Friday, 28 September 2012

Strawberry Pop Tarts.

Do you know...I haven’t eaten pop tarts for a good 10 years. Now I won’t dwell on how scary it is that I am now somehow old enough these days to talk about how things in terms decades. I mean, I know I’ve only really got 2 to consider and maybe someday I’ll be able to say I haven’t had a pop tart for 50 years...though let’s hope I don’t let such a foolish thing as that happen....but doing or not doing something for 10 whole years...well it kind of indicates that at some point I must have stopped being 17....and I’m not comfortable with such a fact. But anyway, I said I wouldn’t dwell....oh god I’m ooooold...STOP DWELLING.

So yes...pop tarts. I have particularly vivid memories of eating them in bed...the spare room bed for some reason, when I had a poorly day off school. It’s very white and sunny. And there’s strawberry pop tarts. Goodness me I’ve got a wandery mind today...CONCENTRATE, anyway, I don’t think I’ve eaten them since then and the other day I was ‘Edinburgh wandering’ (yes it is its own verb) and a Canadian pal of mind and I found ourselves in one of those American sweet know, where everything is brightbright pink or green and they have boxes of cereal for£8...seriously.

They also had pop tarts....even s’mores ones....for £5.50. FIVE POUNDS FIFTEY. Goodness me...they’re not even real food. So needless to say I didn’t buy any because that would have been utter crazyness. Thankfully however I am in possession of friends that don’t think spending such sums on treats is mental and that very evening, totally by coincidence, I was fed cinnamon pop tarts and ice cream.

Pop tarts and I were reunited and now we’re in love. Ok not in LOVE because you spend silly amounts of money on people/things you love for no other reason than that you love them and I still am not prepared to do that, so I made my own, aaaaand they’re sooooooo much more lovable than foil packaged ones that I reckon I could get away with charging £5 just for 2 and I’ll become a pop tart squillionaire. Form an orderly queue. With Love and Cake.

Strawberry Pop Tarts.
A mish mash of recipes from smittenkitchen and Bakeat350

A few notes:
  • Do feel free to mix it up and try making your own fav could go chocolatey and fill with Nutella, or maybe some cinnamon sugar for a very breakfasty feel. If I try any variations I shall of course let you know.
  • You could miss out the boiling of the jam bit and use jam straight out of the jar but if you've got the spare 5 minutes I'd do it; it just gives a texture that is less likely to run and make a mess.
  • I've kind of been vague about the topping so you can do want you like the look of best; I melted white chocolate with a splash of cream to drizzle on half of mine and for the rest I mixed some left over strawberry filling with a tiny splash of water, a few spoons of icing sugar and a few drops of red food colouring to make a sort of glaze.
Makes 10-12
You will need

2 baking sheets, greased and floured

For the pastry
300g plain flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
220g butter, cold from the fridge
4-6 tbsp cold water

For the filling
3tbsp strawberry jam
1/2 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp water
1 egg, beaten

For the topping (see note)
white chocolate, melted with a splash of cream
left over strawberry filling
1 tbsp icing sugar
2 tsp water
a few drops red food colouring
  • First we must make the pastry. Pulse together the flour and sugar in a food processor (or sift into a bowl).
  • Then add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs (or rub in with your finger tips).
  • Add 4 tbsps of cold water and pulse until a soft dough forms, adding more water if necessary.
  • Remove the dough from the processor, split into 2 halves and form each half gently into a disc. Wrap each disc in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for around 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, pop your jam in a little saucepan with the cornflour and water and boil together for a minute or 2; until the mixture is syrupy and shiny.
  • Transfer the jewel coloured mix to a bowl and chill in the fridge.
  • When your pastry's nice and chilled, roll the first half out thinly onto a floured surface. I used the clingfilm it was wrapped in to cover the pastry as I rolled, to stop the rolling pin sticking which worked well.
  • Then cut pop tart sized rectangles out of the dough (I'd say that means around 10cmx15cm).
  • Gather up the remaining edges of the pastry, roll out again and cut more rectangles. Keep going like this until all the pastry is used up.
  • Lay half of the rectangles on your baking sheets and brush beaten egg around the edges.
  • Spoon 1-2 tsps of the jam mix onto each rectangles and spread out leaving a border of around 5mm.
  • Top each of these jammy rectangles with a plain pastry rectangle and press gently around the edges to seal the pastry together.
  • Go around the edges with a fork pressing down firmly to add prettyness and to be sure the edges are properly fused together.
  • Use the fork to prick a few holes in the top of each pop tart and leave to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Repeat the whole process with the second half of the pastry.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°c.
  • Bake the pop tarts for 25-30 minutes until just starting to bronze around the edges.
  • Leave to cool on a wire wrack.
  • Either eat as they are or drizzle with melted white chocolate or a bit of the leftover jam diluted with icing sugar, water and red colouring (see notes).
  • Breakfast like a queen...albeit not a very British one.

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