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eating jam tart

I’ve had a lone jar of quince marmalade sitting in the back of my refrigerator for about a year now, and thought it was about time I humanely dealt with it.

Personally, I love quince.

I like them poached, stewed, roasted and make into jam. But judging from the still-to-the-brim jar that’s been relegated to the back corner of my fridge, it’s not as popular with others as it is with me. So I decided to kill two birds with one great recipe.

jam in tart

I’d flagged a lovely tart that Luisa at Wednesday Chef made a while back which featured—get this, a no-roll crust! I’m not a fan of cleaning up my counter (or my refrigerator, for that matter) especially when my housecleaner is on her annual eleven-week vacation. So the idea of a crust you just press into a tart mold, fill with jam, and top with the remaining bits, appealed to be more than you can imagine. It doesn’t take much to please me, does it?

dough in pan

Never content to rest on my laurels—or in this case, someone else’s, I tweaked the original recipe, swapping out some of the flour and mixing in stone-ground cornmeal, because frankly, anytime I can add cornmeal to something, I will.

I spread my unfairly neglected deep-ruby marmalade on the tart shell, but instead of rolling the dough for the top, I sliced rounds of the dough, cookie-like, placed them over the top, hit it generously with lots of cassonade sugar (with which I wasn’t stingy with), and baked it.

unbaked jam tart


Everyone flipped when I bought it to the table. Holding our collective breaths, I slid the first slice neatly from the pan, making a picture-perfect triangle. And the taste? Out of this world. The buttery crust was a crumbly counterpoint to the conserved fruit filling. This tart has it all: easy to make, a perfect vehicle for leftovers, and neat slices; this is going right into my make-more-often files, and I’ve got a few jars of jam in my cupboard that are destined to become tarts in the near future. If I could only get my hands on some Concord grapes around here, I think that would be the home-run.

Now here’s the kicker.

I was staying with friends in the country this weekend and—get this, their oven doesn’t have a temperature dial. When I moved to France, I was as shocked as the next person (unless the next person was French…) to find that some ovens here just give general “guidelines” as to how hot they are. This one just had two settings: MAX and MIN, and a anonymous curve of gradations in between. And neither, in my opinion, bore any relationship to the actual temperature inside the oven.

oven knob

I know how scared some people can be from veering away from recipes. But fear not, my friends. In spite of what your high school guidance counselor said to you, as mine said to me, I have every bit of confidence in you (oh, how I longed too hear those very words…), and I’m positive that you can figure out when it’s cooked. Simply bake your tart in the oven until—get this (again), until it’s done. That’s right. Just pop it in the oven at its most middling of temperatures, say around 375F (190C), until it’s nice and browned on top, as shown.

Hey, if the French can do it, so can you. And they’re certainly no slouches at baking—now, are they?

jam tart

Easy Jam Tart

Adapted from the Crostata recipe at Wednesday Chef. This should work with any jam, conserves, or marmalade, but I’d be a bit wary about using jelly, which may be too thin and runny. I’m thinking next time about adding a small amount of finely-chopped fresh rosemary to the dough, and you could certainly add a few swipes of fresh citrus zest, or a dusting of ground cinnamon or cardamom, if you’re so inclined. And although the tart is fine just as is, you could certainly serve this with vanilla or fresh ginger ice cream, or some whipped cream, to dress it up.
  • 9 tablespoons (110g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (190g) flour
  • 1/2 cup (70g) stone-ground cornmeal or polenta
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder, preferably aluminum-free
  • 1 3/4 cups (450g) apricot,, raspberry or other jam
  • coarse raw sugar; known as cassonade, turbinado, or demerara sugar, for finishing the tart
  • Beat together butter and sugar until well-combined. Mix in the egg, egg yolk and almond extract.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder. Gradually add the dry ingredients, just until the mixture just comes together.
  • Measure out 11 ounces (300g), which is about 2/3rd of the dough if you don’t have a scale, pat it into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and chill it. Take the remaining dough and roll it into a log about 2-inches (5cm) in diameter, wrap it and chill it, too
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to room temperature slightly. With the heel of your hand, press the dough into the bottom and sides of an unbuttered removable bottom tart pan (one that’s 9″ or 10″, 24cm), or springform pan, patting it evenly.
  • Spread the jam evenly over the dough.
  • Remove the log of dough from the refrigerator and slice in cookie-sized disks, then lay them over the jam. Top very generously with lots of coarse raw sugar, at least 2 tablespoons.
  • Bake until the pastry is golden brown. (If you don’t trust yourself, or your oven, Luisa’s recipe says 20-25 minutes.) Let cool before serving, and serve at room temperature.


