Stuffed with jam, topped with lemon glaze and sprinkles, these enchanting, comforting and cute easy pop tarts are irresistibly good. You’ll never wish for the store-bought versions again!
Sometime back the kids acquired a taste for Kellogg’s Pop Tarts, and since then they’ve been hankering for the breakfast pastries. I, on the other hand, am not a huge fan of sucrose dipped treats eaten out of a cardboard box.
The long and short of it, we reached a compromise. Instead of buying Kellogg’s legendary version, I made them at home.
Call them jam-filled hand pies, call them jam tarts or call them pop tarts; they are still a rectangle, flaky pastries with a layer of sweet jam filling – adorably cute to look at and more than enough to bring a smile to everyone’s faces.
Needless to say, they were a tremendous hit!
How to Make Pop Tarts?
The kids adored the perfectly tender and flaky pop tarts because they were a far cry from the boxed kind.
I loved it because, unlike what the world tells you, pastry making is not a formidable art. You take the simplest of ingredients and with a few tricks make something absolutely satisfying – so much so that the husband had three of them!
I recommend making the pastry dough a night before. It’ll turn the rest of the process a breeze. Mix flour with a tiny bit of sugar and then cut with chilled cubes of butter. Add in ice-cold water and then bring it together into a smooth dough.
Divide the dough into two, cover it with cling wrap and refrigerate it. I left it overnight, of course, but you can give it just an hour.
Assembling the pies
After the dough is chilled, roll them out in two rectangles. Mine looked more like a world map, but that’s the joy and beauty of real baking. You don’t have to be a perfectionist like a pastry chef. It’s about the fun along the way and the taste; which, if I may, was nirvanic.
Cut equal rectangles in the rolled dough with a pizza cutter or sharp knife. You can eyeball it, but I used a scale to keep them somewhat even in size. Plop a bit of jam on half the rectangles, wet the edges, and then cover them with the remaining rectangles.
Baking the tarts
Seal the two layers of pastry dough of each pop tart with your fingers. Then use a fork to crimp the edges well so that no jam oozes out while the oven does it work.
Using a toothpick make 4 or 5 holes in each rectangle and then slide them in the fridge.
Yes, the refrigerator not the oven because the secret to flaky, buttery pastry is chilled dough. When they are sufficiently cold, bake till golden brown!
When making the dough, the butter has to be chilled and cut in small cubes. The same goes for the flour and water, if needed, add ice cubes.
Don’t overwork the dough. Instead of kneading, work it till it feels sticky and moist. Not dry.
For the filling, I used store bought strawberry jam, but any will do. It goes without saying the best choice would be a homemade jam, in my opinion.
I would’ve preferred cherry jam, but I had too few cherries to make any. So, I consoled my craving by using them as photoshoot prop!
Line the baking tray with parchment or Silpat as the filling does tend to ooze out. When that happens, simply scrape it out before you serve the pop tarts.
Variations of pop tarts
Kellogg’s has over 20 types of pop-tarts because you can keep on experimenting with fillings. So, go ahead, and let your imagination run free. Use any jam you love.
Not a jam fan? Add Nutella to the pop tarts. Fill it with peanut butter and chocolate chips. Or go healthier and add in bananas or an apple cinnamon filling.
You can even try savory pop tarts. Skip the sugar in the dough and fill them with cheese, sautéed mushrooms, minced chicken or paneer!
If you want to make gluten free version, just use the pastry dough for my Plum Galette.
For a vegan version, use the pasty I used in my Mulberry Crumble Pie!
Garnishing the Tarts
I used the littlest amount of sugar for the pop tart’s dough. The touch of sweetness they do have comes from the strawberry jam.
And to balance even that out (we’re not big on overtly sweet treats in my home), I garnished the tarts with a lemon glaze. The tempting tang of the lemon juice mixed with icing sugar was just the kick the pop tarts needed.
For the final touch, I added some colourful sprinkles on top and served them a snack. Sprinkles do make everything better!
I hope these deliciously crispy and flaky easy pop tarts make it to your table and delight your family!
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