OK, maybe not gourmet, but homemade and oh so much better than the ones from the box! These are a little labor intensive, but fun to share and really tasty so I think worth the effort for a special occasion!
Last weekend I enjoyed my yearly “chef retreat” with some of my dearest friends. Each year a new person or two joins the mix to add to the fun and this year I was so excited to meet chef Coco Jacobs from San Francisco. She always cooks the most amazing ethnic foods for her clients so I love her recipes, and she loves to bake!
While at the lake, she made these home made pop tarts to share for breakfast. They were adorable, and DELISH so I made my own for my family this week.
Coco uses an all butter pate sucre recipe, but I used the famous Foolproof Pie Dough, made with vodka that I discovered from America’s Test Kitchens. Love that dough! Make sure all the ingredients are really cold and that the pastry rests in the fridge for at least 30 minutes since it is a soft dough. It will be much easier to roll and pick up!
Coco suggested using a nice fruit conserve or cool jam vs. using fresh fruit like you do for a pie or tart because the fresh fruit is too juicy and needs to cook awhile to thicken which would be messy!
With the bounty of local blueberries, I made my own conserve and cooked 6 cups of blueberries with 1 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch, about 3/4 cup of sugar, a dusting of cinnamon and a good squeeze of lemon juice over medium heat for about 20 minutes until the berries had melted down and the sauce thickened. (This was enough for a double batch of pop tarts or a single batch and a family who cannot keep spoons out of the bowl, and some sundaes made with said filling over vanilla ice cream…) I let it cool while I made and chilled my pastry dough.
To assemble, divide the pastry into two rounds as you would for a pie, roll one half into a rectangle about 8″ x 16″ on a well floured board. You want the pastry thin because you will have two layers of it and you want to taste the filling!
Cut the rectangle into 4, 4″ strips (4″ x 8″) and transfer to a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. (This was the tricky part as my pastry was soft, and I considered rolling it directly on the parchment or Silpat next time.)
Place 2 Tb. of filling on the lower half, flip the top of the strip over to cover and then using a fork, crimp and seal them all the way around.
Bake at 400º for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is nicely golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
To glaze, mix about 1 c. of confectioners sugar with 1/2 tsp. of almond extract (this flavor MAKES them!) and then a little dribble of milk to make a thick glaze. Coat each tart with glaze when they are cool and I used some colored sprinkles on mine, well, because Coco did! They are really cute!
This is really a “concept” recipe with plenty of room for creativity with fillings. I am hoping Coco may chime in here with suggestions to improve my technique, but I have to say thanks to one very cool lady for sharing such a fun and delicious treat with me! My family thanks you!
Please visit Coco’s website to learn more about her business!