South African Recipes

South African Jam Tart Recipe: History, Tips & More

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Howzit, food enthusiasts! Today, we’re whisking you off to South Africa with a delectable, traditional dessert – the sweet and sticky Jam Tart.

south african jam tart with 4 lines

South African Jam Tart

Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine South African
Servings 4 people


  • 1 Mixing Bowl
  • 1 Tart tin (a pie dish or similarly sized oven-safe dish will work just fine.)
  • 1 Fork
  • 1 Rolling pin (Don't worry if a rolling pin is not on hand, an empty glass bottle can do the trick!)
  • 1 Oven


  • 300 g Self-raising flour
  • 150 g Caster sugar
  • 150 g Butter, cubed
  • 2 Eggs (beaten)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Your favourite jam (apricot jam is a classic choice!)


  • Start by preheating your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Let's get the ball rolling, mates!
  • In your mixing bowl, combine the self-raising flour and caster sugar. Rub in the cubed butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the beaten eggs and vanilla extract into the mixture. Mix it all together until you have a soft dough. If it's too sticky, add a bit more flour.
  • Press two-thirds of the dough into your tart tin or pie dish. Make sure you cover the base and sides. Keep the remaining dough for the topping.
  • Prick the dough base with a fork and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  • After that, take the base out of the oven and spread your favourite jam evenly over it.
  • Roll out the remaining dough and cut into strips or shapes, then arrange them on top of the jam.
  • Pop the tart back into the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  • Allow it to cool a bit, then slice up and serve!
Keyword jam tart, south african jam tart

south african jam tart with 4 lines

Jam Tart History

Tracing back its origins, the South African Jam Tart, also known as “Konfyt Tert” in Afrikaans, comes from the Dutch settlers who brought their love for baking to the Cape. The English term “jam” originates from the word “jambo” in Malay and Indonesian, which means ‘to mix’. Meanwhile, the Afrikaans term “konfyt” comes from the Dutch word “confijt” meaning candied fruit, hinting at its rich filling. Jam tart gained popularity due to its simplicity and versatility, allowing cooks to utilise any available jam. While the precise history is speculative, one thing’s for sure, this dessert holds a dear place in many South African households.

Tips & Tricks

Here’s some friendly advice from my kitchen to yours. First, try to keep your butter cold for a flakier crust. Second, don’t skip the pre-baking step; it helps prevent a soggy base. If you fancy a personal twist, experiment with different jams. Apricot is traditional, but a tart berry jam can make an exciting contrast. Lastly, remember, the tart is best enjoyed warm from the oven with a dollop of fresh cream. Yum!

Best Occasions to Serve Jam Tart

A South African Jam Tart makes the perfect end to a hearty meal or a delightful teatime treat. It’s a fantastic choice for celebrations, birthdays, and holiday gatherings, adding a sweet note to any occasion. It’s a comforting reminder of home for any South African far away, bringing back fond childhood memories with every bite.

Recipes & Sides That Go Well With Jam Tart

Rooibos Tea: A refreshing accompaniment to balance the sweetness.
Fresh Cream: Adds a delightful contrast to the rich jam filling.
Vanilla Ice Cream: Melts beautifully on a warm slice.

Ingredient Alternatives for Jam Tart

Whole Wheat Flour: A healthier alternative to self-raising flour.
Honey or Agave: Can replace caster sugar for a natural sweetness.
Different Jams: Try strawberry, raspberry, or even marmalade for variety.

Nutritional Facts

Per serving for four people:

Calories: Approximately 650
Carbs: Roughly 95g
Sugars: Around 45g
Fats: About 22g
Protein: Close to 10g
Fibre: Approximately 2g
South African Jam Tart is indeed a treat, so moderation is key. It’s rich in carbs and sugars, but on the plus side, it offers some protein and fibre.

Troubleshooting (Common Problems)

Crumbly Dough: Add a little more beaten egg to bind it.
Soggy Base: Ensure you pre-bake the tart shell before adding the jam.
Over-browning: Cover with foil if the tart is browning too quickly.

Jam Tart Alternatives and Similar Recipes

Melktert: A custard-filled pastry, another South African classic.
Apple Tart: Swap the jam for thinly sliced, spiced apples.
Lemon Tart: A zesty twist for citrus lovers.

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