Do you remember making jam tarts? They were one of the first recipes that I ever cooked with my kids. This easy recipe to make them makes pastry from scratch and even then is so simple to do your older kids will be able to make them on their own! So here you go our easy jam tart recipe to cook with kids from toddlers up.
Jam tarts are a classic British sweet pastry tart. Filled with jam or lemon curd they are easy to make and delicious. Made famous in the classic nursery rhyme for kids the Queen of Hearts (we've put a copy at the bottom for you to read and watch a little video of) where the Knave of Heart stole the tarts.
When my kids were young we made these with store bought jam but now we have our own garden we make our own strawberry jam and then use that to fill the pastry cases.
Ingredients for an Easy Jam Tart Recipe to Cook with Kids
- Plain Flour - all purpose flour in the USA
- Lard - Shortening in the USA
- Butter or margarine for cooking
- Cold Water
- Jam - strawberry or a flavour of your choice
How to make the Jam Tarts with Toddlers
To get the best pastry - you need to have cold utensils and cold hands - so we washed our hands with cold water to make sure that we didn't melt the fats. J loves the washing the hands part - and we have to sing the hand washing song from I can cook on Cbeebies every time we do. I pre-measure all of the ingredients first at the moment with most dishes so with everything prepared we set to work making the tarts. First task is to cut up the fat in with the sieved flour and pinch of salt.
Once the butter was cut up into small cubes then it's making breadcrumb type consistency out of the mixture. Using finger types rub the butter into the flour. J loved this and kept telling us that it was snowing!
Once the mixture is crumbled - we then added the water the recipe is very precise that it has to be exactly 2 and a half tablespoons of cold water - whether all that went in or not I'm not sure as J helped a lot - but I'm guessing most did as they taste very good.
At this point you can leave the pastry covered in a cool place until you need it - we used it straight away. To make it easier for J I divided it up into smaller balls and using his rolling pin he rolled it out onto a lightly floured surface and then cut using a pastry cutter that fits nicely into our tin.
We used a 12 bun tin and had greased the tin first. J helped me put the tarts into the tin and then he had lots of fun filling them with a heaped teaspoon of jam.
You need to preheat the oven to 220 degrees Centigrade (425 F gas mark 7) and the tarts cooked for 12 mins (but around 10 is normal until the pastry is just brown) - we left them to cool and then have enjoyed the tarts.
Easy Jam Tart Recipe for Kids
- Preheat the Oven to 220C.
- Pre-measure all of the ingredients.
- Cut up the lard and margarine and add to the sieved flour and pinch of salt.
- Use your fingers to rub the flour and fats together to a breadcrumb consistency.
- Add the water to the mixture and knead to a dough.
- Cover and place in the fridge for a minimum of 1/2 an hour to get the best pastry. But it can be used straight away if needed.
- Grease a 12 hole pie tin.
- Roll out the dough about 1/2 cm thick and cut with a circular pastry cutter to fit your tin.
- Fill each tart with Jam.
- Place the tarts in the oven for between 10 and 12 minutes.
- Cool and enjoy.
Queen of Hearts Nursery Rhyme
If you don't know the Queen of Heart's Nursery Rhyme it is a classic British Nursery Rhyme based on the royal cards from a pack of playing cards and first appeared in the mid 18th Century. The words that we sing together are:
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 score.
The Knave of Hearts brought back the tarts,
And swore he'd steal no more!
The poem is the inspiration for the Queen of Hearts in the classic Story Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and although we made them initally for eating whilst we sang the rhyme they would make a great snack when reading aloud together the classic story too.