Something special, right here.
I loved pop tarts when I was little. We rarely had the sugary treats in our house, but when we did, they went fast. I’m not sure the last time I had a pop tart, but it was at some point in adulthood and I remember being very disappointed that it didn’t live up to my childhood memories. It was so…..processed tasting.
These take a bit of time but are so, so worth it. Plus, they just look mighty impressive. A homemade pop tart makes me feel like some sort of Martha or Ina…pure culinary and hospitality genius.
Homemade Pop Tarts, adapted from Smitten Kitchen
makes about a dozen pop tarts
Pop Tart Crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pats
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 large egg (to brush on prepared pop tarts)
1-2 tablespoons of filling (blackberry jam or Nutella) per pop tart
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter with a pastry blender until pea-sized lumps of butter are still visible, and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. Whisk the first egg and milk together, then stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything is cohesive.
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough lightly for a minute or two until the dough comes together in a ball. Then split the dough in half and roll into balls.
*If you don’t want to roll dough out immediately, wrap each ball in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days. If wrapping in plastic and chilling, you will need to set the dough out for 15-30 minutes to soften and become workable.
Place one ball of dough on the lightly floured work surface (setting other ball aside for now), and roll it into a rectangle. My rectangle ended up being about 10″ x 8″. Using a pastry cutter (or a knife), trim the edges so your rectangle has straight, clean edges. Set trimmings aside. Cut the piece of dough into six 3″ x 4″ rectangles. I did not measure precisely so some were smaller or larger than others.
Ah! More room to repeat with the second ball of dough, rolling out and cutting.
Beat the additional egg (or stir it vigorously with a fork, as I do). On half of your pop tart sides, brush the egg mixture over the entire surface . The egg is to help “glue” the other half on and seals up the pop tart.
Now place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, keeping a bare 1/2-inch perimeter around it. Don’t overfill!
(Disclaimer: Despite the tasty photo, Justin’s nut butter was a bit too dry – which you can kindof visibly tell – for this recipe. Second time around, Nutella was the way to go for the chocolate hazelnut filling).
Add your top half to each pop tart and use 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.
Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork so steam can escape during baking.
Refrigerate the tarts (they don’t need to be covered) for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F. Just like my sugar cookie cutouts, that’s the trick before popping into the oven.