Easy Pop Tarts

Hands up who loves Pop Tarts? I do, although they’re something I don’t eat that often as they aren’t healthy. I first remember them being in the UK when I was at uni back in the early 1990s, although they had been around for a lot longer than that elsewhere. I remember the original varieties had chocolate and there was another one with strawberry jam filling. At the time they were seen as an indulgence and rather expensive. I think I bought some once when I was back at home and shared them with my brother. I think they tasted like cardboard spread with jam and icing! I think, it was also seen as something exciting to eat for breakfast, rather than a slice of ordinary toast or some cornflakes.

Nowadays I rarely buy stuff like Pop Tarts as I find them really artificial tasting and overly sweet. My kids love them, though and will buy flavours they see when they are in an American candy shop in our local area. Maybe they’re rebelling because I refused to let them have them as children.

My #100bakesposterchallenge had Pop Tarts as one of the challenges and I wanted to see if a homemade version was better than the shop bought. I also wanted to see if they were easy to make. I googled a recipe and found a great one online from Tesco’s website. It involved using sweet shortcrust pastry rolled into two separate rectangles, then cut into smaller rectangles. The Pop Tarts are made by two rectangular pieces of pastry being sandwiched one on top of the other with a sweet filling of jam. Once glazed with beaten egg and baked in the oven, the Pop Tarts are then cooled. They are then finished off with a glace icing and then some hundreds and thousands.

The recipe seemed easy enough and I was so keen to test it out one Saturday afternoon so that we could have Pop Tarts for breakfast on the Sunday. I chose to halve my recipe as I knew that having 8 Pop Tarts would make me want to eat a second one. So making one each was going to be more than enough for us.

I first started by making up the sweet shortcrust pastry. Then the pastry was rolled out and cut into eight smaller rectangles (four tops and four bottoms!) to chill in the fridge on two baking trays while I sorted out some laundry. I find my baking is having to be slotted in around everything else at the moment and on this very busy Saturday afternoon I had been Christmas shopping, doing housework and trying to juggle everything.

After the chilling time, I glazed the pastry rectangles. On four of them I spooned some cherry jam. The cherry jam I had was some I’d bought in Sainsbury’s a few weeks ago but not used. Then the four pastry tops went on top of the jam ones and crimped together with a fork. I had a little Guess The Bake going on social media as the pastry rectangles reminded me of those steak bakes from a certain high street bakery chain!

The Pop Tarts went into the oven and I must admit they smelled wonderful when they were baking. I didn’t think I’d be able to hold out until breakfast to eat it!

Once out of the oven, I made up some glace icing and spread it on top of the four Pop Tarts. As it’s the Festive Season, I sprinkled silver hundreds and thousands on them instead of the traditional multi coloured ones.

On Sunday morning, I was up early as I had lots of things to catch up on. I’m sure Pop Tarts were designed to be put in the toaster. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I wasn’t going to do that with mine. I put mine in the microwave for 20 seconds and it was warmed through enough. With my morning coffee, it was a real treat.

Although sweet, the Pop Tarts are not as sweet as the shop bought ones and are a real treat for breakfast if you have time to make them on a weekend. I would like to experiment with different flavours and maybe enhance the pastry with cinnamon or lemon. But for now, I’ll go back to my morning porridge or my yoghurt and fruit and keep the Pop Tarts as an occasional school holiday indulgence.

For the Easy Pop Tart recipe, click here:

https://realfood.tesco.com/recipes/homemade-pop-tart.html

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

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