Sunday, April 29, 2018

Homemade Pop Tarts

New ideas come from the internet and new recipes do as well. I realize that once a fantastic thing pops up in the way of recipes, several posts from various bloggers of the same item will follow. I usually wait until the popularity subsides. After all, no one is interested in reviewing several posts at one time representing the same thing.

I have been holding back on making Joanne Chang's pop tarts for some time. After making them, I can really understand why this recipe is such a favorite on the net. The filling can be made or jam can be purchased, but the real winning component is the pate brisee or pastry crust. Based on the buttery and flaky result, I have decided that this recipe is my "go to" when it comes to making any pastry or pies.

You can make a homemade filling or buy one that is pre-made, such as jam or canned pie filling. The picture above is with an apple filling. The recipe below contains only the homemade crust instructions. The purchased jam or pie filling has instructions on how to use the component for the tarts. The recipe makes 8 pop tarts or one 9 inch double crust pie. The dough has to chill for at least 4 hours before forming, so take this into consideration when planning.

Homemade Pop Tarts
adapted from Flour by Joanne Chang

Ingredients/Pate Brisee
3 tbs milk
2 egg yolks
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup or 2 sticks of butter (cubed into 12 pieces)
1 lightly beaten egg

1 cup of purchased filling of choice (jam, pie filling...)

2-3 tbs water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners sugar

Start by making the dough. Fill the bowl of a food processor with the flour, sugar and salt. Pulse the ingredients about 10 times to evenly distribute. Drop in chunks of butter and pulse again, minimizing the butter into pea sized chunks. Do not pulse until smooth.

Fill a small bowl with the 2 egg yolks and milk. Whisk together. Pour mixture into the butter/flour blend. Pulse a few times, making sure the liquid is mixed into the dough. Gather the dough together into a mound and place on parchment paper on a flat surface.

At this time, you will turn the butter chunks in the dough into streaks. Slide your palm down the sides of the mound, smearing the butter into the dough. Fold the dough and form another mound. Follow the same process, smearing the butter into streaks. Once it is cohesive and streaked with butter, form dough into a flat disc (about 1 inch thick) and cover with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours or a maximum of 4 days.

After the chilling time is complete, remove the dough and divide in half. Place one half on lightly floured parchment paper. Cover and return the other half to the refrigerator until ready to use. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Roll dough into a 14x11 inch rectangle. Cut rectangle into 8 pieces, measuring about 3 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a sheet of waxed paper on a flat surface. Put a cooling rack over the wax paper.Transfer 4 pieces of the dough to the baking sheet, spacing evenly. Brush the surface of the 4 pieces with the beaten egg.

Place about 2 tablespoons of jam or filling onto the center of each of the 4 pieces. Spread filling out evenly, but leave about a 1/2 inch border. Place the remaining 4 cut pieces of dough on top of the the others that have the filling on top. Using your fingers, press down on all the edges of the dough to seal the 2 pieces together.

Put baking sheet in oven and bake until pastries are golden brown. This should take about 40-45 minutes, but check at the 35 minute interval to insure that they do not get too brown. Remove baking sheet, place on rack and let pastries cool for about 30 minutes. Then transfer to rack to cool completely. Repeat the same process of preparing and forming pastries with the additional dough in the refrigerator.

Prepare the glaze by sifting the confectioner's sugar into a bowl. Then whisk in vanilla extract and 1 tsp of water. Add water until desired consistency is met for drizzling or glazing. Brush the surface of the cooled pop tarts with the glaze and let set for 15 minutes to allow the glaze to dry.

Tips and Notes:
1. Make sure the filling you are using is fairly thick, so it will not run when put on pastry dough.

2. The dough is very flaky, so it is important that the roll-out thickness of the dough is consistent.

3. Be very careful when transferring tarts to rack, they are fragile until completely cooled.

4. If the dough starts to stick when forming and rolling, place back in the refrigerator to cool and dust surface and rolling pin with more flour.

5. Depending on the filling, the glaze can be flavored with a complimentary extract (other than vanilla) such as lemon, cinnamon...etc.

                              **LAST YEAR:Brazilian Ombre Cake**