Homemade Cherry Pop Tarts that are even better than store bought!
If I had to pick my top 5 nostalgic foods (not candy) from childhood, the list would be as follows:
- Swiss Cake Rolls
- Oatmeal Cream Pies
- Toaster Streudels
- Hamburger Helper
- Pop Tarts
Dang that’s a lot of preservatives.
Out of these five, there’s only one that I really ever crave nowadays, and that would be the Pop Tarts. Okay maybe sometimes I want a Swiss Cake Roll and Hamburger Helper. I never said I was perfect.
But Pop Tarts are the only one that I actually have eaten in the past 15 years.
Between backpacking and training for marathons, Pop Tarts have made their way into my current diet a few times. They were great for backpacking because they’re high in calories and are a nice little treat. They would also sometimes be my pre-long run fuel because they were easy to digest, full of calories and sugar, and delicious!
My favorite flavors are Frosted Strawberry, Frosted Cherry (mmm that pink frosting!), and Brown Sugar Cinnamon. Oh man, I could totally go for one of those silver packages right now, completed with a glass of milk. p.s. did anyone else eat their Pop Tarts toasted with butter? So bad, but so good.
Luckily for the sake of staying away from foods that stay preserved for years and years and years without rotting, I can now make my own and have that craving completely satisfied!
I have to say, when I had the thought of making homemade pop tarts, I didn’t think they could turn out as good as the packaged kind. There’s just something special that all of those preservatives add that really can’t be outdone.
I was totally, completely wrong. These homemade cherry pop tarts are WAY better than the packaged ones! When I mentioned to Marc that I thought they were “just as good” as real Pop Tarts, he said “no way…they are BETTER!”
The dough is a combination of butter and shortening, which helps give it buttery flavor but the shortening also gives it a soft yet crumbly texture, just like Pop Tarts. The filling is made with Bonne Maman Cherry Preserves which have super simple ingredients and are incredibly tasty! Even the store clerk checking me out at the grocery store noted “these are the best jams!” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
This post is sponsored by Bonne Maman, the best preserves in all the land, but all opinions are my own! Be sure to check out the giveaway o fa 12-piece Le Creuset set! Just click the banner below.
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour I always used unbleached
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into ½" pieces
- 6 tablespoons shortening
- 6 tablespoons ice cold water
- 1 large egg mixed with 2 tablespoons milk
For the filling:
- ¾ cup Bonne Maman Cherry Preserves
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon cold water
To make the dough:
- In a food large processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt.
- Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
- Add the water and pulse just until the dough starts to hold together. Don't over process.
- Remove dough from food processor and divide in half.
- Form each half into a disc and wrap each with plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.
To make the filling:
- In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon cold water.
- Whisk until smooth.
- Add the cherry preserves and heat over medium until it comes to a boil.
- Simmer stirring constantly for 2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let cool until ready to use.
To make the pop tarts:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to rest on the counter for 10-15 minutes.
- On a clean surface dusted with flour, roll the dough to about ?" thick large enough to cut into a large rectangle. You may also want to dust the dough with some flour before rolling.
- Cut the rectangle into 9 equal pieces by cutting two lines across on the long side and two lines down the short side side. Set aside scrap dough.
- Place the 9 individual pieces of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Beat together the egg and milk and brush the mixture all over the cut pastry pieces.
- Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each pastry.
- Roll out the second pastry disc to the same dimensions and cut into 9 individual pieces.
- Prick the dough with a fork, to create vent holes.
- Place each piece of vented dough over the filling. Press the edges together firmly with a fork to seal. Repeat until all pockets are formed.
- Brush the tops of the pockets with a little bit of the egg and milk mixture.
- Gather all remaining scraps of dough and divide in half. Roll out to ?" thick and cut into ~2-3 additional pop tarts.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove the pastries to a wire rack and cool.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.