The other day a group of friends were discussing treats and Pop-Tarts were mentioned. I haven’t had a Pop-Tart in ages. My adult tastebuds find them too sweet and artificial. When I mentioned this, one of the girls shared this recipe and as soon as I saw it I knew I would be making my own take of it. My husband loves Pop-Tarts but stopped eating them because, well, they’re not good for you. Now, we can have them as an occasional treat and know exactly what was put in them.
The dough is easy to make. I am by no means an expert baker but I can get by. You can use a food processor to make the dough but you can always cut the butter into the flour by hand either by crumbling it with your fingers or using a cutter (or two butter knives). Once there are no large chunks of butter you are done. If you’re mixing it by hand you might be wise to take a break here and there as the heat from your hands will make the butter too soft and you don’t want that.
When you add your 4 tbsp of ice-cold water you want to mix the dough only until it’s combined. Over-mixing will result in a chewy dough as opposed to light and flaky.
After making the dough I formed it into a disk, wrapped it and put it in the fridge to firm up while I worked on the filling.
The recipe called for strawberry preserves and I’m sure this is a fine ingredient to use but I wanted something a little more fresh. I do not have a recipe for the filling I made but the general idea is to mix some fresh fruit into the filling. I used about a cup or two of strawberries that I mashed up. To that, I added a splash of limeade and about a half cup of all natural strawberry jam. The jam I bought did not contain high fructose corn syrup or any dyes. Sugar was the first ingredient listed so I knew I would not need to add any more sugar. Also, I would substitute the limeade for fresh lemon or lime juice if I had it. Bring this to a boil, stirring frequently. Once it’s reduced a bit take it off the heat and pour into a heat-proof glass vessel. Leave to cool completely before using.
I was not very neat when it came to rolling out the dough and cutting it into rectangles. One of the things I love about homemade goodies is the rustic imperfection of the end result. I don’t want my tarts to look like they were mechanically manufactured. I like that they look amateur and homemade. That’s just me, you can be as perfect as you like. It’s all good! Also, I chose not to add the icing and sprinkles because I figured they were sweet enough on their own.
These can be frozen and baked off as you need them. Or, you can bake them and then freeze them.
This recipe made eight tarts. There are only four left!