With an easy pressed tart shell made from a dough that also doubles, with the addition of nuts, as a delicious crumb topping, this classic jam tart comes together quickly and makes a great Shabbat—or midweek—dessert.
Whether you're facing down a winter Shabbat the comes in early or a lazy summer erev Shabbat when you barely feel like acknowledging the kitchen, this jam tart is the perfect dessert to have in your repertoire. It's beloved by a broad audience of dessert-goers, easy to make, and looks good, too. If you don't have a tart pan, a pie plate also works, as does a square pan (like the kind you'd use for brownies), in which case, call them jam bars and they're just as delicious. All three types of pans have about the same bake time, too, so no need to adjust.
Making the tart pastry for jam tart
I haven't told you the best part yet: this is a dump-everything-in-a-bowl type recipe. You'll need to soften the butter or margarine a bit, but only enough to cream with the sugars, so it doesn't have to come down to room temp (and yes, I often speed this up with 15 seconds of so in the microwave). Then, after creaming, the remaining wet ingredients go in, then dry (flour last), and that's that.
After mixing the dough, you reserve about a third to mix with chopped walnuts and crumble over top, so the same dough doubles for both the crust and the topping. If the thought of chopping nuts is putting you off, I often break up walnut halves by hand for this recipe, as you only need a small amount, ¼ cup or 30 g. You can also substitute pecans (I also break these by hand) or skip any chopping and use oats, also a great (and nut-free) option.
To make the tart itself, you'll take the remainder of the dough (about two-thirds) and press it by hand into your pan. So, no rolling out or worrying that the dough will tear or shrink. You should have just enough dough to press up the sides of a tart pan with a crust of about medium thickness (slightly thicker than pie crust). Skip pressing it up the sides of the pan if you're making bars, and make a slightly thicker bottom crust instead.
Choosing a jam
This tart changes identities when you swap out the jam for a different flavor profile. My personal favorite is raspberry, but mixed-berry and fig are close seconds, and apricot is lovely too. This tart is also wonderful spread with homemade jams, like this gooseberry jam. You can choose a smoother jam or a chunky, fruity one; whichever is your preference, it'll work here. Another good option is to use apple butter or another fruit butter. You can sprinkle a bit of flaked coconut over the jam for an added layer of flavor, too.
Making jam bars instead of a tart
Looking for more quick cakes?
- Plum Kuchen - Ashkenazi Plum Cake (parve or dairy)
- Dairy-Free Magic Bars (parve)
- Blueberry Lemon Crumb Cake (dairy)
- Mocha-Chocolate Marble Cake (parve)
- Israeli Chocolate Birthday Cake (dairy or parve)
Jam Tart (parve or dairy)
- Round tart pan (can also be made in a square 8" or 9" / 20 or 22 cm baking pan)
- ½ cup butter or margarine, softened - 1 stick - 115 g - I used Earth Balance sticks
- ½ cup powdered sugar - 65 g
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed - 100 g
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp kosher salt - only if using unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour - 190 g
- ¼ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped - 30 g - substitute pecans or oats for nut-free
- ¾ cup jam - 240 g
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C and lightly grease a round tart pan (or an 8" to 9" / 20-22cm square baking pan).
- In a mixing bowl, cream the softened butter/margarine with the powdered sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.
- Add the vanilla and egg and beat to combine.
- To the mixing bowl, add the baking powder, cinnamon, and salt (if using), and beat to combine. Add in the flour and mix to form a thick, plush dough.
- Reserve about ⅓ of the dough and set aside in a separate bowl. Empty the remaining ⅔ or the dough into the tart pan (or baking dish) and, using your fingers, press into a layer of medium thickness along the bottom and sides of the pan (or just the bottom, if making bars).
- Spread the jam in an even layer over the prepared tart crust.
- Chop the nuts (or oats) and combine with the reserved ⅓ of the dough. Using your fingers, crumble the mixture over the jam layer, creating large crumbs over the top.
- Bake until lightly browned on top, about 40 minutes.