Homemade Strawberry Pop Tarts

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Homemade strawberry pop tarts made with strawberry preserves and flaky pastry. So much better than store-bought!

Spring is here, at least according to my calendar and not the snow falling outside. And one thing that spring means to me is more abundant fresh berries, something that I get very excited about. I also get very excited about turning pre-packaged and over-processed foods into something homemade and wholesome.

Thus, these homemade pop tarts filled with strawberry preserves.

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I made a mini batch of preserves just for the occasion and it was amazing. On a whim I threw in half a vanilla bean while it was simmering and something magical happened. I almost ditched the pop tart plan altogether in favor of spooning all of the strawberry preserves straight into my mouth.

But reason prevailed, and I let the preserves cool while I rolled out the pie crust I had chilling in the fridge.

While spooning the preserves onto squares of pastry, I think it went something like this: spoon for pop tart… spoon for me… spoon for pop tart… spoon for me.

The pop tarts came out of the oven looking beautiful and smelling even better. It was hard waiting to try one until they had cooled enough to handle with my hands.

A dusting of powdered sugar finished them off, and then it was time to sample!

These were great, amazing even. But I don’t really feel like they fit the bill of a pop tart. They are more like a hand pie. This isn’t a negative thing, there was nothing wrong with them, except that that their name is a little misleading. The pie crust is buttery and flaky and perfect for pie, but when I think of a pop tart, I think of something a little sturdier, something that might hold up in a toaster. So I plan to try them again with a crust more like a sweet tart dough and see what happens. I’ll keep you posted.

I don’t mean to dissuade you from making these, however. I promise these are sublime, and you won’t regret it. They may not take you back to the pop tarts of your youth, but they’ll take you some place much better.

Strawberry Pop Tarts

These homemade strawberry pop tarts made with strawberry preserves and flaky pastry are so much better than store-bought!

Ingredients:

Strawberry Preserves:

  • 2 cups (335 grams) sliced strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest

Strawberry Pop Tarts:

  • 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 4-5 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten (for egg wash
  • 1 cup (340 grams) strawberry preserves (recipe above, or use store-bought)
  • 1 cup (113 grams) powdered sugar
  • About 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Rainbow sprinkles

Directions:

To make the preserves:

  1. Put the strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar in a medium sauce pan and set over medium high heat. Stir and mash with a potato masher or large fork and bring to a boil. Boil for about 2-3 minutes until sugar is dissolved and combined with the mashed strawberries.
  2. Reduce heat to medium low. Continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened. Add vanilla extract and orange/lemon zest.
  3. Cool to room temperature before spooning onto the prepared pastry squares. Any leftovers may be stored in the fridge for a few weeks.

To make the pop tarts:

  1. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add the cubed butter and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter, fork, or your fingers. Continue until the mixture resembles coarse sand and the butter is the size of small peas. Add the cold water a tablespoon at a time, mixing until the dough comes together into a ball. Divide into two and form each into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the preserves if making from scratch. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  3. Remove one disk of dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a large rectangle about to about 1/8th inch thick. Trim so edges are straight. Cut into 8 5x3-inch rectangles. Repeat with second disk. Gather trimmed dough scraps together and re-roll as needed.
  4. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons of the preserves onto the pastry squares and cover with the remaining pastry squares. Press all edges together with your fingers to seal, then use a fork to double seal. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops of the pastries. Place on sheet pans lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  5. Bake the pop tarts until golden, about 25-30 minutes.
  6. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. To make the frosting, whisk together powdered sugar and heavy cream to make a thick but pour-able consistency. To make the frosting pink, add a spoonful of remaining strawberry preserves.
  8. Spread over cooled pop tarts and sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles. Frosting should set up in about 20 minutes, or more quickly if chilled in the fridge.
Notes: To make ahead: Pie crust can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days and in the freezer for a month or more. Preserves can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks. Assembled unbaked pop tarts can be stored in the freezer for a few weeks. No need to thaw before baking.
Adapted from Bon Appetit.

Have you tried this recipe?

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