(pardon my momentary Brian Regan reference on how pop tarts come with instructions)
Your reaction to the thought of homemade pop tarts may be similar to my reaction when I first saw this recipe, and my husband’s when he heard me mention them, and those people’s when I brought them to sunday breakfast, and…well you get the picture. No one has heard of such a thing–dared to dream such a crazy thought. But it’s true, it is possible. And though the foil packaged, rock hard iced vending machine treats of childhoods past may forever go unmatched due to sheer nostalgia, these treats are a wonderful twist on that old classic. The pastry is simple and delightful, and the most glorious part of all is that you can put anything inside. Anything.
homemade pop tarts
courtesy of smittenkitchen who got it from King Arthur Flour
|2||sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened|
|2||large eggs (one in the mix, one to brush on the pastry)|
|½||cup brown sugar|
|1||to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, to taste|
|4||teaspoons all-purpose flour|
|3/4||cup jam or preserves (raspberry, blueberry, apricot…pick your favorite!)|
|1||tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water|
other ideas: nutella (these were amazing!!), chocolate chips, almond paste, marshmallow fluff (for s’more flavor)
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter with your fingers, pastry blender or food processor until pea-sized lumps of butter are still visible, and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. If you’ve used a food processor, transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
- Whisk the first egg and milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything is cohesive, kneading briefly on a well-floured counter if necessary.
- Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a smooth rectangle, about 3×5 inches. You can roll this out immediately or wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- If the dough has been chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to soften and become workable, about 15 to 30 minutes. Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8″ thick, large enough that you can trim it to an even 9″ x 12″. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Set trimmings aside. Cut each piece of dough into thirds – you’ll form nine 3″ x 4″ rectangles (or whatever size you want).
- Beat the additional egg and brush it over the entire surface of the first dough. This will be the “inside” of the tart; the egg is to help glue the lid on. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, keeping a bare 1/2-inch perimeter around it. Place a second rectangle of dough atop the first, using your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides. Press the tines of a fork all around the edge of the rectangle. Repeat with remaining tarts.
- Gently place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork; you want to make sure steam can escape, or the tarts will become billowy pillows rather than flat toaster pastries. Refrigerate the tarts (they don’t need to be covered) for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Remove the tarts form the fridge, and bake them for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Cool in pan on rack. Top them with a homemade icing glaze for tradition’s sake if you like, though they don’t need it.