For some, rolling out dough is a spiritual experience.
My sweet and spicy Octave, be one with the dough, forever and always, and your baking adventures will never cease to enlighten and inspire. Right here in the kitchen, a task so mundane and all too often overlooked, holds the answers to all of life's deepest questions.
Homemade Pop Tarts
Makes 8 large pop tarts or 16 mini
(photo shows smaller size)
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
2 cups flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. milk
1/4 tsp. almond extract (optional)
3/4 c. (8 oz.) favorite berry jam
1 tbsp. corn starch mixed with 1 tbsp. cold water
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 extra egg for pastry brushing
To make the dough: I prefer using a food processor when making my pastry doughs but this is not mandatory and can just as easily be made by hand.
Place flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and blend until combined. Cut cold butter into cubes and place in processor. Pulse 5-8 times until butter is incorporated and starts to resemble pea size clumps of dough. Pour in whisked egg, milk and extract and blend until dough forms. Shape into two disks, wrap in seran wrap and place in fridge while you make your filling.
Mix together jam, cornstarch, water and extract. Set aside.
On a floured surface roll out dough into two large rectangles about 1/8″ thick, large enough that you can trim it to an even 9″ x 12″. If you need, use a 9″ x 13″ pan, as guidance. I like to you a pizza cutter to cut the dough. Cut into a rectangle and remove the remaining scraps of dough from the edges. Cut each rectangle of dough vertically into quarters. Then cut once horizonatally in the direct middle of the dough, creating 8 even rectangles on each sheet, 16 in all.
Beat the additional egg and brush it over the entire surface of the rectangle you are working with. This will be the inside of the tart and the egg will help glue the lid on. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, keeping a bare 1/2-inch perimeter around it. Place a second rectangle of dough atop the first, using your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides. Press a fork all around the edges of the rectangle and repeat with the remaining tarts. Place tarts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Poke holes into the tops of tarts, using a fork or toothpick to keep from puffing up. Place in the fridge (uncovered is fine,) while you preheat your oven to 350.
Bake tarts for 22-25 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Let cool. Store in an air tight container for up to a week, however they will most definitely not last that long. Place them in the toaster before eating and you will never wish for a store bough pop tart again!