This week is National Afternoon Tea Week, which makes me want to spend the whole week in a floaty dress surrounded by pretty china and delicate tasty morsels of this, that and the other, preferably sat in a shady spot of a sun-drenched garden.
However – sadly – I can’t do that, but . . . I have come up with three alternatives for afternoon tea that are a little different from scones, sandwiches, victoria sponge and copious buckets of tea. Not that there is anything wrong with any of those things, I would like to add, but it is sometimes good to ring the changes.
Today we have jam cups, and a little teeny-tiny confession.
They were meant to be mini jam tarts, but . . . the pastry was seriously not playing the game. Like, majorly not playing the game. As in I almost, almost completely lost my temper with it and stomped out the kitchen like a 5-year-old. I did tell it to p-off when it broke on me for the umpteenth time (yes, I frequently talk to inanimate objects). Until . . . I came up with the idea of rolling it into little balls, dropping them into the mini muffin pan and pressing down the middle with the thin end of the bashing part of a pestle and mortar – it doesn’t matter how many times I google it, I can never ever remember which is the pestle and which is the mortar. Is the bowl the mortar? Anyway . . . it worked, although they do look a little ‘rustic’, but hey.
Hence the name jam cups, rather than tarts.
I don’t know if it was the addition of buckwheat flour to the pastry mix that caused it to misbehave. It was cracking like a demon – which is still a little evident in the photos of these cups – despite using a bucket load of water. Or maybe it was because the weather was actually quite warm and with the oven on the kitchen was heating up nicely and the pastry could have been drying out too quickly. Which probably wasn’t helped by the fact that my hands, for once in my life, were also warm instead of their usual ice-like state.
Whatever the reason, I managed to find a way around it. And the addition of the buckwheat flour seemed to turn the pastry into more of a biscuit like consistency when baked, which works pretty well – biscuit cups filled with jam, what’s not to love?!
The pastry / biscuit cups aren’t overly sweet either, which helps to balance everything out given the intense sweetness of the jam.
I always remember jam tarts being made when there was some leftover pastry from another recipe. What do you do when there is too much pastry to throw away? Jam tarts were answer. Except at Christmas, then it has to be mince pies. However these little jewel-filled beauties deserve to be made in their own right!
Mini Jam Cups
- 100g rice flour
- 50g buckwheat flour
- 2 tbsp fine cornmeal
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- 75g butter, cold and cubed, plus extra for greasing
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar, or caster sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- cold water
- whichever flavour of jam you like, I used raspberry
- powdered sugar for dusting, optional.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 celsius / 160 fan / 350 fahrenheit. Grease the cavities of a 24-hole mini muffin pan with a little butter or oil.
- Using either a stand mixer or your hands, place the flours, cornmeal and xanthan gum in a bowl. Add the butter and mix (or rub between your finger tips) until it resembles bread crumbs.
- Add the sugar and mix.
- Add the egg yolk followed by the cold water, gradually adding it until the mixture starts to form a dough. Using your hands, bring the dough together in the bowl, adding more liquid a little at a time until it forms a soft pliable dough.
- Pinch off approximately a teaspoon of the dough and roll into a ball. Drop into the prepared tin and either using your thumb or another implement, push down the ball until it forms a cup shape. Take care not to push so much that the bottom is too thin.
- Fill each cup with jam.
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown and the jam is bubbling.
- Leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with the powdered sugar if using.
- Store in an air-tight container out of direct sunlight.
© The Pink Rose Bakery 2015