Pop tarts. Those two words meant so much to me as a child – the forbidden fruit…I had heard about them, but never actually tasted them myself. I remember when I was about 10 - my sister and I were visiting my grandparents at the beach. For some reason there were a lot of kids at the beach and probably 2 babysitters. We somehow started playing a game with the other kids – and I specifically remember one of the babysitters saying that after we finish the game, it would be time for a snack. I looked over by the sea wall, where the babysitters stuff was, and there was a box of Pop Tarts. I felt like I won the lottery. I couldn’t believe it – I was actually going to taste one.
A few minutes later my grandmother called down to my sister and I, and it was time for us to head back for lunch. I asked if we could stay, but for some important reason (which I obviously can’t remember now, so it must have been REALLY important) we couldn’t. I missed my chance. I couldn’t believe I was so close, but couldn’t snag the prize.
Years later I actually did try my first Pop Tart, and I wasn’t that impressed. I thought, maybe they need to be toasted to be really super delicious. So, I toasted one, and again – I wasn’t that impressed. I was so disappointed! I had built up these Pop Tarts in my mind so much, and after waiting so many years – what a bummer.
I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit, and there was no way I was passing these babies up. I decided that maybe if I made them from scratch, they would be everything I dreamed about. I was right – they were. They were tender and buttery – with just the right amount of sweetness – and when you broke them apart, the filling oozed out. What a treat. Next time I am trying them with the brown sugar filling…
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour plus additional for shaping and rolling
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 tablespoons ice water
- 12 tablespoons strawberry preserves (preferably organic homemade)
- Powdered sugar
- Fresh strawberries
Whisk 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour, coarse salt, and sugar in large bowl. Add butter. Using fingertips or back of fork, blend in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water by tablespoonfuls, tossing until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball. Divide in half; shape each half into disk. Wrap in plastic. Chill at least 1 hour.
Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough on floured surface to about 13×11 inches. Trim to 12×10-inch rectangle, then cut into eight 5×3-inch rectangles.
Arrange 4 rectangles, spaced apart, on each sheet. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons preserves in row down center of each rectangle. Top preserves with second dough rectangle. Using fingertips, gently press all edges of each tart to seal; press all edges with tines of fork to double-seal. Using toothpick, poke a few holes in center of top dough rectangle. Cover; freeze tarts on sheets at least 2 hours and up to 1 week.
Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake frozen tarts uncovered until golden, reversing sheets after 15 minutes, 25 to 30 minutes total (some preserves may leak out). Immediately transfer tarts to rack. Sift powdered sugar lightly over. Serve warm or at room temperature with fresh berries.
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