Pop Tarts were a staple in my college pantry. My how my food tastes have changed. But even though I can’t quite bring myself to buy the store-bought “breakfast pastries,” that doesn’t mean I didn’t jump at the chance to make a homemade version. Oh boy, the homemade are way better. They have a flaky, melt-in-your-mouth crust and are filled with chunky preserves. I have officially decided that I will forever be able to resist the urge to buy Pop Tarts in the store. Yes, they take a little bit of work to make, but they are absolutely worth it!
Fun Fact: my Pop Tart of choice is the unfrosted cherry.
Homemade Pop Tarts Printer-Friendly Recipe
2 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, cold and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
4 – 5 Tbsp ice water
3/4 cup preserves, divided between 8 tarts (I used strawberry & cherry)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp half and half, plus more as needed
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Pulse together the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Pulse in the butter until the dough looks like coarse meal. Pour in 4 tablespoons of water and pulse several times. You want the mixture to come together in clumps; if it does not, add another tablespoon of water and pulse again. ***alternatively, you could do this without a food processor. Just use a pastry cutter, two forks, or your fingers to bring the dough together.
Gather the dough into a ball on a clean work surface. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a 5-inch disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats. Take 1 of the dough disks out the fridge and place on a floured work surface. Roll out into a 13×11-inch rectangle. To clean up the edges, now cut the rectangle down to 12×10-inches. Cut into 8 smaller rectangles (each 5×3-inches). Place 4 of the rectangles onto a prepared baking pan, spaced evenly apart. Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons of preserves down the center of each. Make sure the preserves are spread out evenly, leaving about 3/4-inch uncoated around the edges. Place the remaining 4 rectangles on top of the preserves. Seal the edges with a fork (or your fingertips) as best you can, there will be some preserves that spill out during the baking process. With a toothpick, poke the top of each tart several times. Cover the tray and place in the freezer to chill for at least 2 hours before baking (can freeze up to 1 week). Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
To bake, place an oven rack near the top 1/3 of the oven and another oven rack near the bottom 1/3 of the oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Uncover frozen trays of tarts and bake for 25-30 minutes (rotate halfway through). The tarts should begin turning a light golden brown. Remove from oven & cool on baking sheets for about 10 minutes before transferring to cooling racks to cool completely. (If any of the preserves leaked out, just go ahead and cut it off from the edge of the tart)
To make the icing, whisk together all of the icing ingredients. Add more half and half if desired (I only used 2 tablespoons). Ice the tops of the cooled tarts (leave a little around the edge uncoated). Now sprinkle the tops, if desired (I always desire sprinkles). Let the icing set a bit at room temperature. Store tarts in an airtight container and, of course, don’t put them in the toaster–they aren’t those kinds of pop tarts. Enjoy!