Sweet pastry makes me think of grandma's. It's the smell of an apple pie on the windowsill that you see in cartoons. It's a warm hug that just keeps coming. I'm always down for a pastry snuggle. Pop-Tarts are fun and they're different, and when you realize how easy they are to whip up at home, you're winning!
Technique Tip: Keep an eye on them as they bake until they are golden brown.
- 3 cups (1 pound, 2 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (3 ounces) powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1½ ounces) almond flour
- 2½ sticks (10 ounces) butter, cubed and chilled
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 egg yolk, then chilled
- 1-2 tablespoons ice-cold water
- all-purpose flour, for dusting
- 1/3 recipe quantity of Sweet Pastry (recipe above)
- 8 tablespoons strawberry jam
- 1 egg, beaten
- 5 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 4 teaspoons sugar sprinkles
For the sweet pastry:1.
Using your hands, a food processor or a stand mixer, combine the flour, powdered sugar, almond flour and butter. Either with your hands, rub the ingredients between your thumbs and fingertips; or in a food processor, use the pulse function; in a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment and add the butter a few cubes at a time. Whatever the method, keep going until you have fine breadcrumbs.2.
If you're working by hand, make a well in the center of the flour mixture, add the egg mixture, then the ice-cold water as necessary (just enough so that the dough starts to clump and bind) and work quickly to incorporate. If you're using a food processor or stand mixer, add the eggs, pulse or mix, then add the water a little at a time. Once the dough starts to clump, tip it out and bring it together briefly by hand. Don't overwork it, otherwise the pastry will be elastic, rather than crisp.3.
Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and form each into a ball. Press the balls with the palm of your hand to turn each into a fairly flat but fat disc (this will just help with rolling whenever you come to use the pastry). Wrap the pastry discs tightly in cling film and leave them in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes before using, or before freezing.
For the Pop-Tarts:1.
Lightly flour your work surface. Divide the pastry in half and roll out each piece to a large rectangle, about 1/8-inch-thick. Cut each pastry rectangle into 6 small rectangles (about 6 inches by 4 inches) to give you 12 rectangles of pastry altogether.2.
Put 1 rounded tablespoon of strawberry jam into the center of 6 of the rectangles and then gently spread it out using the back of the spoon, leaving about a 1/2-inch border all the way around the edge.3.
Using a pastry brush, lightly egg wash the border of each rectangle, around the jam, and place a plain rectangle on top, using a fork to seal the pastry edges together all the way around. Repeat for all the rectangles.4.
Using your brush again, egg wash the outside of your pastry parcels. Then, with a skewer, make 6 little holes on top of each pastry parcel (just so the steam can escape). Now you have Pop-Tarts!5.
Place the tarts on a baking tray lined with baking paper and chill them in the fridge for 25 minutes to firm up. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 F.6.
Once the tarts are chilled, bake them for 30 minutes, until just golden and a little crispy. Remove from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the topping:
Make the topping by tipping the powdered sugar into a bowl and adding water just a drop at a time, until you have a thick, smooth consistency.
Spread the icing over the cooled tarts, then scatter over the sugar sprinkles.
From "Poppy Cooks" by Poppy O'Toole. Copyright © 2021 Poppy O'Toole. Photography © 2021 Louise Hagger. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited