Homemade Pop Tarts
Few things in life are certain, except death and the availability of Pop Tarts in vending machines. Before I describe how to make the perfect homemade pop tarts, it is my duty as a nostalgia connoisseur to outline the pastry’s surprisingly long history.
Launched in 1964, Pop Tarts go way back in U.S. junk food history. For context, humans first landed on the moon in 1969, which makes me speculate that Pop Tarts were an attempt to positively manifest the destiny of the imminent Apollo 11 mission via space-ready food. A girl can dream!
While Pop Tarts have been around for decades, they most notably had a spike in popularity in the 90’s when hyper-unnatural, sugary snacks were en vogue (SRY Surge and Dunkaroos). They also led to the best-worst love scene in any teen comedy movie ever: The moment in Can’t Hardly Wait when Preston sees Amanda for the first time while she is eating the same Pop Tart flavor that he was that very morning:
To this day, Pop Tarts are still well loved in pop culture. Let’s just look past the days of the Pop Tart World store in Times Square OK? Most recently the Pop Tart even became a meme unto itself via Nyan Cat. These also may or may not be my Magic card sleeves:
Now that you’re up to speed on the history of Pop Tarts in pop culture, be sure to try out this foolproof homemade pop tarts recipe. If you’re feeling lazy, you can buy frozen pie crust (I won’t crust-shame you). Also make sure to separate your icing out so that you can get weird with your color palette. I did my take on the Strawberry (white frosting w/ sprinkles) and Wild Berry (purple frosting with blue zig zags) flavors, and then made the Slime (light green frosting) tart of my dreams.
Homemade Pop Tarts Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, diced and chilled
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup ice water
Fillings and Toppings
- 1/4 cup jam of your choice
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- food coloring or sprinkles of your choice
- Make dough. Using a food processor with a blade attachment, add flour, chilled butter and salt to the processor bowl. Process until ingredients form a coarse meal.
- Slowly add ice water to mixture and pulse until dough begins to form clumps but not a ball.
- Roll out a large sheet of plastic wrap and sprinkle with flour.
- Remove dough mixture from food processor and press into a disc shape. Wrap disc of dough in floured plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Assemble Pop Tarts. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Roll dough out on a floured counter into a large rectangle shape.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into uniformly sized rectangles and place half of the rectangles on the parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Place 2-3 teaspoons of desired jam on each of the dough rectangles on the baking sheet. Spread evenly in the center, ensuring the outer 1/4 inch of the rectangles do not have jam.
- Top each jam-spread dough rectangle with uniformly sized dough rectangles.
- Using a fork, crimp down the bottom and top edges of the dough rectangles to seal in the jam.
- Using a fork or knife, prick holes on top of the pastries to allow air to escape
- Bake pastries in oven until edges begin to lightly brown (7-8 minutes) and allow to cool fully.
- Decorate Pop Tarts. Make frosting by stirring together the confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Divide frosting as you wish and add food coloring to achieve desired colors.
- Spread frosting liberally on the cooled pastries, and finish with sprinkles of your choice. Then eat all of your homemade pop tarts in one sitting.
Made homemade pop tarts at home? Tag your photos with #PateSmith or share them in the comments for the chance to be featured onsite!