Storage: Although lovely just after it’s made, this tart will meld together beautifully overnight and will keep well for a couple of days, well-wrapped. Since it’s not-so-fragile, it’d be perfect to take along on a picnic.


Poached quince recipe

Ripe For Dessert (My quince marmalade recipe)

Quince paste (Membrillo) (Simply Recipes)

Slow-baked quince (In Praise of Sardines)

Quince tartlets: (Tartlette)

Quince caramels: (Chez Pim)


    • ChazFrench

    A tart dough, that doesn’t need rolling. *eep* I’m all over this.

    • Rosa

    It looks delicious! A great idea!



    • Alejandra

    When i lived in italy, my oven was like that. Completely ridiculous, but it helped me become more fearless with my baking (as there was no alternative). Lovely lovely tart. I want to try now with some of those old preserves i’ve had sitting in my fridge.

    • priya

    ah! i was waiting for another dessert recipe, and here it is. Nice and easy!

    • Deb Schiff

    Gorgeous tart!

    Also, love the new site. Very flattering to you. ;D

    • gaile

    OOO! AND it’s gluten free! Hurray! I am SO going to make this at the weekend with that neglected jar of marionberry jam in my fridge! I wonder what a bit of hazelnut flour, or maybe some almond meal, would do to the crust flavour? hmmmm

    • David

    gaile: There is some wheat flour in the tart, but you could probably swap out a gluten-free alternative. It’s a pretty forgiving tart—it even forgave that nebulous oven!

    alejandra: It was funny, because when I left the restaurant world and started baking at home, and writing recipes for others, I was, like “Uhh…how long did I bake that?” I still find each oven is completely different, so try to offer visual clues as to done-ness. But do give this tart a try…it’s a winner.

    • Morgan Gibson

    As a college student with little space, this tart looks like a dream. I’ll definitely be making one of these with some blueberry preserves that in desperate need of my attention. ;)

    Vive la France!

    • Erin

    What a lovely tart! Jam tarts are my absolute favorite dessert hands down. Tarts like this are a staple for quick dinner parties at my house.

    • Joan

    and quinces are marvellous with lamb in a Moroccan tajine!

    • Matt

    I’ve been meaning to make some jam and now I’ll have something to do with it.

    • farmgirl

    It’s beautiful! I love simple dessert recipes like this. Wonderful photos, too.

    P.S. I thought of you the other day when I filled up the pool – and how you’d said it sounded great until I mentioned the word ‘Rubbermaid.’ Hey, we spare no expense when it comes to plastic items around here – Rubbermaid 100 gallon stock tanks are the best! And one fits two perfectly. ; )

    • Barbra

    Beautiful tart, David. I love how you did the top crust.

    ps: Quince jam is also delicious as a Linzer filling instead of raspberry or apricot!

    • Collywolly

    Oooooh my, this is my kinda tart!!! I adore quinces and since its still their season here I am off to make myself some marmalade and then I will make this amazing sounding and looking tart. Thanks so much David for the recipe……..

    • Erica

    That tart looks divine! I tried a similar-looking tart in Ireland last winter that was filled with fresh rhubarb preserves; I’ll have to give it a go myself using your recipe!

    • joolian

    You make everything look so professional, David. Gorgeous looking tart, great colour and texture.
    I wish I’d seen this recipe before I converted my neglected quince jam into fruit leather.
    I love almonds on everything, and I wonder if a frangipane topping would marry well?

