in the fridge for around 30 minutes. Chilling helps with the chemistry of the dough and makes it easier to work with.
Whilst the dough is chilling it is a good time to grease the baking tray and prepare the rolling area with flour.
The dough should be rolled out to no more than half a centimetre thick, and cut into circles a little larger than the moulds in the baking tray.
Repeat the process re-using the dough trimmings until the dough is used up.
The dough circles are pressed into the moulds, ensuring the bases are pressed down first before working on the edges. A ball of dough is helpful as a tool to help push the circles into the moulds.
As my circles were a little larger than the moulds I trimmed the edges using a plastic blade.
Before adding the tart fillings, it is a good idea to prick the bases with a fork. This prevents any trapped air lifting the bases upwards during baking.
For jam tarts, spoon in the jam and use a knife to spread the jam evenly over the base, ensuring that the jam sits a little lower than the full height of the case. This avoids the jam spilling out of the tart during cooking.
For apple tarts, fill the bases with finely chopped apple, pressing down to avoid any air gaps. Add a small knob of butter to each tart, and sweeten with a swirl of honey.
For cream filled tarts, the bases need to ‘blind baked’, which means baking without any filling. The bases do need a weight to avoid them moving during cooking. Scrunching up some baking paper makes it easier to place the paper on top of the base, before adding uncooked rice.
The tarts are now ready for baking. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown in an oven at 180 °C. When done, they should be allowed to cool for about twenty minutes.
Cool tarts are much easier to remove from their moulds than hot tarts. They can be removed by a simple twist with fingers. A plastic knife can help unstick any tarts held in place by jam that has bubbled over the sides.
If not enjoying immediately, store the tarts in an air tight container for a day or so. The blind baked tart cases can be filled on the moment with your favourite fillings. I used creme fraiche and raspberries.