You know those tiny little jars of jam or preserves you see when traveling? Well, I have a confession… I like to pocket swipe them. I can’t help myself. We were on vacation eating breakfast and there they were on the table just taunting me. A cute little display caddy full of jam. Okay- for the record I only pocketed 3 of them. Not too bad, right?
“When you are paying for an expensive hotel and the breakfast is included in your price, you are allowed-you paid for it”.
[That’s what The Husband said]
Just so you can get the full mental visual effect of what was going through my mind as I threw those puppies into my tote bag]. You know I’m a jam hoarder-I’ve talked about this before. It’s the perfect “crime” for me since living in Taipei the refrigerators here are very small and don’t allow me my full jam hoarding tendencies. There is no room in the fridge for such jam collecting.
For this recipe, pick your favorite preserve and use up the little bits of jam you have hanging out in the chill box. You know you have at least 2 of them in there right now with sad tiny bits in the bottom. Try to steer away from anything too sweet as the frangipane tastes best with something a little on the tart side. Sour cherry jam, red or black currant, apricot, or raspberry all work well. You can freeze any leftover frangipane filling. Frangipane tastes pretty darn good just right off the spoon too. I’m just sayin’…
Frangipane-Jam Mini Tarts
(makes about 2 cups of filling)
90 gm unsalted butter, softened
100 gm castor sugar
100 gm finely ground almonds (almond meal)
1 Lg. egg
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla or vanilla bean paste
1 tsp. orange zest
(sliced almonds for garnish)
Jam/Preserves of your choice (I used apricot and black currant)
1. Make the pastry ahead of time as per below. Prepare a mini muffin tin by placing a round of pastry into each well; crimp or mark the edges of pastry as desired.
2. Make filling: In a medium bowl combine the soft butter, sugar and ground almond meal. Add the egg, extract, vanilla and orange zest and beat with a spoon well to combine.
3. Fill your unbaked tart shells almost to the top and then top off with about 1/2 tsp. of jam or preserves. Sprinkle with a few sliced almonds. Bake at 350° F or 180° C for about 14 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely. Sprinkle with Icing sugar if desired.
Shortcrust Pastry Dough
4 oz. all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
2 oz. unsalted butter cubed small, kept cold
2-3 Tbsp. ice water (amt. as needed)
1. In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt and butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add in just enough water one tablespoon at a time by stirring with a rubber spatula until mixture comes together. Gather mixture together into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap for at least 15 minutes to chill before rolling out. Roll out pastry thinly and cut into rounds.