August 4, 2023

RUSTIC FRUIT TART and a brilliant little gadget!


What do you do when a rapid dessert is called for?  You make one of these tarts from whatever fruit you have in!

I used a pack of ready made, ready rolled sweet pastry (called pâte sablée), a few sticks of rhubarb and two apples.  This pastry comes as a circle in France which is handy.  In the UK it's usually an oblong which is more awkward, in which case it's probably better to buy the pastry in a block and roll it out yourself into a circle.

I have made tarts like this before but this time I used a suggestion from Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall's excellent book "Love your leftovers".  I used less sugar to sweeten the fruit and spread some strawberry jam on the pastry before filling it instead.  It took very little time to make and was on the table in well under an hour.  Delicious!


Now would be a good time to mention my latest kitchen gadget.  A Jar Key.

I think I first heard about it from Angela over at Tracing Rainbows who mentioned it in a post some time ago.

I spotted one in Zodio in France recently.  This is a chain of stores selling kitchen ware, craft stuff and home wares, like a cross between Dunelm Mill, Hobbycraft and The Range.  It's a fabulous shop and an Aladdin's cave for enthusiastic cooks, crafters and people who need gorgeous new towels!!

Jar Keys are not cheap but by jove they are worth every penny (or centime).  They take all the effort and frustration out of getting the lid off a glass jar.  AND they leave the lid undamaged so that you can reuse the jar.

As time goes by the fight with jam jar lids has become increasingly more difficult and I have tried everything.  I have tried running them under hot water with the consequent scalding, gripping with bits of bubbly rubber stuff, crushing with one of those lid removers that look like a cross between a tin opener and a medieval torture instrument and, ultimately, asking a neighbour or passer by for help!  Nick is able to get them off with a certain amount of grunting and cursing but if he's out I have no chance.

Well, this little gadget has solved that problem.  It has a neat little grip that tucks under the edge of the lid and with one slight tweak the vacuum is released and it comes off effortlessly.  No more dreading the new jar of olives, jam or compôte!  All the stress is now gone!

Every home should have one.  They should be available on the NHS to prevent jar related high blood pressure and minor accidents in the home!  Brilliant!

You can get them from Amazon, Lakeland and I'm sure many other places.  Don't buy any alternatives, this is the one that works!



1 pack of ready made, ready rolled sweet pastry (or plain shortcrust pastry)

4 slim sticks of rhubarb

2 eating apples

2-3 tblsp strawberry jam

2-3 tblsp ground almonds

1 tblsp granulated sugar

1 beaten egg or a little milk

demerara sugar for sprinkling


Remove the pastry from the fridge 15 minutes before you want to make the tart.  

Preheat the oven to 190° / 170° fan / gas mk 5.  Place a sheet of baking parchment on a baking sheet.  I usually use the paper that the pastry comes wrapped in.

Unroll the pastry and spread the jam in a circle leaving a margin of about 5cm (2").*

Sprinkle the ground almonds over the jam.  This helps to absorb any juice from the fruit and avoid the dreaded soggy bottom.

Wash and trim the rhubarb and cut into smallish chunks.  Peel, core and chop the apples.  Arrange the fruit on top of the ground almonds.  Sprinkle the granulated sugar on top.

Fold the pastry over the fruit, overlapping as if to form pleats.  

Brush the pastry with either beaten egg or a little milk and sprinkle demerara sugar over the whole thing.

Bake for 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the fruit bubbling.

Serve warm with cream, ice cream or custard.

*You can use a narrower margin and use more fruit, which results in a larger tart with less of an overlapping edge to the crust and will make more servings.

Serves 5-6 portions.


  1. SO pleased you have a Jarkey. They are so brilliant. I think I may go and make a galette
    for a weekend dessert

    1. I have no idea how I managed so long without one. Yes, I do - it was impossible! I shall be buying several for Christmas presents this year and every recipient will be enormously grateful, I just know it!

  2. Our French roofer showed me how to slide the tip of my oyster knife down the side of the lid and lightly twist, that also releases the vacuum easily. That is all I ever use these days. Cheers Diane

    1. I'm guessing that an oyster knife has a very stiff, stout blade, a bit risky for someone as clumsy as me!

  3. I like the use of the strawberry jam to sweeten the fruit and the rustic look is right up my street. Very nice. This oblong vs round pastry thing has puzzled me for a while. Surely, round is usually (OK, not always) better. I do buy frozen, round pastry in this country, but, not surprisingly, it's Picard pastry made in France. I had no idea you could buy a jar key. For years I've been using a bottle opener and beer can piercer that I must have picked up in the 1970s to poke under lids and break the seal. I now really want a jar key.

  4. The jar key looks a lot safer than my methods; if running the metal cap under hot water to make it expand (burning my fingers!) or turning it upside down and giving it a sharp whack on the counter (sometimes the glass cracks!) doesn't work, I take aim with a fairly sharp skewer it the centre of the lid ... have had a few narrow escapes...
    That's a brilliant tart, was thinking of them the other day. Delia made them in a magazine years ago and I always meant to have a go.