Love Jam? Then You’ll Love This Tart.

I love jam.  I always have about a dozen different jars in my cupboard – jams that I brought back from my travels (jam and chocolate – always in my suitcase!), homemade jams, or homemade just not in my own home – those from friends or especially my mother-in-law.  I eat a few spoonfuls every day, mixed into a Greek yogurt (usually with Medjool dates too), or slathered on crusty bread with salted butter from Brittany. I’ve had an urge to make raspberry jam lately, since I miss eating fresh raspberries straight from the market.  Making jam from frozen berries will tide me over until berry season once again.  But before I do that, I figured it was a good time to empty one of my mason jars and make room for the new jam to come.

Jam Tart

So I grabbed an extra jar of confiture mi figue mi raisin from the back of my pantry, not sure how I ended up with two of those.  The name literally means half fig, half grape in French (more on that in a minute).  I grabbed this thick, syrupy mixture and decided to use the whole thing in one fell swoop: in a jam tart.  So I got right to work making the pastry shell (pastry you do not have to pre-bake or roll out no less!).  It’s a very easy dessert to make, and you can play with the pastry on top for the presentation you’d like – a lattice top as in Maggie Barrett’s Crostata con Marmellata di Frutta, streusel-like pieces as Luisa Weiss does in her version of the same crostata, or small disks of dough as David Lebovitz does in his Easy Jam Tart.  I had fun with it, as you can see above, and made three different shaped circles of pastry all over the top.  Whatever you choose, this tart is perfect for the cold winter months when you have had your fill of apple and pear desserts.  You get to pick your fruit despite the season, and have a light summery end to a meal.  Apricot, raspberry, strawberry… even if the snow is falling outside.

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Jam TartNow, back to those figs and grapes.  Mi figue, mi raisin is a well known expression in French, meaning half good, half bad.  It first appeared in 1487 as moitié figue, moitié raisin, the figs being the “bad” half. Apparently, when the Corinthians sold bags of currants (raisins de Corinthe) to the Venetians, they would cheat them by putting heavier, cheaper figs in the bunch. Hence the expression.  But then Madame de Sévigné later wrote “moitié figue, moitié raisin, moitié de gré moitié de force” – meaning you do something whether you like it or not (half voluntary, half forced)!

The meaning has certainly evolved over the years, more towards half serious, half joking, but all in all maintains this sense of ambiguity.  Clotilde Dusoulier recently gave a good explanation on her blog, Chocolate & Zucchini, with a few examples translated into English.

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If you can find this “half and half” jam, or make your own using a recipe online – and especially if you make the tart with it – there will be no ambiguity whatsoever.  Nothing half bad about it!

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Jam Tart

9 Tablespoons (110 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 cups (190 grams) flour
1/2 cup (70 grams) polenta/cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 cups (450 grams) jam of your choice: fig, raspberry, apricot, etc.
2 Tablespoons Demerara sugar (or other coarse raw sugar)

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until well combined.  Mix in the egg and extra yolk.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt and baking powder. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, just until it all comes together. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to warm slightly.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Take 2/3 of the dough, and with the heel of your hand, press into the bottom and sides of a 9″ (24 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom.  Pat smooth.  Fill the crust with jam, spreading it evenly.  Roll out the remaining dough. Cut into narrow strips and weave into a lattice pattern on top of the tart, or break into little pieces in your pattern of choice.  Sprinkle generously with coarse raw sugar (or as David Lebovitz says, very generously!).

Bake until the pastry is light golden brown, about 25 minutes.  Let cool, and serve at room temperature.

Jam Tart

13 Responses to “Love Jam? Then You’ll Love This Tart.”

  1. Lani says:

    The aroma of the tarte jumps right out of the computer. My favorite dessert is a linzer tarte so this tarte is right up my alley!!!! It definitely looks easy but I will leave the cooking up to you but I do want to taste it…..can I have seconds too!!!
    I absolutely love the round designs of the pastry on top. Love it!!!!

  2. Tammie D. says:

    No! No! No! YES! YES! YES! You’re killing me. The photography is edible on its own. Quite a feat.

  3. Sasha says:

    I’m currently living in South Korea, and I find that the item I most regret not bringing with me is my tart pan! Next time I visit home I’m definitely bringing it back with me, and the first thing I make will be this beautiful jam tart!

  4. Lani's hubby says:

    Come on Lan, that tarte looks spectacular. Pleeeeeease give it a try. I’ll even help. Kerrin makes it look almost easy. If not, i’m going to print out the pictures and eat them. They do look good enough to eat. Pleeeeeeease!

  5. FN says:


  6. Sarah says:

    Wow. That looks amazing Kerrin. I love the dots on top!

  7. Tourist Destination Blog says:

    Thanks for the Jam Tart Recipe taste like yummy to me my tummy is hungry now.

  8. Monika N. says:

    Ohhh, that looks good. I might try that! There are some nice jams in my pantry…

    Love the round thingies! Way cooler than the everyday Linzertorte.

  9. Marie-Isabelle says:

    I did’nt read everything about your “Kerrin’s Jam Tart”…there is too much sugar for me at night !
    Anyway I thaugt to you yesterday about jams, because I found in Chartres…and stopped there…a lovely shop with chocolates and rich variety of country james.
    Good night….without jam !

  10. Amanda says:

    Kerrin! How gorgeous. This is one of the most stunning pieces you have ever featured 🙂

    I love it.

    Also, my friend brought me a box of chocolates yesterday from a shop here in LA run by a woman from Singapore. It was dark chocolate mixed with all of these Asian flavors and spices. Totally crazy, but good. Chocolate and moshi, mango, Thai basil, ginger, and others I did not recognize even after 8 years there. I thought of you!

  11. Passionate Eater says:

    I just discovered your blog, and wish I would have found it BEFORE visiting Zurich! Zurich is beautiful, and you do it a lot of justice on your blog.

  12. Bertie says:

    Absolutlely the best.
    One thing looks more delicious than the next…..
    Good job,
    Just say the word….



  13. Jennifurla says:

    Just pulled this jam tart out of my oven…I can barely wait to cut in. I love the circles on top….I copied you and it is lovely and modern.

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