Who doesn’t love Pop Tarts? I promise you, one taste of these homemade Strawberry Pop Tarts and you’ll never buy the store bought variety again! This DIY version is even more delicious than the kind you grew up on! Significantly simpler to make than you’d imagine, and almost too cute to eat. Almost.
Homemade pie crust is rolled out and cut into the traditional Pop Tart rectangle shaped and filled with strawberry preserves. The beauty about these cute little tarts is that you can use whatever flavor filling you’d like! Next time I think I’ll whip up a cinnamon brown sugar batch. Cover and bake until crust is golden brown and top with a sweet glaze and of course sprinkles are a must! These taste just like the kind you had as a kid… except a lot better. Make a bunch and freeze, for busy mornings or when you’re just craving something sweet.
2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
3/4 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
1/2 cup ice water
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 Tablespoon milk, or more if needed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 small jar of strawberry jam
1. To make the pastry, mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add cold unsalted butter and shortening. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut the butter and shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Measure 1/2 cup of water in a glass. Add ice. Stir it around. Slowly drizzle in the very cold water 1 Tablespoon at a time, stirring with a large spatula after every Tablespoon of water that you add. Stop adding water when the dough begins to clump.
2. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface. Form the dough into a ball. Divide in half. Flatten each half into 1-inch thick discs using your hands. Wrap each tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
3. To assemble to pop tarts, remove 1 chilled dough disc from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. This will help make the dough easier to roll and work with. Keep the other disc in the refrigerator. After 15 minutes, place disc onto a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick and 9×12 inches in size. Trim the sides as needed. Always be gentle with your pastry dough. You don’t want it to tear. Cut each piece of dough into thirds and each third into thirds again. You will end up with 9 rectangles, each measuring 3×4 inches. Use a ruler to help make this process easier and more accurate.
4. Place each of the 9 rectangles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. The pop-tarts will not spread in the oven much, so you may place them relatively near one another. Place the baking sheet in the fridge. Roll 2nd disc out into a rectangle and cut into 9 even rectangles like you did with the first half of the dough. These nine rectangles will be the tops of your homemade pop-tarts.
5. Place 1 Tablespoon of strawberry jam on each rectangle and spread it around, leaving around 1/4 inch of space on the edges. Brush the second baking sheet of rectangles with egg wash, then place each rectangle on top of the filling-topped rectangles – egg wash side down. Use a fork to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides.
6. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Once unbaked pop-tarts have chilled for 20 minutes, remove from the refrigerator and brush the tops with the remaining egg wash. This egg wash will give your pastry that beautiful golden sheen. Bake for about 22-28 minutes or until they’re golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Let the baked pop-tarts cool on the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.
7. Make the glaze: whisk all of the glaze ingredients together in a medium bowl until it reaches a spreading consistency. You want a thick glaze, but not too thick that it is hard to spread. Add another teaspoon or two of milk if needed. Use a spoon or knife to glaze each pop-tart. The glaze will slightly harden in about an hour, if you prefer to wait that long.
8. Store pop-tarts in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 6 days. To reheat, bake in a 350F degree oven for 10 minutes.
Make ahead tip: Baked and unglazed pop-tarts freeze well, up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat as directed in step 9. I am unsure about reheating in a toaster.
*Recipe adapted from www.SallysBakingAddiction.com