I’m a pack rat. I save everything and as I’ve documented on this site, when offered free food it’s impossible for me to refuse. I had a real problem with it this summer working the farmer’s market. But always one to turn lemons into lemonade, I turned excess fruit into jam. An abundance of jam. A ridiculous amount of jam. Sure, it’s delicious and in an array of fantastical combinations – pinot fraise de bois, white peach beaume de venise, raspberry Valrhona chocolate, santa rosa plum, white peach fraise de boise, Italian plum zinfandel among many MANY others. Really tasty stuff. There’s just a lot of it.
I’ve been contemplating a new year apartment cleanse but made the unfortunate judgment call to start with my pantry. I took one look at my jam storehouse and had to sit down. Breathe. I’ve given jam to everyone I know and still have a ton of it. I am literally on the verge of becoming that girl. (Did you see that scene in Modern Family where Cam and Mitchell talk about home pickling and becoming those pickle guys? Not only do I relate but I’m teetering on the precipice.)
So rather than go there, I started perusing the internet for recipes that use a lot of jam. That was my search criteria: “recipes, lots of jam.” Creative, no? Some results just were a big snooze: thumbprint cookies, sandwich cookies. (Though using jam to sweeten cocktails was an interesting idea. I’ll use that one.) Then I remembered a cake I had in Southern France that was buttery and delicious with a layer of dark cherry jam in the middle that haunts my dreams. I googled “gateau Breton”. It took a few minutes reading recipes to realize I had conveniently forgotten that Brittany is in northern France and I’ve never been there. Oh minor details; so I gotta move south. Give me a moment. Gateau Basque! That’s more like it! I bookmarked it for later and kept searching.
Of course, I hopped over to David Lebovitz’s site. He always has good stuff and I seemed to remember a post for a jam tart a while back. If that doesn’t fit the bill, I don’t know what does. Yep, there it was … Easy Jam Tart. From July 2008. What?!? Sometimes it takes me a while but I get to it eventually. And it uses nearly 2 cups of jam. Hot damn, we’re onto something here.
I made it just as he posted it – so I won’t repost the recipe here – and it could not have been easier. The dough is patted into the pan – no rolling futzing crap whatsoever. I didn’t even bother with cutting the dough for a decorative top like he did, rather just crumbled it on top for a more homey, pebbley, rustic topping. It was particularly good with my overly vanilla-y apricot jam which I suspected correctly would be better encased in a buttery crust as the vanilla is a bit too strong for toast.
This worked so well I made it again the following day for a Haitian Relief Bake Sale at The Hideout in Chicago – this time as individual tarts wrapped ever so pretty.
It’s a keeper. Find David’s recipe here.
STRESS BAKING THERAPY FACTOR: HIGH. I haven’t met a fruit tart lately that I haven’t liked and this is another. Filled with my homemade jam, I was really onto something. My friends went nuts over its buttery homemade goodness. Releasing this into the world is a great great thing.
Side note: make sure to let these suckers cool down completely before you try to unmold them. This is what happens if you don’t: