From the Kitchen: Strawberry Rhubarb Pop Tarts
I grew up in a 1980’s frozen dinner, margarine on toast, American cheese, powdered Country Time Lemonade kinda family. Organic? Never heard of it. Locally grown? What’s that? My mom bought me Lunchables,Pringles and Great White Shark fruit snacks. We were quite the packaged goods family. And while I think I turned out okay, I would never in a million years feed my kids the way I was allowed to eat. Never!! So sadly, my little ones will never know the goodness that is a Kellog’s Pop Tart…but they will most likely get a homemade version every so often as a special treat.
When rhubarb’s in season, I can’t help but buy it whenever I find it, and what better upgrade to the classic strawberry toaster treat!! These mini tarts are the perfect single serving of nostalgia (and they’re excellent with milk!) Enjoy!! -xo
Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pop Tarts
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Makes about 16 mini tarts
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pats
1 large egg
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) milk
1 additional large egg (to brush on pastry)
Strawberry Rhubarb Filling:
2 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 cup fresh rhubarb, chopped roughly
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
Make the dough:
Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter with your fingers, pastry blender or food processor until pea-sized lumps of butter are still visible, and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. If you’ve used a food processor, transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Whisk the first egg and milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything is cohesive, kneading briefly on a well-floured counter if necessary.
Divide the dough in half (approximately 8 1/4 ounces each), shape each half into a smooth rectangle, about 3×5 inches. You can roll this out immediately or wrap in plastic for up to two days.
Make the filling:
Combine strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, dissolved cornstarch and water in a large pot and boil down for 10-15 minutes, until sugar dissolves and the consistency of thick preserves forms. Let cool to room temperature.
Assemble the tarts:
If the dough has been chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to soften and become workable, about 15 to 30 minutes. Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8″ thick, large enough that you can trim it to an even 9″ x 12″. [You can use a 9″ x 13″ pan, laid on top, as guidance.] Repeat with the second piece of dough. Set trimmings aside. Cut each piece of dough into thirds – you’ll form a total of 32 2 1/4″ x 3″ rectangles.
Beat the additional egg and brush it over the entire surface of the first dough. This will be the “inside” of the tart; the egg is to help glue the lid on. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, keeping a bare 1/4-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 the tines of a fork all around the edge of the rectangle. Repeat with remaining tarts.
Gently place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork; you want to make sure steam can escape, or the tarts will become billowy pillows rather than flat toaster pastries. Refrigerate the tarts (they don’t need to be covered) for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F.
Charming tip from King Arthur: Sprinkle the dough trimmings with cinnamon-sugar; these have nothing to do with your toaster pastries, but it’s a shame to discard them, and they make a wonderful snack. While the tarts are chilling, bake these trimmings for 13 to 15 minutes, till they’re golden brown.
Bake the tarts:
Remove the tarts from the fridge, and bake them for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Cool in pan on rack.