Stuffed with jam, topped with lemon glaze and sprinkles, these enchanting, comforting and cute easy pop tarts are irresistibly good. You’ll never wish for the store-bought versions again!
Sometime back the kids acquired a taste for Kellogg’s Pop Tarts, and since then they’ve been hankering for the breakfast pastries. I, on the other hand, am not a huge fan of sucrose dipped treats eaten out of a cardboard box.
The long and short of it, we reached a compromise. Instead of buying Kellogg’s legendary version, I made them at home.
Call them jam-filled hand pies, call them jam tarts or call them pop tarts; they are still a rectangle, flaky pastries with a layer of sweet jam filling – adorably cute to look at and more than enough to bring a smile to everyone’s faces.
Needless to say, they were a tremendous hit!
How to Make Pop Tarts?
The kids adored the perfectly tender and flaky pop tarts because they were a far cry from the boxed kind.
I loved it because, unlike what the world tells you, pastry making is not a formidable art. You take the simplest of ingredients and with a few tricks make something absolutely satisfying – so much so that the husband had three of them!
I recommend making the pastry dough a night before. It’ll turn the rest of the process a breeze. Mix flour with a tiny bit of sugar and then cut with chilled cubes of butter. Add in ice-cold water and then bring it together into a smooth dough.
Divide the dough into two, cover it with cling wrap and refrigerate it. I left it overnight, of course, but you can give it just an hour.
Assembling the pies
After the dough is chilled, roll them out in two rectangles. Mine looked more like a world map, but that’s the joy and beauty of real baking. You don’t have to be a perfectionist like a pastry chef. It’s about the fun along the way and the taste; which, if I may, was nirvanic.
Cut equal rectangles in the rolled dough with a pizza cutter or sharp knife. You can eyeball it, but I used a scale to keep them somewhat even in size. Plop a bit of jam on half the rectangles, wet the edges, and then cover them with the remaining rectangles.
Baking the tarts
Seal the two layers of pastry dough of each pop tart with your fingers. Then use a fork to crimp the edges well so that no jam oozes out while the oven does it work.
Using a toothpick make 4 or 5 holes in each rectangle and then slide them in the fridge.
Yes, the refrigerator not the oven because the secret to flaky, buttery pastry is chilled dough. When they are sufficiently cold, bake till golden brown!
When making the dough, the butter has to be chilled and cut in small cubes. The same goes for the flour and water, if needed, add ice cubes.
Don’t overwork the dough. Instead of kneading, work it till it feels sticky and moist. Not dry.
For the filling, I used store bought strawberry jam, but any will do. It goes without saying the best choice would be a homemade jam, in my opinion.
I would’ve preferred cherry jam, but I had too few cherries to make any. So, I consoled my craving by using them as photoshoot prop!
Line the baking tray with parchment or Silpat as the filling does tend to ooze out. When that happens, simply scrape it out before you serve the pop tarts.
Variations of pop tarts
Kellogg’s has over 20 types of pop-tarts because you can keep on experimenting with fillings. So, go ahead, and let your imagination run free. Use any jam you love.
Not a jam fan? Add Nutella to the pop tarts. Fill it with peanut butter and chocolate chips. Or go healthier and add in bananas or an apple cinnamon filling.
You can even try savory pop tarts. Skip the sugar in the dough and fill them with cheese, sautéed mushrooms, minced chicken or paneer!
If you want to make gluten free version, just use the pastry dough for my Plum Galette.
For a vegan version, use the pasty I used in my Mulberry Crumble Pie!
Garnishing the Tarts
I used the littlest amount of sugar for the pop tart’s dough. The touch of sweetness they do have comes from the strawberry jam.
And to balance even that out (we’re not big on overtly sweet treats in my home), I garnished the tarts with a lemon glaze. The tempting tang of the lemon juice mixed with icing sugar was just the kick the pop tarts needed.
For the final touch, I added some colourful sprinkles on top and served them a snack. Sprinkles do make everything better!
I hope these deliciously crispy and flaky easy pop tarts make it to your table and delight your family!
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Easy Pop Tarts
- 125 gms Wholewheat flour
- 125 gms All purpose flour
- 125 gms Butter, chilled, cut into cubes I used salted butter
- 1 tsp Castor sugar / powdered sugar
- 5-6 tbsp Chilled Water
- 2-3 tbsp Strawberry jam
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice
- 3-4 tbsp A handful of ice
- Sprinkles, Optional
- Combine the flours and sugar in a large bowl. Rub the chilled butter in the mixture, using your fingertips. When it resembles coarse breadcrumbs, add iced cold water, 1 Tbsp at a time, just enough to bind the dough. It can be a bit a scraggy at this point but don’t worry, it will come together. Using the palm of your hand, push the dough away from you 4-5 times until its smooth.
- Divide the dough into 2. Flatten each half into a disk. Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. This should rest for at least an hour.
- When you’re ready to bake, keep a Silpat or parchment paper-lined baking tray handy and preheat the oven to 180C.
- Working with one half at a time, unwrap the dough and flour your work surface well. Roll out the dough into a rough rectangle and cut into approximately 2.5" *3.5" rectangles. These could be smaller or bigger. Don't worry about trying to cut perfect rectangles.
- Once you've got all the rectangles cut out. Spoon 1.5 teaspoons of jam in the center of half of the rectangles. Spread it out a bit, leaving about 1/2" of the edges. Use a pastry brush or your fingers to wet the edges with water.
- Immediately place another rectangle ( without the jam) on top. Seal the edges with your fingertips and then use a fork to make an attractive pattern around each rectangle. This helps to seal the edges better.
- Prick each filled rectangles 4-6 times with a toothpick. Place the tray in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. I just put the tray in my freezer for 15 minutes.
- Bake the chilled/frozen tarts for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden brown on top. The filling may leak out, but don't worry, you can simply use a knife to cut it out.
- Once the pop tarts are ready, let them cool completely. Drizzle over some glaze and immediately top with sprinkles, if using. Let the glaze set, about 5 minutes. serve and enjoy!
- Combine lemon juice and icing sugar in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth and thick.