Sometimes my ideas for cooking and baking are quite obvious. I’ll read something or be watching a show and a little seed will be planted and begin to grow, like the egg salad. There are yet other times, take Sunday brunch, that I have no idea what I am going to make. Everything sounds good, nothing sounds good, or for whatever reason I struggle to decide what I am going to make. Eventually I settled on fairly standard fried potatoes, scrambled eggs, and link sausage for The Hubs. I also decided to try my hand at Homemade Pop Tarts.
My girls love boxed morning pastries that are so full of preservatives that I’m not sure they qualify as food. However, I have never been a huge fan, although I have eaten more than one over the course of my lifetime.
On our Spring Break vacation to Washington DC a few years ago we ate at a restaurant called Ted’s Bulletin. They served something called Ted’s Tarts, which were a homemade version of the Pop in the Toaster kind. They were very tasty.
I had thought about making on a few occasions since that trip. As I was struggling with what to make for brunch this past Sunday I decided that my something special would be Homemade Pop Tarts. I start most food adventures by perusing some recipes to get a basic understanding. If I see a recipe that seems ideal I use it. If I don’t I either rework it using what I know, or I combine parts of the recipes I read.
With the Homemade Pop Tarts I probably read 6 or 10 recipes. Not one seemed like exactly what I wanted, so I took the basics of a couple of them and made my own. Everyone in my house was waiting excitedly for them to be done so we could eat brunch. When they were finally ready the result was successful.
Of course I was pleased with how they turned out and will definitely make them again. There are some things that I will add next time. First of all I will use frosting on them. For this batch I chose to use sprinkles on unfrosted tarts. Not that it will alter the taste much; I just think they would be pretty that way. Another change would be to try some other fun fillings. For this batch I used a brown sugar cinnamon filling, a raspberry jam filling, and also a caramel sauce.
What food have bought that you just know if full of preservatives that you decided to make from scratch? Was it a successful swap? I try to do this for my family and sometimes it’s a win, like Homemade Pop Tarts!
Homemade Pop Tarts
- Pie Crust Recipe X 2
Pie Crust Recipe
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ – 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons ice water (plus more if needed)
- 8 tablespoons butter (ice cold)
Brown Sugar Filling
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water or milk
Sprinkles or Frosting for Topping
- In a food processor, pulse flour, salt, and sugar several times to combine. Add butter. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with just a few pea-size pieces remaining.
- Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed with fingers (if needed, add up to 2 tablespoons more ice water, ½ tablespoon at a time). Do not over mix.
- Place dough onto a work surface; form dough gently ball, then with your hands press into a disk about 3/4-inch-thick. Wrap each dough tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.
- Remove one dough from refrigerator before rolling out crust. Allow about 10 minutes before rolling.
- Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment.
- Roll dough to form a rectangle about 1/8” thick, about 9” X 12”. Cut dough into rectangles 3” X 4”. Carefully lay cut rectangles on prepared baking sheet.
- Remove 2nd dough from refrigerator.
- Mix brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of each dough rectangle on the baking sheet.
- Roll out 2nd dough exactly as first. Cut into 3” X 4” rectangles. Using a fork, prick the tops of each dough rectangle, in 2 rows of 4. This will allow the steam to vent.
- In a small bowl whisk the egg and 1 tablespoon of water or milk. Using a pastry brush go around the outside of one of the dough rectangles on the baking sheet with egg wash. Use one of the dough rectangles with vents to cover the filling, matching the sides as closely as possible. Press down gently to stick.
- Using the flat edge of your fork tines, press into the tart to crimp and seal all edges. Repeat with each tart.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Refrigerate the baking sheet of tarts, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Remove pan from refrigerator and sprinkle tops with sugar or sprinkles.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove pan from oven and place pan onto wire rack to cool slightly before serving.
If icing the tarts, cool before icing.
Other filling ideas are jam, 1 tablespoon per tart or caramel syrup / topping.