These sweet homemade filled pastries will make your inner child smile.
Let’s talk guilty pleasures. Sure, I’d love to tell you that I always read historical non-fiction instead of binging on reality tv; that I listen to NPR not Howard Stern; that I prefer flax seed smoothies to donuts, but of course it’s life’s little indulgences that make all of the towing the line worth it.
That means sometimes after days and days of yogurt and berries in the morning, we get to eat a little breakfast pastry. And if we’re going to indulge, it had better be worth it. That means no cardboard-flavored pastries full of preservatives pulled out of a box. Instead, spend the time and make a homemade version of a those classic pop tarts you munched on as a kid.
My homemade pop tarts have easy, tasty fillings sandwiched in a buttery, flaky crust, topped with a smear of glaze scattered with sprinkles. I’ve given you some flavor options today, all harkening back to the original pop tart flavors…cinnamon brown sugar, raspberry and blueberry. As always, you can substitute store-bought pie crust, but I strongly, strongly, encourage you to make your own. This one extra step is the difference between good and great.
The pastry is my old reliable, buttery pie crust recipe. It rolls out easy and yields a tender, flaky crumb. The fillings are as simple as jam or brown sugar/cinnamon mixed with a little cornstarch for thickening. The glaze can be flavored with sprinkle of cinnamon, or tinted in fun shades with just a drop of food coloring. Homemade pop tarts are fun, nostalgic and yes, even a bit indulgent, but c’mon, we have to feed that little kid inside all of us sometimes too!
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
- 8 oz unsalted butter, very cold (2 sticks )
- 2 Tbsp shortening, very cold
- ½ cup ice water
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp milk
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup seedless raspberry jam
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 1-2 tsp water
- 1 cup blueberry jam
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 1-2 tsp water
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 - 2 Tbsp whole milk
- * 1 tsp ground cinnamon for brown sugar filled pop-tarts
- ** drop of food coloring - optional
- *** sprinkles - optional
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to mix.
Add the butter and shortening and pulse about 10 -12 times until the fat is cut into the flour mixture and it's pea size.
Pour in about ⅔ of the ice water and pulse a few more times until a ball begins to form, adding more water as needed. Be careful not to overmix. The dough should not be completely blended, it will come together on the counter.
Scrape dough onto the counter, divide it in two and form into two flat discs. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. (Dough can also be frozen for several weeks. Defrost in refrigerator before proceeding.)
Whisk all ingredients together until blended.
Whisk the cornstarch with the water until dissolved. Whisk into the jam.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line two sheet trays with parchment paper.
Roll out one disc of dough to ⅛ inch thickness between lightly floured sheets of wax paper into an 18 x 12 inch rectangle. Trim the edges. Cut into 16 even rectangles and divide the rectangles between the sheet trays.
Roll out the other disc of dough to ⅛ inch thickness between lightly floured sheets of wax paper and divide into 16 rectangles.
Whisk the egg and milk together and brush onto 16 rectangles. Divide whichever topping you're using between the rectangles and leave about a half inch around the edge. Top with the remaining pastry rectangles and crimp the edges with a fork or back of spoon to adhere. Poke a few holes in the top to vent.
Place the pop tarts in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 mins. Remove and brush the tops with the remaining egg wash.
Bake for 15-20 mins, until the pop tarts are golden brown, rotating the pans once.
Cool for a few mins in the pans and remove to wire racks to finish cooling.
While the pop tarts cool, make the glaze. Whisk the confectioners sugar, water, vanilla and cinnamon or food coloring (if using) together until smooth.
Drizzle the glaze over the cooled pop tarts and scatter with sprinkles if desired. The glaze will harden as it dries.