Epiphany Jam Tart


January 6: Epiphany/Feast Day of the Three Kings

When he was in elementary school, Islander’s brother, K, was in the cast of our church’s Christmas pageant in Hawaii. In the first grade, he was one of the little angels. In the sixth grade, he was one of the three kings! For both occasions, Islander and her Mommy made his costumes. NOT buying the convenient, ready-made costumes in the store allowed the family to create one-of-a-kind designs for K—including the styrofoam ramen/instant noodles bowl that became the base of his crown!

Islander continues her creativity through cooking. For the Feast Day of the Three Kings, she made a Victorian-style Epiphany jam tart, inspired by one of her favorite food blogs, Catholic Cuisine. Traditionally, the tart consists of 13 different jams, which represent Jesus and His Apostles. The Star of David design symbolizes that “star of wonder, star of night, star of royal beauty bright”, which the wise men followed to find the King of Kings (Baby Jesus). The beautiful baked dessert looks like a church stained glass window.

Make a colorful and creative Epiphany jam tart and indulge in this festive food on the Feast Day of the Three Kings.


(Adapted from Catholic Cuisine)


  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick + 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 13 different jams


Grease or generally butter a 8- or 9-inch tart tin. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, powdered sugar and salt. Cut in the cold butter and egg yolk and mix until moistened and a dough ball is formed.


Place the dough ball on a floured wax paper. Flatten into a disc. Roll out with rolling pin to fit the pastry into the tart tin, allowing for overhang. Invert into the tart tin and press on the bottom and up the sides. Trim the excess pastry from the edge.


Using the excess pastry, roll out strips to form the star shape in the middle. Press the strip into the pastry, starting with a large triangle. Add the other strips to complete the star shape. Freeze the pastry for 30 minutes.


Remove the pastry from the freezer and bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven. Stir the jams and spoon a different one in each section.





Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes or until the jams have set. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Slice and serve.


  • The 13 jams/jellies/preserves we used for this recipe included: Concord grape jelly, strawberry jam, lingonberry jam, sweet orange marmalade, Hawaiian poha (Big Island cape gooseberry) jam, Kula (Maui) black raspberry jam, pineapple-coconut jam, liliko’i (passion fruit) jam, apricot jam, Scottish blackcurrant preserves, Bahamian guava jam, black cherry fruit spread and Alaskan wild mixed berry jam.
  • Thanks to our friends for bearing gifts from afar: Phyllis S. (formerly from Hawaii but now lives in South Texas) for the three kings ornament, pictured in the final food photo above, which she gave to us as a Christmas gift; and Janet A. (from The Bahamas) for the guava jam she sent to us from her island.
  • Feast on other Epiphany foods on the Feast Day of the Three Kings: brown sugar shortbread stars and galette de rois (king’s cake).
  • January 6 signals the end of the Christmas season as it is the 12th day of Christmas or Twelfth Night. The Christian calendar then returns to Ordinary Time in the liturgical year.