Making bad food better – Pop Tarts

Finished product!
Finished product!

Yesterday while we were at church I saw my son harboring a pop tart with intent to ingest.  That type of thing really rots my cabbage.  My son is not allowed to eat food coloring laced processed foods.  He knows this but I don’t think we have every come across a pop tart so he probably didn’t know he couldn’t have one.  As soon as I saw him with it I gave him the eye and he knew to put it back. The disgruntlement is strong with that one, it is.

tops and bottoms
tops and bottoms

After church I explained to him why we don’t eat pop tarts and I told him I would make him some.  So I did.  I adapted this recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  I had previously used a hand pie recipe but I wanted something a bit more sturdy, so I found this one.

Homemade Pop Tarts
Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Pastry
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pats
1 large egg
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) milk

Jam Filling
3/4 cup (8 ounces) jam. I used Crofters strawberry jam and coconut spread:)
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

To make jam filling: Mix the jam with the cornstarch/water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool. Use to fill the pastry tarts.

Glaze:

4 Tablespoons of powdered sugar and milk

Mix powdered sugar with milk until it just coats the spoon.  You shouldn’t need more than 1 tablespoon of milk.

filled with strawberry coconut jam
filled with strawberry coconut jam

Directions:

Make the dough: 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 (approximately 8 1/4 ounces each), shape each half into a smooth rectangle, about 3×5 inches. You can roll this out immediately (see Warm Kitchen note below) or wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Assemble the tarts: 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″. [You can use a 9″ x 13″ pan, laid on top, as guidance.] 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.

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.

Bake the tarts: Remove the tarts from the fridge, and bake them for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Cool in pan on rack.

After the tarts cool for about 20 minutes, brush with glaze and sprinkle with sugar.  I used Maggie’s Naturals red sugar.

filled and ready for baking.
filled and ready for baking.
Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Making bad food better – Pop Tarts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s