I promise you this is not a tribute to Valentine’s Day. I just happened to think heart-shaped pop tarts would be adorable.
And they were.
Technically I made homemade mini-pies since I used pie crust. Please don’t hate me. I really hate not making things from scratch but my mother continues to buy the pre-made crusts (darn you, Pillsbury!) and would kill me if I made my own crust when there’s already some in the fridge.
I knew when I first saw homemade pop tarts (or mini-pies…whatever you want to call them) on the internet I needed to make them, but I wanted to add my own twist to it. More specifically, I was looking for an excuse to use my cookie cutters (in case you didn’t already know, I bought a 101 cookie cutter set about a week ago).
I decided to make them heart-shaped. The red strawberry jam made these heart-shaped treats even more enjoyable.
Of course, I had to make at least one rectangle pop tart. I didn’t have any rectangle cookie cutters, so I just cut out a rectangle with a pizza cutter. (Fun fact: I got this pizza cutter for 30 cents! It was on clearance. I love it when things are on clearance).
If I’m going to be frank with you, I thought the dough-to-filling ratio was a little off…too crusty. It wasn’t very pop-tart-like. So I just added a little bit of the leftover filling sauce (you can just add regular jam) on top of the pop tart after it cooled, and it made all the difference! Add as much extra jam as you desire.
I’m going to give you guys both methods–my way and King Arthur Flour’s (and Smitten Kitchen’s) way. Mine is clearly a lot simpler (with premade pie crust + jam filling) but everyone who used the other recipe seems to have really enjoyed it. Here you guys go!
- Pie Crust
- Jam filling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Cut pie crust into 2 identical shapes (or rectangles).
- Fill with jam
- Pinch together dough.
- Poke holes (or slits) in dough to let steam out when baking.
- Optional: Refrigerate
- Heat for about 20 minutes, until lightly golden
- Cool and spread more jam over the top
Homemade Pop Tarts
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pats
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) milk
- 1 additional large egg (to brush on pastry)
- 3/4 cup (8 ounces) jam
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water (I don’t know about this…I think jam alone would be fine)
Mix the jam with the cornstarch/water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool. Use to fill the pastry tarts.
Alternate fillings: 9 tablespoons chocolate chips, 9 tablespoons Nutella or other chocolate-hazelnut paste or 9 tablespoons of a delight of your choice, such as salted caramel or a nut paste
Directions (for dough):
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter with your fingers, pastry blender or food processor until pea-sized lumps of butter are still visible, and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. If you’ve used a food processor, transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
- Whisk the first egg and milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything is cohesive, kneading briefly on a well-floured counter if necessary.
- Divide the dough in half (approximately 8 1/4 ounces each), shape each half into a smooth rectangle, about 3×5 inches. You can roll this out immediately or wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- If the dough has been chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to soften and become workable, about 15 to 30 minutes. Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle and cut about nine 3″ x 4″ rectangles.
- Beat the additional egg and brush it over the entire surface of the first dough. This will be the “inside” of the tart; the egg is to help glue the lid on. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, keeping a bare 1/2-inch perimeter around it. Place a second rectangle of dough atop the first, using your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides. Press the tines of a fork all around the edge of the rectangle. Repeat with remaining tarts.
- Gently place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork; you want to make sure steam can escape, or the tarts will become billowy pillows rather than flat toaster pastries.
- Refrigerate the tarts (they don’t need to be covered) for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Remove the tarts form the fridge, and bake them for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Cool in pan on rack.