Pop Tarts

I have never eaten a pop tart. I’ll even go further, I have never wanted a pop tart. Oh that’s probably not true, I’m sure they were popular for a while when I was in middle school or something but the point is, I can’t remember ever wanting one.

In a recent discussion about breakfast though I realized I am the only one in our household of two that way.

I am the only one in our household of two that feels that way about a lot of junk food. I’ll admit I’m a little evangelical about eating local, seasonal, unprocessed food.

But I am not unreasonable, friends. I do not allow pop tarts, McDonalds or powdered garlic into my house. BUT I will make pop tarts, burgers, and I am actively looking for a way to make powdered garlic that doesn’t  involve a dehydrator.

See? I’m a totally rational human being. I swear.

I made these pop tarts almost entirely from the recipe I found on Smitten Kitchen, which is a fantastic blog. The pastry is very flaky but also sturdy enough to hold as your running out the door with a coffee in your hand, which sounds like an oxymoron but I promise this works beautifully.

It’s crisp and light and great. Jordan thinks they are more like a toaster streudel. I’ve never eaten one of those either.

The dough is just like a pie dough but it has an egg in it so it holds its shape better and the filling is just jam with a little cornstarch to make sure the bottom pastry doesn’t get soggy. I made the jam (with local strawberries! Yeah!!)  but you could use any jam that you have with a little extra cornstarch, or even nutella inside if you don’t have the time.

I won’t judge.

Stawberry Filling:

1 quart Strawberries

1/2 cup Sugar

1 tsp Cornstarch

Cut up strawberries and get them in a pot on the stove

Let them simmer for about 15 minutes until nearly all the liquid is gone.

Add in the sugar and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes or so until it’s nearly dry again.

Mix the cornstarch with 1 tsp of water and then mix it into the jam. Bring to a boil and then take it off the heat and get it into a bowl in the fridge.

2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pats, very cold.
1 large egg
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) milk

In the meantime make the pastry:

Mix the butter, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Cut in the butter. That means break it up with your hands until the butter is in pea sized pieces. It should look like this

Add in the egg and the milk. it should be quite dry but if it doesn’t come together add in another bit of milk.

On a lightly floured board push the dough into a flat rectangle and then fold it in half. Push it down, fold it in half and and keep doing it until it starts to feel a little tough and it doesn’t quite want to be folded. Then wrap it up and put it in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 375F

After about half an hour in the fridge and once the jam is cold you can roll out your dough.

Roll it out into a long rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Cut with a non-serated knife into rectanlges of your choice! I did mine about 4-3 inches.

Put a dollop of jam on top of half of the rectangles, about a teaspoon each. Brush some water on the bottom edges.  These will be the bottom pieces.

Cover the bottom pieces with the remaining rectangles.

Press down the edges with a fork. This will help make sure the jam doesn’t shoot out the sides. Poke the top of them too to let some steam out.

Get them on a tray and bake them! About 20 minutes, and they are deffinatly best served hot, or perhaps, out of a toaster.