{winter projects 2012} Three Berry Pop-Tarts

Editor’s Note: Who wants to learn to make berry-filled hot pockets of goodness? I do! I do! Deanna’s post was first published, in springtime on May 23rd 2011 as Sundays on the Sunporch: Three Berry “Pop-Tarts”. We also get a glimpse of a toddler cooking with a bucket on her head… who doesn’t do that? I know Miles does… -Christina


Now that spring is here and the weather is beautiful (save for all the rain we’ve been having), it’s time to re-instate Sundays on the Sunporch. This is one of my favorite little traditions Dave and I have started for our family. Just lazing around on the sunporch, testing out a new breakfast/brunch recipe with a full pot of French Press, and enjoying each other’s company.

Yesterday, Edith and I tried our hands at homemade three berry “Pop-Tarts.” I think deep-down we all secretly love Pop-Tarts (or the childhood nostalgia that surrounds them). This recipe provides a glimpse into the classic shelf-stable breakfast food but elevates it to something you can actually feel good about eating. If you prefer, you can make a simple milk glaze (two parts confectioners sugar to one part milk – whisk until smooth) to drizzle on top of the pastries once cooled slightly, but I like them straight-up.

My little helper, Edie. She brushed the egg wash on the dough and
 assisted with mixing. And yes, she also likes to wear a sand pail as a hat

Three Berry “Pop-Tarts”
* The dough recipe is adapted from La Buena Vida.
Makes 6 servings

For the Dough*
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt (preferrably sea salt)
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup ice water
1 egg
1 tablespoon cream or milk
Raw/Demerara sugar

For the Filling
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen berries of choice (I used raspberries, blueberries and blackberries)**
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare two baking sheets with parcement paper or Sil-Pat mats.

2. In a large bowl, combine dough allowances of flour, salt, and white sugar. Whisk to combine. Cut-in butter using a pastry blender or hands.

3. Add water (but not ice!) a tablespoon at a time. Add/reduce recommended about based on the point the dough just forms a ball.

4. Cover dough an refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

5. In a new bowl, mix filling ingredients together, macerating the berries slightly to release juice. Be sure flour is well-mixed with berries.

6. Once dough is chilled, remove and roll out into a large rectangle 1/4-inch thick (cut dough in half if needed and roll each half separately). Be sure the rolling pin and surface are both well-floured.

7. Using a knife or pastry wheel, cut dough into twelve rectangles.

8. Mix egg with heavy cream to form an egg wash. Brush egg wash onto the edges of all dough rectangles.

9. Spoon filling onto half of the dough rectangles. Cover with other half of dough rectangles. Push edges together with fingers, then crimp or seal with the tines of a fork.

10. Brush remaining egg wash on the top of the pastries. Sprinkle with raw sugar. Pierce the top of the pastries with a knife to make three small steam holes.

11. Place pastries on prepared baking sheets, bake for 10-15 minutes or until edges and golden brown.

Pastries can be wrapped in waxed paper, stored in a Ziploc bag or storage container, and placed in the freezer for up to three months. They can be re-heated in the oven or in the toaster (it might take two “rotations” in the toaster if frozen). I think I might also make these for a summertime dinner party with a sprig of fresh mint and homemade vanilla ice cream as a dessert! Ooo, the possibilities.

** SUGGESTION: Do not hesitate to use frozen berries. In my opinion, it is better to pick (or buy) fresh fruit locally and freeze it (or buy bags of frozen fruit from the grocer) than to buy fresh supermarket berries grown halfway around the world. Fresh doesn’t always mean better!


17 Comments Add yours

  1. I love home made pop-tarts although I’m a glaze girl all the way. the three berry looks delish – wish I had one right now!

    Everyone always gets a kick out of them and they are so tender & yummy. The rectangle shape makes an awesome presentation, but now that the novelty has worn off for us, I slacked off and make them round. It seems easier and goes faster for me. Better round pop-tarts than no pop-tarts….

    What a perfect way to spend Sunday morning….

  2. Deanna says:

    @Auburn Meadow Farm – I think round would be an awesome dessert option, topped with delicious vanilla ice cream. I’m sure you could go really nuts with these – heart shapes at Valentine’s Day, etc. Thanks for reading along!

  3. Savory has interesting possibilities too… your Edie is adorable : )
    Thank you for all the work – you ladies do an awesome job. Really enjoy it.

  4. Deanna says:

    @Auburn Meadow Farm Thanks for the note on Edith – she’s something alright! And thank YOU for reading and commenting – hearing from readers makes the hard work we put in seem worth it.

    As far as savory options go… here are some ideas to start (can you think of others?)
    – Sliced brie with apples and walnuts
    – Leftover roasted chicken with a beurre blanc and peas
    – Sliced ham, swiss cheese and broccoli

    Oh man, now I’m hungry.

  5. Erin Olson says:

    Hmmm, might have to think about some savory options, these look amazing but I just cut out all sugar as part of a post-holiday detox. =P

    My toddler loves to use a wire-mesh strainer as a face mask while cooking. 🙂

  6. Deanna says:

    @Erin – I understand the benefits of a detox, but it’s not a sacrifice I would willingly make. Unless there was a chocolate-only detox. I’d be all over that one.

    I love the strainer story – maybe your kiddo is training to be a professional fencer! My mom loves to ask Edith what different utensils are called, then laughs hysterically as Edie tries to say “egg separator.”

    Thanks for the comment! If you think of more savory/sugar-free ideas, post them! I’d love your thoughts.

  7. Becky says:

    These look so good and make me think of summer! i have some frozen blackberries and huckleberries I might need to use to try this. I also love the idea of doing them round. I have just the biscuit cutter in mind! Thanks for sharing Deanna!

  8. Betsy says:

    Yum! How do think it would be with jam or jelly as the filling? Would you add anything else (besides cheese – mmm)?

  9. Deanna says:

    @Becky – we need some summer reminders with how cold it is! Huckleberries sound delicious.

    @Betsy – I’d stick with a slow-cooked jam over jelly, as you still want the filling to have some “body” to it. Try mixing some strawberry jam and balsamic vinaigrette together for a filling. I bet if you made these mini-sized they would be an AWESOME party appetizer! Apricot and balsamic vinegar is actually a surprisingly-good flavor combo, too. If you feel that isn’t “hearty” enough, try adding some toasted nuts (like walnuts) to the mixture. Let me know if you try this and how it turns out!

  10. @Betsy I made some with some overcooked strawberry jam mixed with nutella that were a hit. If you use runny jam, you just need to add a bit of cornstarch.

    mincemeat w/feta or other sharp cheese?
    cabbage + onion w/cumin?
    onion marmalade w/sharpish cheese?
    swiss chard, greyere + parm
    pulled pork or chicken w/creme fraiche & roasted pepper or green chile?

    I love the apricot + balsamic idea

  11. Deanna says:

    @Auburn Meadow Farm – Don’t put question marks! All those ideas sound ca-razy good (especially the onion marmalade and cheese – although I bet a soft cheese like a taleggio or a goat cheese would be tasty as well). Sounds like you really know your stuff, and thanks for all the great ideas

  12. Kaitlyn says:

    Deanna, absolutely love this idea! I haven’t eaten pop tarts since the 6th grade because I knew how processed and gross they were THEN. Glad this can be a breakfast I feel good about.

  13. Betsy says:

    Thanks for the ideas! I’m hoping to try it this weekend – yum!

  14. ohfudgemonkey says:

    Reblogged this on Fudge Monkey Recipes and commented:
    Sounds so good

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