These tender, flaky pastries are unlike the cardboard style you will find in your grocer’s cereal section. While they resemble those of the “Pop” style, they are full of flavor, buttery and bursting with real fruits. Pick and choose your fillings–even go “nuts” and add a nut butter or even chocolate along with your favorite preserves. The combinations are endless and will be left up to your imagination. I think I may try a cherry, lime mint next! These are a little work, but easy if you have a food processor. Well worth the effort when you hear all of the positive comments from “the peanut gallery.”
2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, cold and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
4 – 5 Tbsp ice water
½ tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup strawberry preserves, divided (or other preserves of choice)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp half and half, plus more as needed
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Colored sugar for sprinkling
In a food processor pulse flour, salt and granulated sugar. Add butter and pulse mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add 4 Tbsp water and apple cider vinegar; pulse several times, add remaining 1 Tbsp water if dough doesn’t combine. Gather dough into a ball then divide into two portions. Shape each portion into about a 5-inch disk. Cover each with plastic wrap and chill 1 hour.
Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with 1 disk at a time roll dough onto a floured surface to about 13 by 11-inch rectangle (when edges start to crack when rolling, seal and continue rolling).Trim edges to get a 12 by 10-inch rectangle (to even the edges). Then cut into eight 5 by 3-inch rectangles (cut in half vertically then three cuts horizontally).
Arrange 4 of the rectangles, spaced evenly apart on prepared baking sheet. Spread 1 1/2 Tbsp of jam evenly down the center of each rectangle, leaving about a 3/4-inch rim on all sides uncoated; sprinkle with cinnamon. Top each with another rectangle, then seal edges with your fingertips, then reseal with a fork. Poke the top center of each tart about 4 times with a toothpick. Cover and transfer to freezer to chill at least 2 hours or up to one week. Repeat process with remaining disk of dough.
Position one oven rack near top third of the oven and a second oven rack near bottom third of the oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake frozen tarts until golden, rotating racks once halfway through baking, about 25 – 30 minutes (some of the filling may leak out, which is fine, just peel it off once it cools). Allow to cool on baking sheet 10-15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
In a small mixing bowl whisk together all icing ingredients. Add more half and half a little at a time to reach desired consistency. Spread over tops of cooled pop tarts, leaving a small rim uncoated around all sides. Sprinkle tops with colored sugar if desired, allow glaze to set at room temperature. Store in an airtight container. Makes 8