    • phyllis

    this is no joke — i read this entry two hours ago, took a nap an hour ago, and then dreamed about making and eating this tart. and it was absolutely delicious. and i don’t even know what quince jam tastes like.

    i will definitely be making this =)

    • Sandy

    DAVID!!! You Rock!!! Wish I could send you a cyber hug!! I wrote you about your camera, I knew you had done an entry on it but i read you all the time and had no idea when it was….I have 6 kids….my brain is toast! So, anyway….I had been trying to order a Canon 40D. Wanted one forever and blah blah so I couldn’t get amazon to let me go high enough on my credit limit (even though I have no credit cards but this one and it had nothing charged on it …oh and they gave my college son TWICE my limit?????) Anyway, dur…… I bought it tonight without the lens!! What the heck was I thinking! It was a higher savings without it too!! As soon as it arrives I will pay it off and order the lens you suggested. I wanted to get it off Amazon because it was the cheapest and with their card I get triple the points and cash back so now problem solved! Thanks!! :-)

    • ELRA

    I am so bookmarking this recipe!
    I want to make it with quince jam, but not sure wether I can find it in my neighborhood market. Can I substitute it with quince paste instead?

    • ELRA

    Forget to mention…
    Compare your french oven with this Indonesian tin box oven. I found this site because I was having a hard time trying to explain the Indonesian tin box oven. After googling I found this site:
    Please check it out so you understand what I mean…

    Yes, I grew up with this tin box oven, but more of the primitive version without the thermometer attach and kerosine stove!

    • Amy

    This recipe sounds so good, but I have one question: you mention “wheat flour”
    in response to gaile’s comment, but the recipe itself lists “flour.” Either? Also,
    I just bought a small ice cream machine and am about to embark on my summer
    of making heavenly treats from The Perfect Scoop. Thank you in advance!

    • David

    Amy: “Flour” in baking books, unless noted, refers to wheat flour. If another type of flour is used, such as buckwheat, a recipe would say “buckwheat flour.” Wheat flour has gluten, which holds cakes and tarts like this together, which is what I used.

    Elra: If you thinned the quince paste slightly with fruit juice or water, so it’s the consistency of thick jam, it should work well….no matter what kind of oven you bake it in : )

    farmgirl: So far we haven’t had much “pool weather” here, but as they say in Paris, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait 15 minutes…”

    • kayenne

    that oven reminds me of the old one we had here, before i switched to electric. pretty common for older models. the manual teaches you to switch the knob to max for a few seconds, then back to minimum for a few minutes to equalize the temp… but i find that an oven thermometer and turning the knob somewhere in the middle works just as well. just keep a close eye to the thermometer dial.

    i’ve never had quince… but i love raspberry jam! and come to think of it… i think i still have a bit of fine corn meal leftover somewhere in the pantry, from making a too dry cornbread. EW!

    • Ping

    Been lagging in catching up on your blog. Just managed to drop by. A very refreshing look! Gorgeous!

    • Marguerite

    How did my RSS-reader miss this, I wonder (apart from the fact that you said the rss was a bit wonky, right?)? Shouldn’t the rss-reader work like a tivo or the amazon-recommendation and base further recommendations on what you have already bookmarked? In this case, I would be eating a slice of this right now… I can’t wait to try it!

    • Jeremy

    What about a leftover dough and some jam found in your fridge? That would be and ultimate recycled tart!
    Looks yummy and when I first saw that it had quince I thought, what about some cornmeal and you didn’t let me down!
    As usual looks great, happy baking.

    • Eileen

    I’ve never been a big fan of pressing in a pastry crust and I don’t know why. The one’s I have made have all been very good. And now that it’s summer and my kitchen is so darn hot every afternoon, it makes no sense to try and roll a tart crust. I love your addition of cornmeal. I am extremely fond of that grittiness you get from adding cornmeal to pastry. The tart sounds wonderful and the photo of the French temperature dial put a smile on my face.

    • Milena

    Sinful looking and the petal top crust idea is inspired. I’ll give a try.

    • Garrett

    Snap. I rarely do tarts or pies since I despise making dough for them. THis sounds like a nice corner cutter.

