Monday, February 2, 2009

Homemade Lingonberry Jam Poptarts

Don't buy poptarts -- make you own! Why not? They are so easy, and even though they still don't qualify as health food, surely they are better than the over processed ones you buy from the store. The kids and I have always made them any time we have leftover pie crust (I always make a double crust, even for a single crust pie, the left over half has so many possibilities.) Alton Brown even did a poptart tutorial on his show Good Eats -- I think making your own poptarts are the new 'in' thing, I'm seeing them everywhere, and whenever I do, I feel the need to make some more of our own! I have nothing against the "real" poptarts -- but if you want to have some fun in the kitchen give these a try.

You can use any pie crust recipe you like, but you should start with one you know is pretty easy to roll and work with. For these lingonberry poptarts I used Tyler Florence's basic pie pastry recipe...

Basic Pie Pastry:

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, zested (I used a 1/2 teaspoon dried lemon zest)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed (I ended up using about 6

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk and ice water and work that in with your hands. (Or do the whole thing in a food processor, pulsing a couple of times to combine the dry ingredients, then pulsing in the butter, and then the egg.)

Check the consistency of the dough by squeezing a small amount together between thumb and forefingers: You want there to be just enough moisture to bind the dough so that it holds together without being too wet or sticky. If it's still crumbly, add a little more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time.

When you get it to the right consistency, shape the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic. Put it in the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes.


Each batch of pie crust will yield 6-8 poptarts. Just roll out to about 1/4 inch thick (maybe a touch thicker) on a prepared baking sheet and cut with a pizza cutter or sharp knift into a rectangle shape.

Then cut into large sections from top to bottom, you will be folding these over so make them twice as long as you want your poptarts. Don't worry about each piece being perfectly even, I didn't, as you can see below :)

Spread some jam on each half of the dough, and fold the non-jammed side over.
Seal the edges of your poptarts with a fork, and the bake in a 350 oven for about 12 minutes, you will have to watch from there, it really depends on your pan whether it is single ply or double ply (aka insulated) I prefer insulated sheets to do poptarts on so the bottoms don't get overly brown. They could take as long as 17 minutes -- it also depends on the pie crust recipe you use. Just keep the oven light on and peek through the door and when you see the edges getting light golden brown take them out of the oven.

Cool them on the pan for a few minutes and then carefully remove them to a cooling rack with a spatula or flipper.

To make the icing use about 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablspoon milk. Stir together, if it is too dry add milk about 1 teaspoon at a time while stirring until you get a smooth slightly thick but spreadable icing. This is easy to do in a mug with a fork. You don't really even have to measure, just eyeball it.

Have your sprinkles or nonpariels ready and spread the tops of the poptarts with icing and sprinkle the tops with sprinkles before you go on to frosting the next poptart. If you try to frost them all at once before adding sprinkles the icing will harden just enough to make the sprinkles not stick.
This is such a fun and easy activity to get the kids in the kitchen. Keep some prepared pie crust in the fridge and let the kids pick their favorite jam or other fillings and their own sprinkles and let them help along the way. They will love their personalized homemade pop tarts!

Update: I just noticed my Blogging By Mail friend Shaheen at The Purple Foodie made some delicious looking strawberry poptarts with fresh strawberries -- yum! Go check them out, I bet you will definitely want to make you own poptarts after seeing those :)


Natashya said...

You are so clever! They look just like store bought pop tarts.
(except not made out of moderated food products!)

Debinhawaii said...

They look exactly like a Pop Tart--but much better! How fun!

ThePurpleFoodie said...

Wow Andrea, your pop tarts looks awesome! And I'm so envious of your posting regularity. I reallly need a break from work!

AmyRuth said...

So impressive, I've never seen hand made Pop Tarts.
Who knew? You are a smart one. You have the luckiest little sweeties ever. Great work.

Spryte said...

Wow!! Homemade PopTarts!! Yum!!

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