Tuesday, February 8th, 2011
Despite a distinct lack of any stereotypical hormone-related reasons, I have very specific cravings sometimes. Such was the case Saturday night and this time it was Pop Tarts. I don’t know how to explain or justify these things, I just know that I needed Pop Tarts. I told Ryan and he grinned. “I know you have a recipe!”
I reread this recipe one more time and that was it. So at 9:30 on Saturday night I made Pop Tarts and they were awesome. I think Ryan thought he’d died and gone to teenage boy heaven. I kind of felt that way too.
I know this sounds kind of crazy, making something from scratch that you can buy at the grocery store for about $2 (and which is in its own right, delicious), but we enjoyed it! Honestly it’s pretty easy as far as pastry goes, and that’s saying something coming from me, because I really hate rolling out dough.
Homemade Pop Tarts
Ever so slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 9-12 tarts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter or margarine, cut into pats
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 additional large egg (to brush on pastry)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, to taste
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg, to brush on pastry before filling
To make cinnamon filling: Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and flour.
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. Whisk together the first egg and the milk and pour into the food processor, if using, and pulse until combined. Otherwise you can stir it in by hand, but it’s a little trickier this way!
Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a smooth rectangle, about 3×5 inches. Don’t skip this step – it will make rolling out the dough much easier! You can roll this out immediately or wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Assemble the tarts: If the dough has been chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to soften and become workable, about 15 to 30 minutes. Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8? thick, large enough that you can trim it to an even 9? x 12?. [You can use a 9" x 13" pan, laid on top, as guidance.] Repeat with the second piece of dough. Set trimmings aside. Cut each piece of dough twice lengthwise and twice width-wise – you’ll form nine 3? x 4? rectangles.
Beat the additional egg and brush it over the entire surface of the first dough. This will be the “inside” of the tart; the egg is to help glue the lid on. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, keeping a bare 1/2-inch perimeter around it. Place a second rectangle of dough atop the first, using 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.
(At this point, if you’d like a couple of extra tarts, smush your dough scraps together, roll them out, and proceed from there. I got an extra two tarts out of my scraps and probably could’ve gotten one more, but I was tired.)
Gently place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork; you want to make sure steam can escape, or the tarts will become billowy pillows rather than flat toaster pastries. Refrigerate the tarts (they don’t need to be covered) for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F.
Bake the tarts: Remove the tarts from the fridge, and bake them for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Cool in pan on rack.