Why, you ask, would anyone want to make homemade pop-tarts? Those are fake, factory foods filled with junk. Yes, they are. But the inspiration from pop-tarts was originally miniature pies or tarts made from pie ingredients. It’s just pie crust and pie filling. Pie was originally a breakfast food (probably why people still think Pop-tarts are, despite their ridiculous un-healthiness) because it contained very little sugar and a lot of fruit. Think about pumpkin pie, apple pie, fresh berry pies…they weren’t quite like they are today!
Anyway, with that inspiration in mind it’s pretty easy to see why you’d want to make Pop-tarts at home. Go back to the very simple, very low-sugar, high-nutrient convenience breakfast food that once was. And that was my goal.
It didn’t really work out as I’d planned, though. I’m sharing this with you actually in hopes that someone has some ideas on how to make this more workable. I plan to try again, but…man, this was hard to work with! I’ll explain after I tell you how to make this.
The original version of this recipe was posted for Bon Appetit magazine, but I’ve made it over with real food ingredients.
- 2 c. + 2 tbsp. sprouted flour (you could try using 1/2 unbleached white flour)
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. sucanat
- 2 sticks (1/2 c.) unsalted butter, cold
- 3 – 4 tbsp. ice water
Mix flour, salt, and sugar together. Cut butter into chunks and add it, using a pie crust blender or a fork, until large crumbs are formed.
Then, add water 1 tbsp. at a time until the dough comes together. At this point, refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but until you need it. I left mine overnight.
When you’re ready to work with it again, pull it out to soften slightly. It will take 20 – 30 min. at room temperature. You don’t want to leave it too long or it will become too soft to work with. There’s a sweet spot. This is also a very soft, delicate dough anyway so when you’re ready you will want to work on a well-floured surface and very quickly.
Roll out your dough into a large rectangle. Place the dough pieces either on a greased cookie sheet or on a sheet lined with parchment paper or baking mats. Top with 1 tbsp. of your desired filling (more on that in a minute).
Roll out more dough sheets and place them on top of the existing tarts. If it doesn’t quite fit, you can make it overlap or whatever you need to do. Mine didn’t look so pretty, either.
This dough is just really hard to work with. Harder than even all-purpose flour dough would be in the same style because the sprouted flour is just rather delicate. Pie crust is delicate, and sprouted flour is delicate. This led, at least for me, to a generally unworkable mess, even with a well-floured surface. I managed to get a few tarts complete, but then I just gave up. I also noted that the dough really wasn’t sweet enough, since the sprouted flour has a different, distinctive flavor that white flour doesn’t have.
Freeze (or at least refrigerate) the tarts for 2 hours before baking. You could choose to freeze several and bake them as needed.
Bake the tarts at 350 for 15 – 20 minutes, until the dough is done. Mine was still squishy in the center at first, so make sure you check!
Now, for fillings. You can make it easy on yourself and just use some type of jam, jelly, or preserves. Homemade would be great, but store-bought organic are good too. Then it’s no big deal at all.
(haha) You could try one of my homemade fillings! These are yummy and after I gave up on the dough, were made into crisps that were delicious.
- 2 c. cherries, pitted, frozen and thawed
- 3 tbsp. sucanat, divided
- 1 tbsp. arrowroot powder
The reason the cherries need to be frozen and thawed is because some of the juice will naturally separate from them during this process. If you already have some in the freezer, just set them in fridge overnight. Or you could buy frozen, organic cherries from the store. When you’re ready to make the filling, pour all the juice into a small saucepan (about 1/2 c.), and pour the cherries into a blender. To the cherries, add 1 tbsp. sucanat. To the juice, add 1 tbsp. arrowroot and 2 tbsp. sucanat. Blend the cherries until they are pureed (or slightly chunky, whatever you like best). Stir the cherry juice mix over medium heat just until it starts to bubble. Remove from heat and keep stirring. It will thicken and turn a dark, beautifully clear color. Add to this the pureed cherries and stir to combine. Cherry filling is done!
This filling came together in about two minutes for me. It is really very fast and easy.
- 6 medium apples
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. sucanat
- 2 tbsp. arrowroot powder
- 1/2 c. water
Take two apples and juice them. I use my Vitamix; I puree them then put the puree in a dishcloth (clean!) and squeeze the juice out (you may need the water to get the apples to puree). You need about 1 c. You could substitute store-bought apple juice and use only 4 apples if you want. Add 1/4 c. of the juice to a small sauce pan. Peel, core and chop the remaining apples into bite-sized pieces (fairly small, they’re going in your tarts this way). Add them to the pan with the juice, then add cinnamon and sucanat. Cover and cook on med-low for 10 – 15 min., until apples are soft. Then, mix arrowroot powder with remaining apple juice and add this mixture to the cooked apples. Stir and cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Apple filling is ready!
I am planning to experiment with even more fillings as time goes on. If I ever get the hang of working with this soft dough.
What is your favorite type of Pop-tart? Do these sound better than store-bought? Have any suggestion for me on how to make the sprouted dough more workable?!