Homemade pop-tarts had become just like sugar cookie bars. They were everywhere, calling out to me, insisting that I try making them. There are several different recipes, and really, you can make any pie pasty and cut it into rectangles and fill them however you’d like. I decided to follow the Bon Appetit recipe from last April’s issue. It’s a simple enough process, but you do need to make sure your rectangles are pretty similar in size so they can be sandwiched and crimped together easily. This particular dough is a sticky one, so if you make this one, refrigerate or freeze the pieces for a few minutes between steps to make them more manageable. For a filling, I had just what I needed in the freezer. Last month, there were Texas blueberries in our CSA delivery, and I had cooked them with some lemon juice and cornstarch thinking they would eventually become a tart filling of some kind. You could also use your favorite jam or preserves from a jar for a filling. Then, you can wake up on a Saturday morning and have pop-tarts for breakfast while watching tv. I watched Anne Burrell on the FoodNetwork instead of the Smurfs, and these pop-tarts were on another level compared to ones from the box that I remember, but it was still a nostalgic Saturday morning.
So, I mentioned this dough was sticky. I actually rolled it between pieces of parchment paper. I left the parchment in place and cut it into big rectangles and let that chill for a bit. Then, I measured and cut the final, smaller rectangles and removed the parchment as I filled each tart. For pastry rectangles that were about five inches by three inches, you should use a tablespoon and a half of filling. Pressing the edges with a fork worked better on tarts that had been chilled first, but dipping the fork in flour helped it not to stick to the dough as well. Last, each tart was pierced with a skewer a few times to allow steam to escape while baking. The formed tarts should be placed in the freezer for at least two hours before baking, and they go straight to the oven from the freezer.
The Bon Appetit version shows the pop-tarts dusted with confectioner’s sugar. That’s one option. I also considered going all the way with a white frosting and sprinkles. In the end, I just brushed on an egg wash and sprinkled sanding sugar over the tarts before baking. The pastry was rich and flaky and the filling was fruity and just sweet enough. This could become a Saturday morning habit all over again.