Monday, March 10, 2014

Joulutorttu or Finnish Jam Tarts

Joulutorttu or Finnish Jam Tarts

I have a bad habit of putting away food for the winter--frozen berries, jams, pickles, and butters-- only to find them still lodged in the back of my freezer/pantry/fridge when their respective season rolls around again. Some of this is because I've in fact forgotten about said items as they inevitably find their way further and further to the dark corners of the shelves, and some of it is because I always think I need to save those precious jams/berries/pickles for something really special; apparently some impossible badge that no birthday, going away party, or worst snow day can ever merit.

Joulutorttu or Finnish Jam Tarts Folding

I didn't put up much this year, but I'm more determined to use up what I've got, and as I've said before, I'm also always looking for a way to combine my love for baking with my penchant for preserving. I came across these Joulutorttu (pronounced YO-loo-TOR-too and translating as "Christmas tarts") or Finnish Jam Tarts on Pinterest, via Sweet Paul. The 4-pointed star tarts/cookies are typically enjoyed at Christmas, but I thought they were a delightful vehicle for a little spring cleaning for forgotten jams. Traditionally made with ricotta in the pastry, this recipe replaces it with cream cheese, resulting in a fluffy and flaky crust due to the high fat ratio. While prune jam is standard, you can use whatever flavor preserves you have on hand. I used a variety of cranberry, persimmon, and strawberry.

Joulutorttu or Finnish Jam Tarts
Joulutorttu or Finnish Jam Tarts

Adapted from Sweet Paul

Makes 3-4 dozen, depending on size

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into chunks
8 oz. cream cheese (ricotta is traditional), softened and cut into chunks
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 egg yolk + 1 egg for sealing tarts
1 cup jam of your choice (I used cranberry, strawberry, and persimmon though prune is traditional)
Confectioner's sugar, for dusting

1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the dough blade, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter and cream cheese, pulsing to combine. Add heavy cream and yolk of one egg. Pulse until well combined then bring dough together in a ball with your hands. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2-3 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. One a clean, floured surface, roll out dough until thin, about 1/8-inch. Cut into 2-3-inch squares. Cut a 1-inch diagonal slice in the center of each corner. Spoon 1 teaspoon of jam in the center of the square, then fold down alternating corners of the square over the jam, using an egg wash to seal.

3. Place tarts on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until golden, about 12-13 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack and dust with confectioner's sugar once cooled. Serve at room temperature.

Joulutorttu or Finnish Jam Tarts with Coffee

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Eileen said...

These little tarts are so pretty! I never know what to do with most of my jam, so I end up not making much. But now? I wish I had an entire pantry full. :)

Anonymous said...

These were so good! Thanks for bringing them into work.

emily said...

Elisa, glad you liked them!

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