Sugarfoot

For the Casually Inclined

Homemade Strawberry Pop Tarts

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For complete recipe + directions, scroll to the bottom!

When deciding on a fun Valentines' treat to make I did what I rarely do and skipped the chocolate. Instead I got a little nostalgic and found a homemade recipe to a childhood favorite. My husband loves Pop Tarts and as soon as I came across these I knew it'd be a fun thing to surprise him with. The process is slightly labor intensive, but if you're doing it for a special occasion and it's 20 degrees + snowing, why not? 

This recipe requires you to make your own dough but these can also be done by purchasing a pre-made pie crust from the grocery store. I'm sure they would be just as yummy and if you're short on time, that's what I'd definitely recommend. For the special occasion I thought it was necessary to go full bore. 

A couple tips,

- I made my dough a different day and put it in the refrigerator for the night. Just another way to split things up and make it a little less time consuming. 

- Have some sort of tool handy that you can cut the dough with. I used a pizza cutter, it's also helpful if you have a ruler to help keep your lines straight. I did not use one and they turned out fine. 

- Wait for them to cool before you frost and make your frosting a little thicker (less milk). Mine was pretty thick and it still spilled over the sides. Not a big deal but this will help towards style points.

- Frosting, not necessary but so good. 

|          PREP TIME: 45 MINUTES     COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES     TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 15 MIN   |   

YIELDS: 6-12 POP TARTS

Ingredients:

PASTRY CRUST:

  • 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½" pieces (1 stick)
  • 6 tablespoons shortening
  • 6 tablespoons ice cold water
  • 1 large egg mixed with 2 tablespoons milk

FILLING:

  • ¾ cup strawberry preserves (or your favorite flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water

FROSTING:

  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk

Directions:

  1. To make the dough combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl or food processor. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the cold water and pulse just until the dough starts to hold together. Don't over process.
  2. Gather the dough together and divide in half. Form each half into a disc. Wrap each tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight (I did overnight and it helped make the process feel a little less involved).
  3. To make the filling combine the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon cold water in a small sauce pan. Whisk until smooth. Add the jam and heat over medium until it comes to a boil. Simmer stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool until ready to use.
  4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to rest 10-15 minutes (25-30 if you refrigerated overnight). Lightly flour a clean work surface and dust the dough with flour. Roll the dough to about ⅛" thick large enough to cut into a 9" x 12" rectangle. Cut the 9x12 inch rectangle into 9 equal 3x4" pieces by cutting four lines across on the 12-inch side and three down the 9-inch side (I used a pizza cutter!). Gather dough scraps together and set aside.
  5. Place the 9 individual pieces of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. Beat together the egg and milk. Brush the egg mixture all over the cut pastry pieces. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each pastry.
  7. Roll out the second pastry disc to the same dimensions and cut into 9 individual pieces. Prick the dough with the tines of a fork, the round end of a small clean paint brush or chop stick to create vent holes.
  8. Place each piece of vented dough over the filling. Press the edges together firmly with a fork to seal. Repeat until all pockets are formed.
  9. Brush the tops of the pockets with a little bit of the egg and milk mixture. Place the baking sheet with the uncovered pastries in the refrigerator for 30 minutes
  10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  11. Remove the pastries from the refrigerator and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  12. Remove the pastries to a wire rack and cool
  13. Frost, sprinkle, and serve!

SOURCE: Saving Room for Dessert (recipe) and The Pioneer Woman (helpful pictures)