Jam Tarts With Hazelnuts

Going through my jars and bottles the other day I came across a half-finished jar of apricot jam. Not wanting to live with the guilt of not using it up:) I decided to make jam tarts. I used to be hesitant about making pastry earlier…too much work with the dough, I felt. But that has all changed and I find it therapeutic to work on pastry dough now. And feeling a little indulgent, I even blind-baked them with tiny discs of grease-proof paper and baking beans pulses. Maybe it’s the festive season, and the weather that’s turned kinder, and the fact that we were meeting my siblings and the children to celebrate my niece’s birthday….but it was good feeling.

For the dough:
200 grams all-purpose flour
100 grams butter, chilled and grated
1 egg
Cold water, about a tablespoon
Sieve the flour into a large bowl and grate the butter in it. Rub the butter into the flour using your finger tips till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Break an egg into it and mix till it comes together. If it still needs some moisture, sprinkle the cold water and bring the dough together. Divide into two balls, flatten, and keep in the fridge wrapped in clingfilm for at least thirty minutes. I prefer using an egg to bind as the pastry tends to shrink when only water is added.

The tarts:
Grease the tart tins. The butter left on the grater is enough to grease these tiny tins.Take one ball of dough out and roll on a floured surface. Cut into a few discs at a time, a little larger than the tins. Then take out the other ball of dough. It’s good when the rest of the dough is in the fridge…makes it easier to roll out. Place the discs on the tins, press on the edges and prick with a fork. Place grease-proof paper on the pastry-covered tins, put the beans/pulses and bake blind in a preheated 180* oven for ten minutes. Then remove the paper/beans and put a teaspoon and a half of jam on each tart, scatter a few hazelnuts and bake till the jam bubbles and the tarts turn golden brown. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Thank goodness I had taken some pictures after the tarts had cooled down. When everyone got together there was not a trace left of them!!!

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