    • ELRA

    David, Thanks for answering my question…but,
    I don’t know wether you realize that quince paste that I usually buy is hard (I can only get this @ wholesfood or neighborhood gourmet market) The kind of quince paste that you serve with manchego. Are you thinking about the same paste? I am seriously want to make this, that’s why I have all of this question….Merci

    • Julie

    Heh! I have one of those French ovens although mine has temperatures on the dial — however the numbers on the dial have only the the vaguest of relationship to what’s going on inside the oven. Max and min would be a far more accurate way to have labeled them.

    Great pictures, especially the opening picture.

    • Nancy

    Could we, just for a moment, discuss my problem with your recipes? I want to make them all and my scale just can’t handle it! Here I came looking for the peanut recipe to make for a treat for my self today, and now I want this crostata too. And let’s not talk about the Lemon Sherbert (from the Perfect Scoop) that I made on Sunday and served with roast pineapple from the grill which was wonderful. It’s Tuesday and I’ve already eaten my sweet calories for the week.
    You’re the best, David. The best.

    • David

    Nancy: Glad you like the recipe…and me too! : )

    Marguerite: Yes, the RSS feed was not working and my gal pal Elise kick-started it again. But when my web dude gets back from vacation, we’ll probably burn a new, and nicer-looking feed.

    • katy

    i am loving this recipe! no-roll crust sounds like heaven — i always feel like there is raw egg left on my counters no matter how well i wash them after rolling dough! (i accept, however, that it’s massive paranoia that makes me feel that way). i am without a doubt trying this!

    • Farmgirl Susan

    Do you have a little balcony? If it ever warms up over there you could cool off in the 35-gallon version, maybe with an ice cream cone in hand. Wouldn’t you be the talk of the town? Just in case you aren’t already. ; )

    • anna

    Love the new site! and love the look of this tart!

    • Abra

    Oh, I love that cookie-slice trick! I just made a Tarte aux Brugnons today, and how I wish I’d seen this first. Next tart out of my oven is gonna be this one. Thanks!

    • krysalia

    c’est très breton comme recette ça :)

    oh, i think about something : the same tart filled with creamy confiture de lait !

    i love the trick about slicing the dough on the top, the rendering is really nice.

    • Gina Lindsey

    Thanks for this idea, David! I was making sour cherry jam this weekend and thinking, what am I going to do with all those little half-full pots of last year’s jams in the fridge? Now I know! :-)

    Oh, and for any other anal-retentive bakers out there, Maggie Barrett’s crostata recipe calls for the oven to be at 350 degrees. Just FYI…

    • Ryan Clifford

    Is that a vintage sabatier nogent knife in the last picture?

    • Christine

    I really, I mean really, like your new look. It has tremendous class. And I love what you’ve done with this tart. A jar of fig compote has been in my cupboard for at least a year. Do you think………?

    • Joy the Baker

    I love when the words ‘easy’ and ‘tart’ are in the same statement. LOVE! This tart looks dreamy!

    • Cheryl

    I had trouble reading past the phrase “11 week vacation,” which made me wonder, seriously, why I don’t become a French housekeeper. (I suppose it has everything to do with the fact that I don’t live in France and hate cleaning my house.)

    I have a jar of Meyer lemon marmalade that has been coyly hiding out in the back of my fridge since last August. I now know exactly how it’s going to meet its maker. Thanks, as always!

    • Linda H.

    My apricot trees are just now ripe, and since their crop froze last year, they have produced double this year. The apricot jam making starts tomorrow! Last week it was cherries (and I used your recipe with great results).
    Your tart recipe looks great and will give me added incentive. Thanks!

    • S for Kitchen Confit

    I love quince jam , but can’t always find it – It would be just as tasty with apricot.

    • nyc/caribbean ragazza

    David this look delicious!

    I just made your lime granita the other day. I haven’t bought a blender or an ice cream maker yet (I had to sell my excellent ones when I move to Rome) so I was very happy to find a recipe that didn’t require them.

    After summer I will start posting recipes on my blog and the lime granita has to get a mention. So easy and perfect on a hot day.

