Pop tarts. To some of us they’re magic words, a delicious breakfast food and a definite weakness of mine. But on closer inspection of the packet, there are over 50 ingredients in these highly processed treats, many of which I can’t even pronounce. They’re packed with sugar and sodium and are generally pretty bad for you. I thought I would try making them at home with a Christmassy twist, as a little edible Christmas present for some of my favourite people.
These babies are made with real butter with no high fructose corn syrup in sight! A delicious flaky pastry encases a sweet cherry jam and vanilla filling and is then topped with a sweet glaze spiked with vanilla bean. The pastry is relatively easy to make, although assembling the tarts can be a little fiddly and time consuming but completely worthwhile. I did however find the glaze a little on the thin side and didn’t coat the tarts as well as I’d liked, so I’ve adjusted the recipe below.
If I’d had a little more time, or if cherries were more affordable right now (many of NSW’s cherry crops have been affected by the recent floods) I would have made my own jam for the filling. I’ve been thinking up other flavour combinations – imagine rhubarb and ginger pop tarts! I thought they made lovely little presents and looked very cute packaged in clear cellophane bags, tied with a red and green striped ribbon! I’m so glad the girls liked them!
Cherry Pop Tarts with Vanilla Bean Glaze
Adapted from Joy The Baker
• 2 cups plain flour
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 225g unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
• 1 large egg
• 2 tablespoons milk
• 1 large egg, for brushing the dough
For the filling
• 2 cups cherry jam
• 2 tablespoons plain flour
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the glaze
• 1 cup icing sugar
• 2 tablespoons milk
• ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt. Add the cold butter and pulse until only pea sized lumps remain in your mixture. In a small bowl, beat the egg with the milk. Add the mixture all at once to the dry ingredients and pulse until moisture is introduced to all of the flour mixture. Lightly dust a clean surface with flour and knead the dough until it starts to hold together. Divide the dough in two, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
In the meantime, combine jam, flour and vanilla in a bowl and stir until combined.
Remove one piece of dough from the refrigerator. On a well floured surface, roll the dough out to 3mm thick. Trim the dough into rectangles 14 x 8cm. Place the dough rectangles onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate while you prepare the second piece of dough in the same way. Brush one set of 8 squares with a beaten egg. This will act as the glue for the top layer of dough. Spoon an even layer of jam into the center of each brushed dough square. Top with a second piece of dough and use a floured fork to crimp the sides closed. Use the tines of the fork to create vent holes in each tart.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Let the tarts rest in the fridge while the oven preheats. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top. While the tarts bake, whisk together the ingredients for the glaze and set aside. Let baked tarts rest on a cooling rack to cool completely before glazing. Best served within 2 days.