Homemade Pop Tarts!
For the record, I am so tired of listening to myself talk about how tired I am. Lately it is so hard finding the inspiration to get into the kitchen and cook. Which is weird, because it is prime baking weather: dark, grey, wet. I should be tearing the kitchen apart. But instead (when not tearing up Delancey’s kitchen), I find myself slouched in front of the TV watching reruns of 90210. But a couple of days ago, I was hit hard (thanks Huong!) with an idea: homemade pop tarts. Bite-sized fruit-filled flakey happiness. OK, I know traditional pop tarts aren’t flakey, but if I’m gonna recreate, why not improve? Since it’s apple season galore in Washington, I decided to go with that as a filling.
I made a pie dough using the smear technique, making butter chunks a little smaller than usual. My goal was to have a flakey dough, but to keep the flakes a little tight. I also wanted to keep the apple filling really bright, so I decided to put the cinnamon (because you can’t have apple pop tarts without cinnamon) in the dough.
While my dough rested in the fridge, I started working on the apple filling. I diced the apples up pretty small in hopes of having a flatter pop tart.
Then I sauteed them in butter, sugar and vanilla. After they started to take on a bit of color I poured in some apple cider. I cooked them on medium high heat, until the cider reduced to a glaze. I poured the cooked apples on a tray and placed them in the fridge to cool.
I rolled the dough pretty thin (slightly under 1/8″) and sliced it into squares. I piled some apples onto half of the squares.
I cinched the two pieces together with a fork and poked holes in the top. I brushed butter on and popped them into the oven.
I baked them until they were golden brown and let them cool while I made the glaze. Which was hard because they smelled like pure heaven.
I poured on a glaze of powdered sugar and apple cider and let it set up. And then me and John tore into these little flake bombs. He says they remind him more of toaster strudels, but I will admit that I have never experienced one of those. Either way, I am very excited that I finally got my butt back in the kitchen. Because these guys were worth it.
APPLE POP TARTS RECIPE:
9 oz pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
6 oz cold butter, chopped
3 oz water
– Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Dump onto pastry board.
– Place half of the butter on the flour mixture. Using a bench scraper, cut the butter into the flour until it is pea sized chunks.
– Place the other half of the butter onto the flour mixture. Using the bench scraper, cut the rest of the butter into the flour until it is in bean sized chunks.
– Use fingers to flick the water into the flour mixture while tossing it around with the bench scraper. Keep sprinkling until it comes together in a shaggy pile. It should hold together as a dough when pinched.
– Using the heel of your hand, smear the dough on the pastry board. This creates sheets of butter in the flour, which turns into gorgeous flakes in the oven.
– Smash the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic and place it in the fridge to rest.
3 medium apples, diced into 1/4″ pieces
2 oz butter
1/2 vanilla bean
2 TBSP sugar
1/2 apple cider
– Heat the butter and vanilla bean seeds in a skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and sugar and cook until the apples start to take on a bit of color.
– Add the cider and cook over medium high heat until the cider reduces to a glaze.
– Spread the apples on a sheet pan and place in fridge to cool.
Assemble and bake:
– Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
– Roll out the dough and slice into squares.
– Spoon piles of apples onto half of the squares.
– Cinch edges together with a fork and poke holes in top.
– Brush on melted butter and bake until golden brown.
– Mix 3/4 cup powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of apple cider. Whisk together and pour into cooled pop tarts.