Homemade Pop Tarts

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

I haven't popped in here in more than a month, and I can't tell you what I've been doing. Not because it's secretive, but because it's been a whole lot of nothing that doesn't amount to four weeks. A whole lot of Real Housewives (of anywhere) in bed, of eggs for dinner, of wishing B's tax season was over, of Netflix documentaries that keep me up at night, of the occasional jog around our neighborhood to avoid chores. Brian kept pushing me to take a solo trip to Mexico a few weeks ago ("I think you need to eat popsicles under the sun," he's too good to me) because even though he's working terribly long hours, he realized how lethargic I've become. I couldn't take him up on it (I fear I'd just watch the housewives a couple thousand miles away, and being a brat does not deserve to be rewarded), but I have been trying to bring some spring cheer and proper self care into my day-to-day, by way of delicious homemade pop tarts, a deep tissue massage that nearly killed me and weekday dinner plans with friends that'll get me back to the routine of cooking (and drinking a glass of red wine or two ;)


For the pastry: 
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 additional large egg (to brush on pastry)

For the jam filling: 
3/4 cup jam
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

For the frosting:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon almond milk

*Ingredients follow Smitten Kitchen's recipe. Directions loosely follow that. 

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.

To 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, shape each half into a smooth square. You can roll this out immediately or wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Assemble the tarts: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

If the dough has been chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to soften and become workable, about 15-30 minutes. Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface and roll it into a nine-inch square about 1/8" thick. Cut each square into three 3-inch stripes, or six total.

Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of jam on one end of each strip. Brush a rectangle of egg around the jam, to glue the sides together. Fold the dry end over the end with jam.

Use a fork to crimp the edges together on all sides. Repeat with remaining pie crust strips.

Move the pop tarts to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15–18 minutes, until golden. Cool.

After the pop tarts have cooled for several minutes, whisk powdered sugar and 1-2 tablespoons milk together to create an icing glaze. Spoon over the top of each pop tart and immediately sprinkle with sugar sprinkles. Let the icing dry, either on the baking sheets of on a dry rack.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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