Once you try these delicious homemade pop tarts you’ll never look at store bought pop tarts the same! I haven’t really cared for the store bought ones since I was probably 10 years old but my husband and kids still love them. I decided to show those up and make a homemade version just so my husband could see how blah the other ones are. These things melt in your mouth! Yes they are a bit of work just for a breakfast pastry but they are totally worth it once you get to sink your teeth into one. If you wanted to do semi-homemade you could use a store-bought pie crust but I think that kind of defeats the purpose of making them homemade.
For the jam I decided to use Smuckers Low Sugar Strawberry preserves and I thought it was perfect because you could actually taste the strawberry and not just sugar or an artificial sweetener (not a sponsored statement, just liked the jam. Also speaking of good grocery store products, have you tried Tillamook Oregan Hazelnut and Salted Caramel ice cream? It’s been my fav for the last 3 months. Love it!). Really you can use any flavor of preserves you’d like. For the glaze I decided to use half and half instead of just milk to give it a lightly creamy flavor. Then to finish these off sprinkles are a must, right? I used funfetti sprinkles and also just some red sugar sprinkles (not pictured) and they made them look just like the real thing.
I highly recommend that you try these homemade pop tarts at least once (but then once you do you’ll be hooked and you’ll never want to go back to the real thing, so you likely just make double batches and store them in the freezer :). They are perfectly tender and flaky and that buttery flavor is far from whatever oil is used in the boxed kind. As a matter of fact, why not try them this weekend? Yes, I think you better.
Homemade Pop Tarts
Yield: 8 tarts
- 2 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour , plus more for rolling
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter , cold and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 - 5 Tbsp ice water
- 3/4 cup strawberry preserves , divided (or other preserve of choice)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp half and half , plus more as needed
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
In a food processor pulse together flour, salt and granulated sugar. Add butter and pulse mixture until resembles coarse meal (it won't really come together in pieces much at this point, so don't over-process, just pulse until butter is no longer in large pieces). Add 4 Tbsp water and pulse several times, if it doesn't come together in clumps add remaining 1 Tbsp water. Drop mixture onto a clean surface, gather dough into a ball then divide into two portions. Shape each portion into about a 5-inch disk. Cover each with plastic wrap and chill 1 hour.
Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with 1 disk at a time (keep other in fridge to chill), roll dough out onto a floured surface to about 13 by 11-inch rectangle (when edges start to crack a little when rolling, seal them and continue rolling), then trim edges to get a 12 by 10-inch rectangle (to even the edges). Then cut into eight 5 by 3-inch rectangles (cut in half through the longness then three cuts through the opposite).
Arrange 4 of the rectangles, spaced evenly apart on prepared baking sheet. Spread 1 1/2 Tbsp of jam evenly down the center of each rectangle, leaving about a 3/4-inch rim on all sides uncoated. Top each with another rectangle, then seal edges with your fingertips, then reseal with a fork (I didn't seal with the fork, I just did a double seal with my fingertips because I wanted them to look more like the real thing, but mine might have seeped out a little less had I sealed with a fork also). Poke the top center of each tart about 4 times with a toothpick. Cover and transfer to freezer to chill at least 2 hours or up to one week. Repeat process with remaining disk of dough.
Position one oven rack near top third of the oven and a second oven rack near bottom third of the oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake frozen tarts until golden, rotating racks once halfway through baking, about 25 - 30 minutes (some of the preserves may leak out, which is fine, just peel it off once it cools). Allow to cool on baking sheet several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing:
In a mixing bowl whisk together all icing ingredients well then add more half and half about 1/2 tsp at a time to reach desired consistency. Spread over tops of cooled pop tarts, leaving a small rim uncoated around all sides. Sprinkle tops with sprinkles if desired and allow glaze to set at room temperature. Store in an airtight container.
Recipe Source: tart portion adapted from Bon Appetit