Here’s a little hold-over in my cooking arsenal from back when I lived in England. Those Brits may get grief over lots of little details like dental hygiene and icky food, but they get desserts right. In their own words, this dessert is a “gorgeous pudding.” Of course, it isn’t a pudding, and we Yanks don’t typically call food gorgeous, but whatever. Details, schmeetails, right?
Actually, I had some absoultely horrific gastronomic “delights” while across the pond. Case in point, the lovely serving of lasagna I once pondered (after having previously purchased it, sight unseen, from the equivalent of the Soup Nazi). This lasagna was what one might call a “Cook’s Choice” aka, “we’ve got lots of leftovers that really need to be used.”
I can hear the head cook now, “Let’s see. We’ve got extra beans [like what we know of as Campbell’s Pork and Beans], and some cheese. I know, let’s make lasagna! To add some interest, let’s use the spinach lasagna noodles. The kids will love it. ” Well, maybe if we’d all had a few pints prior to dinner. Dear god, that was horrific.
But jam tart, well, it’s just gorgeous.
Easy Jam Tart
Pie crust for a 2-crust 10 inch pie
Cooked style vanilla pudding
Roll out the pie crust in a uniform rectangle. Spread with jam, leaving an inch of bare crust at one “skinny” end of the rectangle. Roll up, starting at the jam covered skinny end, and finish by smoothing the edge so as to seal it. Place on a parchment covered cookie or baking sheet. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
While the tart is baking, make vanilla pudding according to the directions. Let cool while tart finishes baking.
To serve, cut slices of the jam tart and pour some pudding over the top. Garnish with appropriate items such as a few fresh berries or some chocolate curls.
*Note: this is one of those types of things that you can go all crazy and make the absolute best pie crust from scratch, whip up some little gelled fruit concoction, and then make an authentic custard sauce. It will be a sublime dessert that will leave your guests happy. Or, you can use a pie crust from your freezer (which you have stocked there for precisely these types of moments), get out a jar of jam from the fridge, and make up a vanilla pudding from a box. It won’t be quite as sublime, but most likely your guests will be too busy eating it to complain.
If you need guidance for good pie crust or custard sauce recipes, just let me know.