As sweet and salty combinations go, peanut butter and jelly (or jam) is one of the classics. I remember desperately wanting to copy the kids I saw on all the Nickelodeon shows and make PB&J sandwiches after school. The bread had to be thick and white, the peanut butter smooth and the jam generous. These tarts are a fun spin on the popular pairing, with a rich, peanut butter cream and a good dollop of jam – ideally grape jam, if you can find it, but raspberry or cherry also work a treat.
Peanut butter and jam tarts
Prep 20 min
Chill 3 hr +
Cook 30 min
For the pastry
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
70g icing sugar
A pinch of salt
120g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
1 egg yolk
For the filling
3 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
100g smooth peanut butter
130g unsalted butter
3 tbsp grape jam, or raspberry or cherry jam
Chopped roasted peanuts, to decorate
To make the pastry, put the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor and blitz until fine. Add the egg yolk and two tablespoons of cold water and pulse briefly until the mix begins to clump; if it looks really dry, add another tablespoon of water.
Turn out the dough on to a lightly floured surface, give it a brief light knead to bring it together, then wrap and chill in the fridge for two hours, or until firm.
Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Grease the holes of a cupcake tray with melted butter and dust lightly with flour. Roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick and use a cutter about 2cm wider than a cupcake hole to cut out 12 circles. Line the pastry cases with some greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Blind bake for 20 minutes, remove the paper and beans, then bake for another seven to 10 minutes, until the base is golden.
To make the filling, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour until smooth. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until steaming. Pour the hot milk over the egg mixture in three batches, whisking to combine after each addition. Tip everything back into the saucepan, and heat gently, stirring often, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and whisk in the peanut butter until smooth. Stir in the butter until melted, then pour the custard into a clean bowl. Put some clingfilm on the surface and leave to cool to room temperature. Chill in the fridge for three to four hours, until completely cold.
When you’re ready to assemble, whisk the chilled peanut butter cream for a minute or so to lighten it and remove any lumps. Fill each pastry shell with the cream, make a little dip in the middle and fill it with half a teaspoon of jam. Top with a few crushed peanuts before serving.