Monday, January 3, 2011

First recipe of 2011! Pop Tarts!

So a friend had a homemade pop tart at a restaurant over the weekend and posted a pic on facebook. Now I had seen them before and wanted to try them, but kept forgetting. When I saw the pic, it was a sign and I decided I must make them.

First step on any new idea is to google. And when I googled homemade pop tarts, I found a bunch of wonderful ideas. But the one that REALLY helped (and is basically what I did) was a blog called Smitten Kitchen.

But here's what I did:
1. I took a jar of strawberry preserves that I made earlier in the year and heated them on the stove. I then mixed in 1 Tbs of cornstarch (the blog recommended mixing it w 1 Tbs of water but I used a Tbs of the thin preserve liquid so that I wouldn't weaken the flavor at all) and let it simmer for a couple minutes. Make sure you stir it the whole time. I didn't and mine started to scorch just a bit, but not enough to ruin the taste. The cornstarch will make it thicken a bit more so that it's closer to the consistency that's in a pop tart.

2. I am a notoriously bad pie crust maker. So, since the recipe uses a pie crust like exterior, I thought I'd try out my store brand, refrigerated pie crust. Smitten Kitten has lovely, clear directions on how thick to roll it out and what size to cut it. I just unrolled the pie dough and cut it with a pizza roller into a rough idea of the size I thought felt pop tarty. I got two full pop tarts out of one pie crust. With time, I can probably get three out of one, but I didn't even try to stretch it.

*when you stretch your dough out and cut out the tarts, make sure you put it on wax paper or parchment or it'll stick*

3. Brush the inside of the bottom with a beaten egg, put about a Tablespoon of the filling in the middle, and put the top on (I cut mine into long rectangles so that I could just fold them). Then close all the sides with your fingers and go back over them crimping the edges with a fork.

4. Poke the top with a fork to keep them from puffing up too much. Brush the top with beaten egg and add colored sugar, if you want. You can also glaze them after baking with a mixture of milk and powdered sugar, but I didn't try that this time (but I sure will be next time). Once you've done the egg and sugar thing, put them in the fridge for about a half hour.

5. Bake at 350 for about 20 min.
They were definitely good and pretty easy. I wanna fiddle with them some more though. The pie crust needs just a bit more sugar for my tastes, but I also realize that I am a sugar fiend. I also wanna make like a slew of different jams to use in the fillings too.