Strawberry-Elderflower Jam Tarts

Gourmet's Adventures with Ruth: Season One: Blackberry Farm

Makes10 to 12 (4 1/2-inch) Tarts or 2 (9-to 10-inch) Tarts
  • Active time:1 3/4 hr
  • Start to finish:2 Days (including making jam)
October 2009
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For Jam

  • 2 cups elderflower cordial or 2 Tbsp elderberry flower drink concentrate
  • 2 lbs strawberries, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 lb golden cane sugar or turbinado sugar such as Sugar in the Raw
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For Tart Shells

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick plus 2 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons mild honey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water
  • EQUIPMENT: 10 to 12 (4 1/2-inch) round tartlet pans with removable bottoms (see cooks' note below); pie weights or dried beans
  • ACCOMPANIMENT: unsweetened whipped cream

Make Jam

  • If using elderflower cordial, simmer in a small heavy saucepan until reduced to about 1/4 cup syrup.
  • Toss strawberries with 2 Tbsp elderflower syrup (or concentrate), sugar, and lemon juice and chill at least 8 hours (up to 24).
  • Bring strawberry mixture to a rolling boil in a 5- to 7-qt heavy pot (you need plenty of room for jam to boil up), stirring frequently, then pour into a bowl and cover surface with parchment, then cover with a lid or plastic wrap and chill at least 8 hours (up to 24).
  • Put a few small plates in refrigerator to chill (for testing jam). Drain strawberries in a sieve set over a bowl, reserving both juices and fruit. Bring juice to a boil in cleaned pot, skimming foam, and boil, stirring frequently, 5 minutes.
  • Add strawberries and bring to a full boil, then simmer until a tsp of jam begins to gel when dropped on a chilled plate, 30 to 40 minutes.

Make Tart Shells

  • Blend together flour, butter, honey, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) just until mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size butter lumps. Drizzle 1/3 cup ice water evenly over mixture and gently stir with a fork (or pulse) until incorporated.
  • Squeeze a small handful: If it doesnt hold together, add more ice water, 1 Tbsp at a time, stirring (or pulsing) until just incorporated, then test again. Do not overwork dough or pastry will be tough.
  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 8 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather dough together, with a pastry scraper if you have one, then divide dough in half and form into 2 (5-inch) disks. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.
  • Roll out 1 disk of dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into an 11-inch square and cut out 4 (5 1/2-inch) disks and fit into 4 tartlet pans. Repeat with second disk, then reroll scraps for 2 to 4 more tartlets.
  • Chill tart shells 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375F with racks in upper and lower thirds.
  • Lightly prick bottoms of tart shells all over with a fork. Line shells with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake until sides are set and edge is pale golden, about 15 minutes. Carefully remove weights and foil and bake shells until golden all over, about 10 minutes more. Cool completely.
  • Fill cooled tart shells with jam and top each with a mound of whipped cream.
COOKS' NOTES: Instead of individual tartlets, you can make 2 large tarts using 2 (9- to 10-inch) round tart pans with removable bottoms. Roll out each disk of dough into a 12-inch round. After removing pie weights, bake shells about 20 minutes (instead of 10).
Jam keeps, chilled, 3 weeks.
Dough can be chilled up to 1 day. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes before rolling out.
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