Thursday, September 26, 2013

Homemade Strawberry Pop Tarts

When I was growing up, I never ate cereal for breakfast.  Pancakes, eggs, and oatmeal were also nonexistent.  My parents always preferred having Korean food for breakfast, and once in a while we'd have toast with jam when we were in a pinch for time.  For some strange reason, they allowed Pop Tarts, usually of the strawberry variety.  There's something alluring about the dense pastry crust, the sweet strawberry jam, and that shellacked candy-like frosting.  It's been a while since I've had an actual Pop Tart, but I was suddenly hit with a craving the other day.  Better yet, I already had most of the ingredients at home.

This recipe most definitely satiated my Pop Tart craving.  I left some unfrosted and froze them so that I could reheat them in my toaster oven later.  It's probably not a great idea to freeze ones with frosting because when you reheat them, you'll end up with soggy puddles of melted frosting.  I think I'll try this recipe next time with a variety of other fillings.  Nutella Pop Tart, anyone?

Homemade Pop Tarts
Makes 9 total
Adapted from this recipe from

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (or 3/4 cup) of unsalted butter, diced roughly into 1/2" pieces

1 large egg
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) milk

1 additional large egg (to brush on pastry)

Jam Filling
3/4 cup (8 ounces) jam
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
Colorful sprinkles

Jam filling: Mix the jam with the cornstarch and water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer while stirring for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool.
Dough:  Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Incorporate 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.  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 (approximately 8 1/4 ounces each), shape each half into a smooth rectangle, about 3×5 inches.  Wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Tart assembly: Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to soften for 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 a 9″ x 12″ rectangle.  Repeat with the second piece of dough. Set trimmings aside. Cut each piece of dough into thirds to form nine 3″ x 4″ rectangles.
Beat the additional egg and brush it over the entire surface of the first dough.  Place and spread a scant tablespoon of jam filling into the center of each rectangle, keeping a bare 1/2-inch perimeter around it. 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 (I used a Silpat mat). Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork so that steam can escape.  Refrigerate the tarts for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350°F.
Remove the tarts from the fridge, and bake them for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Cool on a rack.

Frosting: Whisk together powdered sugar and milk until smooth.  Drizzle and spread over cooled tarts.  Immediately scatter sprinkles.  Let cool and harden.  Enjoy!

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