I made an excess of jam last summer, so I’ve been looking for ways to use it before the new season hits and it’s time to make more. Luckily, I found a recipe for homemade pop-tarts that’s perfect, and really showcases the flavor of the jam. And since pop-tarts are delicious for breakfast and dessert, I thought it’d be fun to package them up for my friends and family to try.
In my opinion, these homemade pop-tarts are super delicious, and definitely worth the effort to bake at home! However, unlike store bought pop-tarts, these are amazing straight from the fridge. If you prefer them warm, they should only be toasted for a short amount of time because they tend to break. Also, it’s worth noting that the longer these stay in the fridge (in an airtight container), the more durable and ‘authentic’ they taste. I tend to love them most when they’re 3 or 4 days old.
For the pastry:
• 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup butter (2 sticks), cut into pats
• 1 large egg
• 2 tablespoons milk
Place the flour, sugar, salt, and butter in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse crumb. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and the milk until well combined. Add to the mixture in the food processor, and pulse until the dough starts to come together.
Divide the dough in two, and roll each half into a ball. Wrap the balls of dough in plastic, and press into discs. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to two days.
Prepare your filling (recipe ideas below), and set aside. Roll out one of the discs of dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a ruler as a guide, cut rectangles that are approximately 3” x 4” inches. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting until you have made as many equal rectangles as you can. Repeat the process with the second disc of dough.
Place half of the rectangles on a parchment or silpat lined cookie sheet. Beat one egg, and brush the top of each rectangle with the eggwash (this helps seal the tarts together). Place 1 heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of each, and top with the second rectangle of dough. Press the edges together, and score with the tines of a fork (optional).
Place the cookie sheet with the prepared pop-tarts back in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. While they are chilling, preheat your oven to 350F◦. Once the oven is preheated, remove the tarts from the refrigerator. Poke holes in the tops with a fork or toothpick, and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove tarts from oven and cool on a wire rack.
Let the tarts cool to room temperature. Even better, refrigerate overnight before packaging.
For fruity pop tarts:
In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of jam or jelly with 1-2 tablespoons flour over medium heat. Stir continuously until the mixture loosens and comes to a boil. Lower heat, and continue stirring for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool before spooning over pastry dough.
For cinnamon & brown sugar pop tarts:
Whisk together ½ cup brown sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, and 4 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour. Spoon over pastry dough.
Once your tarts are completely cool, wrap them individually in parchment paper. Using medium sized favor bags, place two tarts in each bag, and seal with a small oval label indicating the flavor of your filling. Adorn with personalized labels, and add a string of twine or ribbon for an added touch. For my pop-tarts, I used large oval labels in the style Candystripes.