    • Sharon

    This entry (and your spiffy new interface) made me very jammy–tart-happy on a sleepy Wednesday morning. Thank you!

    • Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener

    Recipe saved! I have a couple of jars of home-made cranberry jam (not jelly, not sauce) and wild grape jelly (talk about concord grape taste there!) from last fall, and I am going to try with both – not together, 2 separate tarts (nobody will complain around here, I know that – unlike the [discret] sighs I sometime get when I am trying one more Swiss Chard recipe!). David, I know you say, jelly might be too thin, but I think I put some apple slices with some of the wild-grape jelly. And cranberry jam is one of my favorite jam, and the flavor should work oh so nicely. Who knows? This looks like it could become part of my standard repertoire. Thank you.

    • Sarah

    French translation question: Is confiture the equivalent to jam? I don’t know much about preserves and such, but since I can’t stop thinking about making your tart, I’d like to be sure that I buy the right stuff first. Could you tell me what I should look for in a French supermarket? Merci bien.

    • David

    Salut Sarah: Yes, confiture means jam. Gelée is jelly.

    Sometimes the word ‘confiture’ is used to encompass them all (like Christine Ferber does in Mes Confitures) where it means ‘preserves.’

    • Wendy

    Thank you for the recipe, David! What perfect timing, as I’m about to spend the morning turning a whole tree-ful of Santa Rosa plums from my backyard into jam, and there isn’t enough toast in the world to use it all up. I will definitely save some for making this gorgeous tart.

    • Nicky

    Thanks for the great recipe David! Used it for a deep Dutch apple tart and it held up perfectly there too (I see what you mean about it being forgiving!). Just what I was looking for :)

    • Sergio

    The tart looks beautiful; I wish I could say the same about the hand model. His fingernails are filthy, ;) .

    • David

    Ryan: Am not sure the make of the knife (it’s pretty old) but my less-than-subtle hints about gifting it to me have fallen on deaf ears.

    Sergio: In his defense, he didn’t realize he was going to be called into active tart-holding duty!

    Wendy: I love Santa Rosa plums! We can’t get anything like them in Paris, and I think they’re one of the world’s great fruits. Enjoy the bounty for me…

    • Luisa

    I love the look of your crostata! Those cookie slices on top are simply genius, as is the cassonade. So pretty! Now can I please have a piece? Thanks.

    By the way, have I told you how groovy the redesign is? It is. Good job! xo

    • Amanda

    Oh, yeah! This is just what I’m looking for–thank you!

    As a teenager I worked in an 18th century-style tourist attraction and occasionally did cooking demonstrations using the wood stoves, which obviously had no temperature dials. I learned how to stick my arm in the oven (without touching the metal, of course) and observing the reaction of the hair on my arm to determine the general temperature. When the hair stands on end, it’s about 300*F. When just the tips curl, it’s about 350*F.

    So now you know.

    • Amanda

    P.S. By curl, I mean singe, by the way. :)

    • Brandie

    When I saw that you were happy with it’s sturdiness once it was cut, I decided to try it out in a rectangular pan and served it as bars. It held up wonderfully. I love cornmeal in crusts. Baking with Julia has a great galette dough that also uses cornmeal. The crunch adds such a great depth to the tart especially in your recipe with the sweet jam.

    • Dave


    This recipe inspired me to find that jar of Meyer Lemon Marmalade that I bought from Frog Hollow Farm at the San Francisco Ferry Terminal Market this Spring. I had tasted a sample and it was so delicious, sweet & tart and full of that particular Meyer perfume. But I don’t really eat a lot of marmalade and so the jar sat on my shelf, staring me down and daring me to think of something good to make with it.

    When I set to making the tart on Saturday morning — as a dessert for dinner later that day — I discovered that I hadn’t any almond extract or cornmeal in the house. So I improvised and ground some almonds into a 1/4 cup of fine meal to replace both. I mixed the whole thing in the food processor and found that I had to add a few tablespoons of additional flour to get the dough to come together. After that everything went just as you described. The result was delicious and lovely to behold. The pastry was a beautiful hybrid — something between sable and clafoutis — a bit of puffy height but still quite dense and chewy. The almonds added a nice richness to the texture. I served it with some fantastic lemon verbena sorbet from the Herb Farm Cookbook. Two really nice variation on a lemony theme that made everyone really happy on a warm Los Angeles summer night.

