The Easy Jam Hack That Will Elevate Your Homemade Fruit Tarts

In the cooler months when most fruits aren't in season, we often help out the somewhat lackluster fruit offerings by enhancing them in various ways, such as adding them to crumbles or folding them into batters for cakes or clafoutis recipes. However, when a fruit is in season, there's nothing better — each morsel is bursting with vibrant flavor and juices, almost making it a stand-alone dessert. There's a reason fruit salads and simple combinations of fruit topped with whipped cream are so popular in summer months, as these dishes allow the fruit's flavors to truly shine through.

Another great way to take advantage of stellar, in-season fruit is by whipping up fruit tarts. While there are many different variations, a typical fruit tart involves tart dough as the base, often filled with some type of pastry cream or custard and then topped with a carefully-arranged combination of fruits. They're decorative, delicious, and relatively easy to make (although they do require a bit of patience if you're striving for a particular pattern with your fruit placement).

There are a few ways you can err when constructing a fruit tart. You want to ensure your dough is pre-baked so you avoid the dreaded soggy bottom, and you want to select fruits that are the perfect level of ripeness, especially if they'll remain raw. However, there's a simple hack that will turn every fruit tart into a true show-stopper, and it requires very little extra effort.

Warm jam can level up your fruit tarts

Whether you're making a fruit tart recipe with cooked or raw fruit, all you need to take it to the next level is a jar of jam or preserves. They can be homemade or store-bought, whichever you prefer. Then, you just take about ½ a cup of jam or preserves and warm it until it's about the consistency of syrup, creating a simple glaze that you can brush atop your tart, from the fruit to any exposed pastry. This adds a bit of extra flavor as well as sheen, making your tart look as though it's been styled for a food magazine shoot.

There are a few things to consider when selecting what jam to use for your glaze. First of all, while you don't need to match the tart contents and jam exactly, you do want complementary flavors.

You'll also need to be mindful of the hue of your jam, particularly if there's a certain look you want for your tart. Something like apricot jam has a very pale shade when applied, so it's perfect for colorful tarts where you don't want to dim the vibrant hues of the fruit itself. On the other hand, if you're looking to glaze a tart of entirely dark berries, for example, you may have a bit more flexibility and the ability to choose jams with a darker hue, as they won't muddy the color of your fruit.