A breakfast favorite!
STRAWBERRY HAND TARTS:
1 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling the dough)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 and 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Pinch of sea salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (cut into 8 pieces)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup Strawberry Jam (recipe below)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Two sterilized 1/2-pint jars
1 quart strawberries, hulled and chopped (roughly or finely, depending on how chunky you prefer your jam)
2 cups sugar
One 3-inch piece lemon rind (with the pith intact-it contains pectin)
For the Hand Tarts: 1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line an 11 x 17-inch baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine the flour, cornstarch, 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar, the salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a food processor and pulse to blend. Add the butter and pulse four or five times, until it forms a sandy-looking mixture with some pebble-size pieces. Pour in the cream. Pulse a few times, then process 30 to 60 seconds, until the dough comes together in a rough ball.
3. Place the dough on a lightly floured counter or cutting board. Gently knead a few times, until it comes together into a smooth ball. Roll the dough out to a 1/16-inch thickness; you should have an 11 x 22-inch rectangle. Trim any rough edges with a knife or pizza cutter (pro tip!). Cut the rectangle into 12 even-size rectangles (about 4 1/2 x 2 3/4 inches each).
4. Place 6 of the pastry rectangles on the prepared pan. Spoon 2 teaspoons of jam onto each center and spread it out, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Cover each with one of the remaining plain pastries. Use a fork to crimp the edges closed.
5. Bake 15 to 17 minutes, until crisp and golden around the edges. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar with 4 to 6 teaspoons of cold water and the almond extract. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled tarts or spread it on with an offset spatula. Decorate with sprinkles.
For the Strawberry Jam: 1. Two hours before you start, place a small glass dish in the freezer.
2. Place the strawberries, sugar, and lemon rind in a large saucepan (think three times the volume of the fruit). Give everything a good stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil over high heat, using a spoon to skim the foam from the top. (Don’t skip this step or you’ll end up with a cloudy jam.) After a few minutes, the foam will mostly subside.
3. Lower the heat to a vigorous simmer (with bubbles constantly popping to the surface). Let the jam continue to cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until reduced by half and thick enough to generously coat a wooden spoon. At this point, you start testing your jam for doneness. Remove the dish from the freezer and drizzle a small amount of jam on it. Tilt the dish sideways and if it holds in place without being too runny, then it’s ready. The consistency will still be thin. Don’t worry; the jam will thicken and set up further as it cools.
4. Spoon the hot jam into the sterilized jars. Let the jars cool completely and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Be sure to write this keep-fresh date on any label or note you include with the jam. If you’d like to make jam that lasts longer, you need to use the hot-water process to seal the jars properly. (Google it).
For the Sterilized Glass Jars: Wash the jars in hot, soapy water and rinse them with very hot water.
Place the jars on a rack set in a deep pot or a water-bath canner. Cover with water.
Over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Let the water boil for 15 minutes.
Right before you’re ready to use the jars, lift the rack out of the pot (or use clean tongs) to place the jars upside down on a clean kitchen towel to dry.
The lids should be sterilized by boiling in water for 5 minutes.