    I still want to try your original recipe and must find another jar of something worthy.


    • Amanda

    I made this tart yesterday and it was fabulous! Thanks so much for another great recipe–I made my crust using a good quality sugar substitute, with no-sugar-added preserves and skipped the coarse sugar on top. My guests kept going back for more.

    • Cristi

    You’ve just provided me with what sounds like an amazing recipe for a jar of fig preserves I’ve been hoarding for a while now. The tartaholic in me thanks you!

    • Mona

    This post is soooo beautiful. It promptly made me go out and read your entire blog, all archives, since I first saw it……I love the way you write and love living the sweet life vicariously through you! :-) I really enjoy each and every one of your posts….

    • David

    Glad you’re all enjoying this tart as much as I did!

    It’s the perfect recipe: it’s not fussy, has a no-roll crust, uses up leftovers (yay!), and takes well to substitutions.

    Ground nuts are a great swap with the cornmeal and all of your jam variations sounds great. I’m thinking it would be particularly good with ground pistachios and that Meyer Lemon jam of Dave’s (although Cristi’s fig jam and Wendy’s Santa Rose plum conserves sound lovely, too.)

    Am happy to hear about all your success with this tart, to those of you who’ve tried it.

    If you haven’t, I urge you to give it a try!

    • trish


    I made this last Sunday using a mixture of berry perserves from the fridge – it was delightful. It turned out so beautifully with the petal crust on top that it was fun to serve – it looked almost professionally turned out. Lots of “ohs and ahs” on this one.
    It’s so easy too!

    Thanks for another great recipe.

    Omaha, NE

    • Jaime

    David, this is the best tart I have eaten. I made it with my homemade blackberry jam, which has 1/6 of the sugar that most recipes call for making it taste more like a pie filling than overly sweet jam. The crust is wonderful and incredibly easy to make.
    I greatly appreciate that you provide your recipes in the weight form. I live in America and am frustrated at the lack of cookbooks that do this. It really is easier and more accurate.
    You rock!

    • Emily

    Hey David —

    Just made this and it was stupendous! And as promised — was better the day after making and just as good two days later. I couldn’t help myself and kept sneaking little slivers for breakfast. Next time I’ll make it with slightly tarter jam — I’m thinking a homemade strawberry rhubarb jam would be outrageous… But the sweetness mellowed after a day. SO good and easy — you’re the best!


    • julie

    Hi David,
    I made this tart last week and it was a hit. I thought I wouldn’t have enough pastry for the top but I stretched it a bit, and since it contains baking powder, it filled the gaps itself. Must say though, I’d make it with a bit less “levure” next time since the pastry was rather too cakey for me. that said, everyone liked it, so thanks!

    • Chaz

    Heh… When I first saw this, I figured I’d make it with some other filling, perhaps just a sliced fruit (like the tiny delicious plums currently in the farmer’s markets)…

    My reasoning was BECAUSE WHERE THE HELL WILL I FIND QUINCE JAM in this area…

    Umm… Imagine my surprise when I was walking through the Portuguese grocery store 1/2 block from my home this weekend and saw great big tubs of the stuff.

    I’m going to be taking an extended walk through the store with a notepad and camera, this isn’t the first time I’ve had such a surprise there.


    • Randa Hilal

    You reminded me of my Mom’s marmalade and candied quince.I grew up in Lebanon and now live in the States.It was a staple in my family my Mom would make it every fall.You should try it candied falvored with scented geranium or lemon. Quince like many fruits and vegetables is so under-rated here.Yummy,I’m going to try finding some quince to make it……….I have to call my Mom in Lebanon first………..Thank you for sharing

    • van

    This is an awesome tart! I made twice within 2 weeks :) Thank you very much.

