School Jam Tart recipe is a huge hit with all the family. Just like those large jam tart tray bakes the school cooks used to make.
A School Dinners Classic Recipe
Today’s Retro recipe for School Jam Tart is a huge hit with all the family. Remember those large jam tarts the school cooks use to make? Like a big jammy tray bake.
You’d be served a large slice of School Jam Tart, just warm from the oven, doused in hot custard. And, there was something very comforting about the warm jam tart when eaten with custard.
It was easy enough to replicate a large jam tart, but I tried a couple of times to get the jammy filling right – as it wasn’t just plain jam that is used I discovered.
In an attempt to make the jam go further, the school cooks would add a little water and custard powder to the seedless jam and then heat it up together.
This thrifty practice of making a pot of jam go further is based on wartime recipes, and I have actually made a jam tart using this method before here: Wartime High Tea Recipes, where I made a 100yr old recipe for Jam Tart.
This method not only ekes out the jam, but it gives this recipe for school dinner jam tart the flavour and texture that I remember.
As far as I remember it was always strawberry jam that was used, or a “red berry jam” of dubious origins! And, ALWAYS seedless too, almost like a jam puree.
Forget posh custard with this schooltime treat, the only custard that works is Birds instant custard, and make it creamy and thick too – but hopefully not lumpy!
I whizzed this up today as “afters” for after lunch, and I used some ready-made and ready-rolled shortcrust pastry.
However, this is always better when made with homemade shortcrust pastry, and if you have an army of homemade jams in your pantry, then you can omit adding the water and custard powder if you wish.
There is also no need to bake the pastry case blind, it works just as well when baking the pastry and jam together – you won’t get a soggy bottom, but you will get a softer crust in the middle of the jam tart.
I’ve made a much smaller one than the school cooks used to make – my recipe serves 6 people with a generous portion.
Make as much custard as you like, remembering that you will need a goodly amount to coat and form a moat around the tart!
Do let me know if you make this, and if it brought back happy school dinner memories. I’ve shared a few more retro school “afters” or “pudding” recipes below, and I have a couple more on my list to make very soon, Karen
Notes and Substitutions
- If you are using homemade jam, or you have a lot of jam, omit the custard and water, and just use plain jam in the filling.
- You can use any seedless “red jam” you have to hand, such as raspberry and mixed berries.
- Cut into smaller squares for afternoon tea or for the school lunchbox.
- If you aren’t a custard lover and you aren’t in search of that old school dinners taste, serve with cream or ice cream.
- Low-sugar jams aren’t recommended for this recipe, as they don’t set firmly enough to slice.
More “School Dinner” Recipes
- Retro School Dinner Iced Tray Bake Cake
- Australian Crunchies (Traybake)
- Easy Cornflake Tart
- Jam & Coconut Sponge with Pink Custard
Pin me for Later
Recipe for School Jam Tart
- 320g ready-made shortcrust pastry, or homemade pastry
- 1 x 340g jar of seedless strawberry jam
- 300ml water
- 2 tablespoons instant custard powder
- Custard, to serve
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/375F/Gas mark 4 and grease and line a square ( 9" x 9") 23cm x 23cm baking tin with baking paper.
2. Roll the pastry on a floured board to fit and line the greased tin - you want the side of the pastry to come up the sides. Use any spare bits to build a crust on the sides if necessary.
3. Blend the jam with a little water and then boil it together for 2 to 3 minutes. Blend the custard powder with a little water and add it to the jam mixture, boil it until it is thick, take it off the heat and allow to cool.
4. Spoon the jam into the pastry lined tin, making sure it is evenly spread.
5. Bake the jam tart for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked, crisp and golden brown.
6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes, until the jam is set and you can cut the tart into slices.
7. Cut into 6 slices and serve with custard.
If you are using homemade jam, or you have a lot of jam, omit the custard and water, and just use plain jam in the filling.
You can use any seedless "red jam" you have to hand, such as raspberry and mixed berries.
Cut into smaller squares for afternoon tea or for the school lunchbox.
If you aren't a custard lover and you aren't in search of that old school dinners taste, serve with cream or ice cream.
Low-sugar jams aren't recommended for this recipe, as they don't set firmly enough to slice.