Homemade Pop-Tarts are something I really enjoy making. They take a little bit of work, but I think they’re well worth it. My kid’s are always having friends sleep over and their friends will sometimes request that I make these for breakfast. I can’t say no to that, so hopefully they sleepover on a night where I don’t have to work the next day. But if I do, I can put the entire thing together and refrigerate them overnight. In the morning my wife just needs to put them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. Not like a regular Pop-Tart that just gets put in the toaster, but it’s worth the extra time.
The first thing I did to make the Homemade Pop Tarts was make the strawberry filling. To do this I whisked some cornstarch and water in a saucepan and then added some strawberry preserves. I turned on the heat under the saucepan, brought it to a boil, and then let it simmer for just a couple minutes. After the strawberry filling was done simmering I let it cool off while I got started on the dough.
I made the dough for the Homemade Pop Tarts with flour, sugar, salt, some butter cut in with a Pastry Blender, as well as some milk and an egg mixed in. Then I separated the dough into two pieces and rolled out one piece into a big rectangle, a little larger than 9 x 12 inches. Then I measured it out and cut off the ends so I had a rectangle of dough that was exactly 9 x 12 inches. I used a pizza cutter, but was very careful not to cut into my counter top. I measured the dough and notched the ends so I would be able to cut it into nine 3 x 4 inch rectangles. Now that I had individual pieces of dough I transferred those to a baking sheet that I already lined with parchment paper.
The next thing I did was whisk an egg and brush it onto the rectangles of pastries. Then I added a spoonful of the strawberry mixture and spread it over each piece, while making sure to leave a quarter inch border free of any strawberry filling. I rolled the second piece of dough out and repeated the steps so I had nine more 3 x 4 inch rectangles to put over the first pieces with the strawberry filling. Then I used the tines of a fork to seal the edges of the pop tarts. No matter how hard I try to line up the top pieces of dough to the bottom I’m always left with a little unevenness after I seal the edges with the fork. So what I do is grab the pizza cutter again and gently trim off the uneven edges.
The final thing I did to the Homemade Pop Tarts was poke some holes on the top with a fork. The first time I made these I skipped this step. I worked so hard to make these pastries look so nice; I couldn’t bring myself to stab them with a fork. Well the reason for those little holes is to let steam escape when they’re baking. Without those holes the strawberry filling will leak out the sides. The next time I baked these I realized that pop tarts with some fork holes look so much better than pop tarts with the filling blown out the sides. Three rows of fork holes spaced out evenly on top is the final step.
I put the pastries in the refrigerator for half an hour while I preheated the oven. Then I baked them for about twenty-five minutes, just until the tops were lightly browned. Once out of the oven I let them cool off for five minutes before I served them.
These can definitely be made with different flavors or with a glaze on top but I’ve only made them with a strawberry filling and nothing on top. If I were to do a glaze I would just make one with milk and powdered sugar to drizzle on top. I think they’re great without the glaze though.
If you don’t have a pastry blender I would recommend getting one. This is the one I have and it’s very inexpensive. It will make it easy to combine cold butter into the flour mixture not only for this recipe, but for other pastry recipes as well.
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker