Oh, Pop Tarts. No matter what the makers of Toaster Strudel may say, I'd never hoard you uneaten in my locker.
After having made a batch of Avatar-inspired pop tarts for my most recent Serious Eats post, from which I adapted a recipe for homemade pop tarts on Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, I was naturally also tempted to make a batch in the more traditional pop tart format.
Made using an all-butter crust (Peabody's called for part shortening, but lacking shortening I went the all-butter route), these are a bit flakier and less soft than the pop tarts I remember, but they've got a leg up in the delicious department--and who wouldn't be delighted to choose their own Pop Tart flavorings? (isn't that every child's--and some adults'--dream?)
The sky's the limit with these babies--you could fill them with jam and top them with a thin icing with sprinkles for the traditional look and feel of the pop tart--or you could go straight for the fatty jugular as I did with half my batch, filling them with decadent dark chocolate and topping them with peanut butter icing (photo to come). You're welcome.
Homemade Pop Tarts
Makes 6-8 tarts, maybe even more, depending on size; adapted from wonderful, wonderful Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
For the crust
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened and cut into cubes
- 3 tablespoons cold water
For the filling
Jam, about 1 heaping teaspoonful per pastry (your choice of flavor; I used blueberry)
For the icing
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
- heavy cream, to thin (you could use milk...but I like cream)
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set to the side.
- Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and blend with a fork, pastry cutter, or your impeccably clean hands. Blend until the mixture is fairly coarse. Add the water, bit by bit, gently mixing the dough after each addition, until the dough is cohesive enough to form a ball.
- Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out rectangles approximately the size of index cards (3x5 inches), or smaller if you prefer a more modest portion (I didn't). Make sure you have an even number of cutouts. I think that mine might have been a little thicker than 1/8 an inch, but I ended up with 12 rectangles (for 6 pastries).
- On half of the rectangles, place a small spoonful of the jam of your choice in the center. You don't want it to be too thick or the top crust will mound on top of it.
- Place the remaining rectangles of dough on top of the ones with jam. Crimp all four edges by hand or with a fork to ensure that your filling won't ooze out. I also poked the top of each with a fork, to vent them.
- Place the tarts on your prepared baking sheet, and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until light golden on the edges. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely.
- While the tarts cool, prepare your icing; make sure it is fairly thin but not so thin that it will just drip off. Once the pop tarts are cool, drizzle it on top. Garnish with sprinkles.