    • Yonatan Shaked

    Absolutely fabulous! Believe me; if I can do this: anyone can! It’s so easy indeed and looks so professional. I have made it twice! Now I will have the confidence to try some other recipes – I must say they don’t look too complicated at all!
    This site goes on my “favorites” – that’s for sure! Thank you David!

    • moni

    I made this yesterday with some Apricot Jam. WOW! Super easy and super yummy. Thank you!

    • Andie Paysinger

    I made the tart with my homemade quince jam and it was excellent.

    If you discover some more quince marmalade/preserves/jam and want to do something equally interesting, here is something I did a year or so ago with a batch of jam that for some reason I had managed to sweeten way too much. (I think I added a double measure of sugar when I was distracted.)
    The stuff was virtually inedible as it was so I decided to “doctor” it a bit.

    I brewed up an extra strong batch of Lapsang Souchong tea, mixing two cups of the brewed tea to each cup of jam.
    I stirred it in my jam pan until reduced by almost half, then tested it and added about three tablespoons of lemon juice and continued reducing it slowly, until a spoonful on a saucer showed that it was at the jell stage.

    I jarred it up and gave it to friends and family as a sweet to serve with cheese. The smoky-sweet flavor was particularly good with very assertive cheeses such as sharp cheddar, manchego, kashkavel etc.

    • Gabrielle Langholtz

    Hi David, I was excited to make this (even have a jar of homemade quince jelly in the cupboard ready for duty) but after making and chilling the dough I realized I’d forgotten to add the egg! Obviously this was God’s way of saying I should eat the dough straight. Which I did. So delicious! The stoneground polenta had such a fantastic texture and hey, gotta love butter and sugar. I ate half of it and baked the second half as little shortbread cookies. Also delicious! I plan to use this again, sans eggs, as a cookie recipe. THANKS!

    • Kristina

    It’s such a perfect tart – easy to throw together, quickly done, and YUMMY. I loved it. I found a glass of forgotten apricot jam, and it worked out perfectly. I loved the texture, and that you can easly adjust it to your needs. Maybe I’ll make another one soon with fresh apples.. Great recipe!

    • Cindy


    I’ve just made this for the first time and i subbed ground almonds in for half of the cornmeal – and it’s delicious! The almond flavor is more intense and my homemade peach jam is the perfect filling.

    And, and, and, it’s the first tart I’ve ever made.


    • Maggie

    That sounds sooooo yummy and of course for me (a lazy baker) easy to make and at the same time sounds like it was so hard to put together. LOL.

    My question is: Is cornmeal and polent the same thing? Or can they be substituted for each other?

    P.S. This is a great recipe for me to make, in particular the crust, let me explain why…as a person who has a physical disability which impairs my mobility and physical force, this tart recipe is perfect. Not too much effort and lots of tast, a great look and yummy flavor.


    • David

    Maggie: Cornmeal is very fine and polenta can be coarse or fine. I recommend fine polenta if you have it and that’s what you want to use, but coarse will likely work.

    • Kimberly

    This is just the sort of recipe I was looking for! I have tons of homemade peach jam in the cellar that would be perfect.

    • sumayya

    Hi David. I wanted to thank you for your recipes. Since I discovered your website I have tried so many of your recipes and I have ordered your books. I love them all.

    Thanks for this recipes, I made it with home made strawberry jam and my kids can’t have enough of it…

    all the best

    • Kristin

    I don’t know if I’ve ever had quince. Sounds good! And the stoneground cornmeal/polenta is a very interesting addition. I just made Anadama bread last night, which has that in it and it gave the crust a delightful ‘crunch’.

    • Terrianne

    Hi David,

    Thank you so much for such inspired recipes. I made this tart yesterday. It was delicious, but just like you said, this morning it’s even better!

    I served it with homemade vanilla ice cream last night. This morning I’m having a slice with my green tea.

    I can’t wait until I visit Paris this summer. I’m prowling your website for pictures that speak to me and places I might like to visit.

    Thanks again.


    • magpie

    I made this over the weekend, because I’d seen it on Smitten Kitchen. It was wonderful. I used a jar of lingonberry preserves from Ikea, and served a buttermilk ice cream along side. Just perfect.

