Family Food: Coconut jam tarts

Coconut jam tart

My Grandma, Lily, always made the most delicious and comforting food

Weekends as a child meant lots of time spent eating at her and my Grandad’s house

Saturdays were all about big white cobs (or ‘rolls’ for non-East-Midlanders!) filled with hot chicken or butcher’s sausages and soft onions

Sunday lunch, of course, was the roast dinner – with minty new potatoes and fresh veg from Grandad’s garden – followed by her (now legendary) fruit crumble and Birds custard

My mum, who works weekends, said it even tasted good when she reheated her portion in the microwave on Sunday evenings

And the really amazing thing is, Grandma never followed a recipe – well, not one written down – and she didn’t use scales or measuring spoons, she just used her experienced eye

The problem is she’s no longer here to ask for guidance on how to make all these yummy dishes

So when I decided to make her coconut jam tarts for Fathers Day (they’re my dad’s childhood favourites!) I had to do a bit of guess work based on my memory and a little bit of help from the world wide web…

Making jam tarts


  • Shortcrust pastry (Grandma of course made her own – I cheated)
  • Strawberry jam
  • 150 g desiccated coconut
  • One large egg
  • Butter (for greasing)


Pre-heat your oven to 180c

Roll out the pastry until it is around 3mm thick (try a milk bottle if you don’t have a rolling pin) – and cut out 12 circles with a cookie cutter (or an upturned mug)

Place the pastry circles into a pre-greased cupcake tray

Splodge (I’m not very technical in the kitchen…) around a teaspoon of jam into each tart

Grab a bowl and gradually mix the egg into the coconut

Place a spoonful of the coconut mixture onto each tart, so that the jam is fully covered

Pop in the over for around 15 minutes (or until they look and feel fully baked!)


And dad’s verdict was: ‘it’s almost right’ – which is good enough for me (especially as he ate three one sitting!)

Sadly I feel the secret to her incredible crumble recipe may be lost forever – I’ve never even got close…!

3 thoughts on “Family Food: Coconut jam tarts

  1. Claire says:

    Took me right back to Lil’s kitchen,lovely memories!

  2. Laura says:

    I found this page while doing a search for a family cookbook I’m putting together. I needed an image. I was struck by yours because the image looks just like the tarts my grandmother used to make. She is from England and would make these all the time too. One of my Dad’s favorites as well. Fortunately I was lucky enough to coax her into giving me the recipe a few years back, which is great because she is now 93 and I would hate for these to be lost forever! Anyways, I just thought I would share her recipe with you in case it might be closer to what your Grandmother used to make too, since you were unable to get hers. 6 oz coconut, 3 tablespoons butter, melted, 3 tablespoons sugar, and 1 egg. Plus the jam and pie dough of course. Glad to hear that somebody else was lucky enough to grow up with these as well!

    • makedospend says:

      Thanks so much for this recipe Laura! Will made a note of it – haven’t made these for ages, so you might inspire me to have a go again :) By the way, we’ve now moved our blog to

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: