If you’ve ever wanted to know how to make jam tarts, this is the post for you. If you’ve never heard of them, then this is a post for you.

Jam tarts are an absolute classic sweet little treat for good reason. The buttery biscuit base is filled with jam or fruit curd and baked. Once they cool, the centre is sweet and soft and it’s encased in that crisp buttery shell.

A white platter filled with jam tarts on a dark grey tea towel. It sits on a white wooden background

I used to call these jam filled cookie cups since the tart shell is made more like a cookie dough than a pastry tart shell. Whatever you want to call them, these classic jam tarts will disappear in nanoseconds.

What Is A Jam Tart?

A jam tart is a traditional afternoon tea treat of a pastry or biscuit tart shell filled with jam or fruit curd (like lemon curd). While it’s hard to say exactly where they originate, they certainly have a huge representation in Australia where every bakery and supermarket sells their version.

Traditionally, you will see strawberry jam tarts or lemon curd tarts but any flavour jam or curd can be used. I’ve made these with everything from my Blood Orange Curd and Lemon Curd to quick homemade compotes like blackberry compote or blueberry compote. Passionfruit Curdwould also be divine.

A white platter filled with jam tarts on a dark grey tea towel

Ingredients for jam tarts

  • flour
  • baking soda
  • butter
  • sugar
  • egg white
  • vanilla extract
  • jam or curd

Just 7 ingredients means making jam tarts from scratch is incredibly simple.

How To Make Jam Tarts

  1. This very simple recipe begins by beating together a little butter and sugar.
  2. Add an egg white and a touch of vanilla extract and mix it through.
  3. Then add the flour and baking soda, mixing until just combined.
  4. The sticky dough should then be rolled out on a well floured surface until it’s about 4mm thick, then use a round fluted cookie cutter (or plain round is fine) to cut circles of dough about 6cm in diameter.
  5. Place the dough circle flour side down in the tins. I use these patty pans but if you can’t get them or don’t want to, you can use a mini muffin tin or even a regular muffin tin.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes or until turning golden on the edges

It’s important to let your homemade jam tarts cool properly to room temperature before eating. While warm, they will still be delicate to handle.

Lemon Curd and Orange Curd filled jam tarts leaning up against a white platter filled with jam tarts. It sits on top of a dark grey tea towel

Right: lemon curd filled jam tart. Left: orange curd filled jam tart.

The Jam Tarts Pastry

My recipe is made more like a biscuit or cookie dough as opposed to a pastry but either is fine. I like this recipe because the tart shell is super buttery and, while delicate, absolutely melts in your mouth.

You can also use a pastry base if you prefer. The one I use for these Neenish Tarts works perfectly or you can use shop-bought short crust pastry. You could use puff but it leaves less room for the filling.

Tips And Tricks For Making Jam Tarts

  • The butter should be softened and should be beaten well with the sugar first.
  • Flour the surface well. It’s a sticky dough so the flour will make it easier to roll and it will also serve as the non-stick barrier in your baking tin.
  • Don’t roll the dough too thin or the jam tarts may be too delicate and might crumble when you pick them up.
  • Don’t roll the dough too thick or you won’t fit enough filling in.
  • I use these patty pans which have a rounded bottom. If you want to use a regular muffin tin, make sure the tarts are still only about 1cm deep (don’t bring the pastry all the way to the top edge of the tin). The traditional jam tart is small and dainty. To make them too deep may affect the ratios too.
  • Fill the jam tarts well with your jam or curd. It wont bubble over at the temperature we’re using to bake them and you want a good amount of filling. – I fill mine with 3-4 teaspoons of filling and so it is about level with the top of the tart shell before baking. It sets just a little lower on cooling.

Substitutions

  • Use any flavour jam you like from strawberry (the classic) to blueberry to marmalade and apricot. Any jam will work.
  • Swap the jam for fruit curds like these – Lemon, Passionfruit, Orange, Pineapple, Blackberry.
  • Swap the jam for nutella or peanut butter (ahem, these are no longer jam tarts of course but still super yum).

These Easy Jam Tarts are such a dainty, sweet treat. They work perfectly for lunchboxes, picnics and afternoon tea. Being so quick to make means a very quick treat too. 

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A white platter filled with jam tarts on a dark grey tea towel

Easy Jam Tarts

4.67 from 6 votes
Who doesn't love homemade Jam Tarts? With a buttery base and a thick filling of jam or curd, these are a perfect lunch box or afternoon tea treat. This easy jam tarts recipe is quick to whip and delicious to eat.

Ingredients

  • 130 plain (all-purp) flour (1 cup)
  • ¼ teaspoon  baking soda (bicarb)
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 85 g unsalted butter, softened (notes)
  • 1 egg white from a large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup jam or lemon curd

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced.
  • Whisk together the flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. pale and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix until clumping.
  • Pull the dough together (it will be a little sticky) and sit it on a well floured surface. Sprinkle some flour over the top and roll it out to about 4mm thick (notes). Use a 6cm round fluted cookie cutter to cut out pieces (re-roll once or twice if you need)
  • Carefully sit the dough circles into your patty pan holes. Fill each with 3-4 teaspoons of jam or curd.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are turning golden. Let them cool at least ½ an hour before transferring to a cooling rack, then let them cool completely before eating.

Notes

Equipment used: I use these patty pans but you can use a small muffin tin or a regular muffin tin
  1. You can swap the jam for fruit curds like these - Lemon, Passionfruit, Orange, Pineapple, Blackberry
  2. Don't roll the dough too thin or the jam tarts will be too delicate once baked. I find 4-5mm perfect.
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**Recipe updated with new photos, copy and recipe 24 Sep 2019