Grandma Paynes Jelly Tarts
by Judy Pool
(Phoenix, AZ USA)
My grandmother - more than a product of the Great Depression, in that she was born in 1901, enjoyed cooking while working full time in a coat factory in Kansas City, Missouri.
She worked until retiring at age 75. She was a single mother when it was not popular to be one, and yet she took care of her four children and when I came along in 1943, her first grandchild, she took care of me as well while my mother worked and my dad was in the Army.
She knew how to get the most out of her grocery buying and she also had a sweet tooth. I can't tell you how many cookies, cakes, pies, etc. she kept on hand for the many of my mom's, aunt's and uncle's friends to feast upon as well as my own friends from high school.
When she would take a much needed day off of work, more than likely she would spend it making Jelly Tarts.
Her baby, my Uncle Jim, would come home from work - he had a job after school - and when he hit the door and smelled the sweet smells of the freshly baked jelly tarts, he would be in 7th heaven.
He would first give my grandma a big kiss and then without asking permission, (he didn't need permission, she loved it when he came home from work and wanted a jelly tart) he would grab a small plate and a fork and then cut himself a rather large piece of the sweet jelly tart.
Grandma called them "tarts" but actually how they came about was she would look
in the "Frigidaire" and see that she had accumulated several jars of half eaten jelly. Mostly grape or strawberry, but often a bit of apple would be in there as well.
She would then proceed to make a pie crust (2 times what she would make for a pie)and always with lard, roll the pie crust out onto a cookie sheet and then cover the bottom crust with all the left over jellies she had been able to mix together.
She then made another crust just like the first one, and cut the whole crust into strips which she laid criss cross the first pie crust and jelly.
She then baked the sheet for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees and when cooled, she would then make a simple glaze of powdered sugar, milk and vanilla and pretty much covered the whole sheet with the glaze.
I believe to get it covered properly she used a brush. Well, I can tell you, this was hers and hers alone -- if she were still alive today she would come to the Today show and whip this delight up so fast and I can bet you there isn't a person on the staff, nor the big guns like Meredith and Matt, who would not enjoy her jelly tarts.
Good with coffee, tea, milk or all alone. I don't have a photo as I have not made the tarts for a number of years and during that time it did not occur to me to take a picture.
Should you need a picture for sure, I will make the tarts and take a picture and send it to you.