    • ameia

    I’ve made this many times since reading the recipe here, so thanks for posting it, David. But I never use leavening and it turns out beautifully. I’m wondering why it’s included in this recipe since it certainly doesn’t need it. Just sayin’…

    • Michele Hays

    A full-circle around the internet – I saw Smitten Kitchen’s version of this tart on your Facebook page (which I really enjoy, btw) and thought I’d write a note here: I used this recipe as a jumping-off place for a blog project of mine. I made no-sugar-added apple butter for the filling, and subbed almond meal for the cornmeal and some of the flour – and brown sugar instead of white; the result was delicious (I tried it first with cornmeal and white sugar, but it didn’t work well with the somewhat tart apple butter) It’s almost strawberry season and I have a ton of homemade jam to get through, so I can see the tart as written in my future as well.

    • Laurel W

    I made this with your rhubarb raspberry jam and it turned out delicious — also very impressive to look at, especially considering how little labor is involved. I can’t wait to fiddle around with variations. I’m thinking lavender flowers would be good mixed in with the dough, paired with fig jam. Or how about rosemary with a sweet tomato jam? My tart is now on its 3rd day and still quite appealing in terms of texture, which isn’t generally the case with more conventional tarts. Thanks, David! I bought Room for Dessert years ago when it first came out and have been a great fan ever since.

    • Vanessa R

    This recipe was such a perfect find! I just moved to Italy and our house is missing even the most basic kitchen tools. My husband is a professional chef but I maintain the role of resident baker. He keeps coming home at night asking if I had baked anything that day. “Cookies? Cake? Tarts? Nothing?!? Why???” I was so happy to find something that I could make using my extremely limited resources.

    I mixed the dough in a pot and used a spring-form pan (my only baking pan). I didn’t have corn meal so I just used flour but I think the cornmeal would be excellent. I think you could even do this with without the pan. Just form the tart on a baking sheet and chill before baking. It’s beautiful, delicious and best of all – I will have a happy husband tonight. :)

    • jackie kemp

    Just made this with a mixture of jam and strawberries out of the freezer. Just a point – I think French women – and men – make dinner but buy desserts from the patisserie.

    • Smokering

    This is delicious! I’ve made it twice now, using a mixture of fine and coarse cornmeal. Secong time round I sprinkled a little mixed spice over the apricot jam – very nice! This also works as a slice – you really don’t want to use too much jam, especially if you’re using non-gourmet stuff like me. Too sickly. I intend to mix a bit of fresh rhubarb in with the jam some day, maybe a bit of ginger…

    Thanks for a fun recipe!

    • Niki Prattley

    Well, now I know the real reason French women are so thin – no thermostats on their ovens. Reading your blog I was reminded of something my elderly neighbor had told me about testing her coal range oven temperature with a sprinkle of flour. I couldn’t remember the details, so, to say, “Thank you for the jam tart idea”. ( I finally know what to do with my not quite successful but too nice to throw fig conserve.) I looked on line, alas the closest thing I could find was this,
    ” To test the oven without a thermometer, take a piece of white paper. Place in the oven after it has been heated 10 minutes, reducing the heat, if using gas. If the paper burns black in 5 minutes, the oven is very hot (475F/240C); if it burns a deep brown, it is hot (425F/220C). For the medium (350F/180C) oven the paper should be a golden brown in 5 minutes. For a slow oven (275F/140C) it should barely turn the most delicate brown in 5 minutes.”
    (Temperatures in brackets are my own) Probably the same as with flour. I thought it might be useful for anyone else in the same situation because judging by the look of your jam tart you worked it out just fine!
    The info I found was from this page:
    I read the link about posting links but too ‘otherwise abled’ to work it out. Sorry!

    • Janice

    I’ve made this tart as written and got accolades at a dinner party, but….
    I just tried making it with Nutella instead of jam. I can die happy now!

    • Beverly

    If I could figure out how to print just the pictures and text, and the recipe, and not all the wonderful comments that follow, I would be a very happy camper! Call me technology challenged!


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