Saturday, 4 December 2010

Using up jars in the cupboard - Rich Shortcrust Pastry Tarts

Where a few months ago a slice of lemon drizzle cake or a blueberry muffin would have cheered up my lunchbox I needed something more substantial, more buttery and more comforting. All this snow has meant I've been raiding the cupboards and I found jars and bottles full of stuff that really I'm never going to use. I also figured if any of my nearest and dearest know me, I'll be getting many more jars of treats on the 25th.
I managed to find some raspberry jam, golden syrup, lime curd, greengage jam, pecans in honey and some quince jelly. All lovely on toast or scones or crumpets but also all nearing their ends. I needed to use them up and make the most of them.
I made some rich shortcrust pastry and for the first time, I made it in a food processor. What a revelation. I've always avoided it thinking it is no substitute for hand made pastry but quite frankly, when it's that easy to make, who cares?
Put 225g plain flour and a little salt into the blender and blend for a few seconds to sift it (how clever). Add 150g of proper butter that you've cut into cubes and blend until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over 4tsps of cold water and blend until you have a yellow ball of deliciousness whizzing around in a circle. Take it out, wrap it up and refrigerate for half an hour. This will give you time to check the cupboards for anything lurking in the corners you may have missed.
Get the oven on 220C and a selection of spoons. Roll out the pastry to however thick you want it and get your cutters out. Fill your little cases with your jams, jellys and all sorts. I learned the hard way that jam tends to burst and bubble all over the place so jam wise, less is more. Unless you want to be scrubbing burnt sugar from now until Christmas Eve.
I had some left over pastry and so made two larger tarts. The one on the left was the pecans in honey (with extra honey) and on the right was golden syrup covered in oats. I'll be honest, the honey one was an abomination and it got thrown to the birds. The golden syrup one was brilliant and I'm planning to make an XL one soon.
Put the colourful critters into the oven. Mine took about 15-20 mins but it'll depend on the size you do. Somehow with the treacle and honey I unintentionally made spun sugar. When I intentionally try to achieve this, I always burn my feet.
They smelt amazing. I made enough to be able to share with the parents and grandparents and have some left over as glistening jewels for my lunchbox. I used up 5 jars of stuff that I might have otherwise thrown away. They kept really well for a week in a tin. Waste not want not.

All That I'm Eating

13 comments:

  1. Cute little tarts!
    Only if we can find a solution for every excess thing in the house! Too bad I can not cook them all into something :)

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  2. Omg, yum. They are gorgeous.

    Also, I make pastry in the food processor, it changed my life! (was horrid at making pastry before).

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  3. These are so adorable and I bet delicious!

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  4. What a creative way to brighten up anyone's day (and clean out your cupboard).

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  5. What a great idea to use up some jams and preserves!

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  6. Funny, ice been doing justthe opposite: making jam tarts to use up excess pastry from the restaurant desserts. I love it best with a mixed berry conserve best. And of course a dollop of homemade mincemeat at this time of year.

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  7. I had left a comment earlier on these beautiful tarts and the clever idea but I do not see it (must not have processed it correctly)! So I'll leave that again.

    I'm actually 'popping by' to say I have an award for you. Congratulations! I feel you really embody the spirit of this award. Please come by my blog to 'pick it up'. Whether you choose to display it or not, thank you for what you bring to the blogging community.

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  8. this is so brilliant! i love fast and easy baking styles like this. your pictures looks so pretty. thanks for sharing.

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  9. A great idea. I too have been thinkign of ways of using some of my cupbard jars of home made jams and chutney.

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  10. Fun tarts. Terrific idea to use up all those pantry items!

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  11. Thank you so much for all the comments!

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  12. Cute idea! I recently received some strawberry jam that needs to be used up. This would be perfect for that!

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  13. What a fab idea! I definately have a few too many jars in the fridge and not enough room for other stuff, so I'll have to give it a go!

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